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The passage of Dennis Hopper…

Photo Credit MP
Photo Credit MP

Good morning, Netizens...

The passage of Dennis Hopper, 74, leaves a vacancy in Hollywood that will probably never be filled. I am reasonably certain there are certain luminaries in Star City that are hoping in their private moments that no one will ever rise to fill his position because, according to all the pundits, Hopper was a contentious man perhaps as well known for his addictions to alcohol, cocaine and other drugs as he was for his considerable acting and directing talents.

Hopper made people mad. According to several sources, while filming “True Grit”, the late John Wayne once chased Hopper around the set with a loaded gun.

Perhaps best-known for his directing talents in “Easy Rider” produced by Peter Fonda, this controversial film was hailed by the National Film Registry in 1998 as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." It went on to become a hit at Cannes, netting a best-screenplay Oscar nomination for Hopper, Fonda and Terry Southern. Having spent some time in the Deep South, there was a lot of harsh reality about interaction between long-hairs and Rednecks that crept into the movie, which is perhaps why today the film still stands tall as a cult classic.

He earned an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of an alcoholic ex-basketball star in “Hoosiers” with Gene Hackman, another of my most-favorite movies.

In the long list of plaudits which have appeared on the Internet in his passage, there were several fans who mistakenly referred to him as a “gentleman”. He might have been a gentleman once, and toward the end of his life, dry and drug-free, he might have even resumed the role of a gentleman. But for most of his life he suffered with alcohol and drug addictions that made him difficult to be around in the hothouse environment of movie productions.

Nothing, however, could take away from his sometimes greatness, interspersed with bouts of drugs and alcohol abuse. At least now he is at peace.


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Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.