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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Dennis Hopper R.I.P.

Most of the recent publicity Dennis Hopper has gotten was about the very public spat between him and his wife Victoria, who was evidently trying to extract as much money from Hopper as she could before he died, even stealing some of his artwork. It was hard not to sympathize with the terminally ill Hopper after reading about that.

But then I read in today's AP obituary that Hopper had been married five times. That's pretty much proof positive that he was no picnic himself.

The AP article quoted film critic-historian David Thomson, who said that "Much of Hollywood found Hopper a pain in the neck."

He evidently had a reputation for throwing temper tantrums on the set, as well as for constantly being stoned or drunk.

After his initial success with Easy Rider in 1969, Hopper abused alcohol and drugs to excess. At one point he was said to be consuming a gallon of rum a day. He also became addicted to cocaine.

Knowing that, it is remarkable that he lived to the relatively ripe age of 74, and even then only died of prostate cancer (which can hit any man over the age of fifty). Hopper seems to be proof once again that we all have our built in expiration dates and no matter what good care we take of ourselves -- or not -- it often doesn't seem to make much difference.

Lindsay Lohan will probably end up outliving most of her contemporaries.

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