While traveling overseas I heard the news that Dennis Hopper lost his battle against prostate cancer. I immediately thought of Easy Rider, his landmark directorial debut that ushered in the wave we now name as American Independent Cinema. Whether it was the fringe of his coat, the length of his sideburns, or the power of the chopper, Dennis Hopper made the counterculture revolution look and sound like a new America.
I probably first encountered Hopper in the 1956 film Giant. I say probably because his prolific career spanned television and film for over 50 years. Who knows, I may have become a Dennis Hopper fan with a late afternoon rerun of Petticoat Junction when I was a small girl. No matter when I first encountered him, I came to respect him with his performances from Hoosiers to Elegy. He was a film icon and we are better for it.
Get your motor runnin’….