Dennis Lee Hopper
1.75 m or 5feet 9inches
Dennis Hopper Film actor, born May 17, 1936, in Dodge City, Kansas, to Marjorie and Jay Hopper. As a child, Dennis was told that his father was killed in a munitions accident while training for World War II. His grandparents introduced him to the movies at a young age. It wasn’t until a few years later that Hopper was told that this was only a cover for his father’s intelligence work in China during the war.
The family, back intact, moved to San Diego in 1950. Hopper got his show business start playing an urchin in a stage production of A Christmas Carol. During summers in high school, Hopper went by himself to Pasadena and worked backstage in the local theater. Back in San Diego, Hopper began to get small roles in Shakespeare productions and in 1954, at the age of 18, scored a guest spot on the TV show, Medic.
His appearance led to a deal with Warner Brothers and an appearance in Rebel Without a Cause (1955), co-starring with James Dean and Natalie Wood. Hopper, a close friend of Dean, became briefly involved with Wood and also began a lifelong struggle with drugs during this time. After starring in Giant (1956), Hopper rebelled from the Hollywood studio system and was essentially blackballed.
In 1961, Hopper married Brooke Hayward and a year later the couple added a daughter, Marin, to their family, which already included two sons from Hayward’s previous marriage. The marriage fell apart in 1967 and they were divorced.
Hopper, who participated in many civil rights marches in the South during the 1960s, returned to the limelight in 1969 with Easy Rider. The movie, co-written by Hopper, was a huge hit and practically defined the counter-culture. It made Jack Nicholson a huge star and is still regarded as a classic.
On Halloween, 1970, Hopper married Mamas and Papas singer Michelle Phillips, who promptly went out on tour and eight days later decided she wanted out of the marriage. Hopper, crushed, retreated from Hollywood once again and went to live in Taos, New Mexico. There he met actress Daria Halprin and they married in 1972 and had a daughter, Ruthana.
Hopper’s appearance in Apocalypse Now (1979) was his only major role of the decade and drugs once again played havoc with Hopper’s personal and professional life. His marriage broke up and Hopper was again an exile in New Mexico until his most recent career rebirth.
In 1986, Hopper scored several supporting roles that earned him critical acclaim. Blue Velvet, Hoosiers(Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor), and River’s Edge returned him to favor. He also married again, to Katherine LaNasa and had a son, Henry Lee. Hopper directed himself and co-star Sean Penn in Colors (1988) and began taking nearly all the roles offered him.
Hopper has become one of Hollywood’s favorite villain actors. In Speed (1994) and Waterworld (1995) Hopper played the perfect heavy.