During a sad memorial day weekend that has already claimed the life of sitcom star Gary Coleman, another acting legend has passed away. Sixties icon Dennis Hopper died earlier today due to complications from prostate cancer. The Hollywood iconoclast is perhaps best known for his role in Easy Rider, but his eclectic and wild career has spanned six decades, giving us some of the most memorable performances in the history of both television and cinema. The actor was 74.
Hopper died at 8:15 a.m. inside his Los Angeles home near Venice Beach, California, surrounded by friends and family. The actor had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in September of 2009. Dennis was a two-time Academy Award nominee for his producing work on Easy Rider as well as his acting work in Hoosiers, and was awarded a star on Hollywood's Walk of fame this past March. The actor also starred alongside James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause and Giant, as well as appearing in Apocalypse Now and Blue Velvet. He played the villain in the blockbuster action epic Speed.
Also an accomplished director, Hopper helmed the cult classic Colors about gang warfare in Los Angeles. As well as The Hot Spot and the off-beat comedy Chasers. He continued to work throughout his illness on the Starz series Crash. At the time of his death, Dennis was going through a messy divorce with his fifth wife, who claimed he was trying to cut her out of his inheritance. He denied this allegation.
Hopper is survived by four children. He will next be heard as the voice of Tony in the CGI animated adventure Alpha and Omega, which comes to theaters on September 17th, 2010.