Saturday, May 29, 2010

RIP Dennis Hopper

I'm just now hearing that actor Dennis Hopper has died. The first time I remember seeing him was as Billy in Easy Rider. Brilliant!

According to his IMDB entry he had at that point done dozens of appearances on film and TV including guest appearances on such outstanding shows as Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Zane Grey Theater, and The Big Valley. He was also on some less outstanding fare like Petticoat Junction and The Time Tunnel. Oh well, a guy's gotta earn a living.

He was in a lot of westerns, befitting his birth in Dodge City, Kansas. He didn't have to work too hard to come across as an authentic cowboy. Starting with Giant in 1956 (when I was frickin' three years old!) he was in classics such as:
Cheyenne; Gunfight at the OK Corral (as Billy Clanton); Sugarfoot (as Billy the Kid); From Hell to Texas; The Sons of Katie Elder; The Legend of Jessie James; True Grit -- you get the idea. The list goes on, showing that he did as much to form the public idea of what a cowboy is as John Wayne or Slim Pickens.

A great career spanning over half a century, hopefully a life that was just as great for him as it was for his fans, he'll be missed.

So long, pardner.