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
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.