May 30, 2010 -- Hollywood and fans were saddened by the news that legendary actor and director Dennis Hopper, 74, died Saturday from complications of prostate cancer. He had appeared frail-looking in recent months while battling the disease.
He was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in March, surrounded by his family and actor-friends to encourage and laud him. This weekend, fans gathered on the gritty Hollywood sidewalk where Hopper's star appears to scatter flowers and pay tribute to the iconoclastic actor-director.
"Everything I learned in life I learned from you," he told a crowd of supporters at the star ceremony back in March, referring to Hollywood. "This means so much to me. Thank you very much everyone, and Hollywood."
Hopper, who was twice nominated for Academy Awards, for his role as an alcoholic high school basketball coach in 1986's "Hoosiers" and for writing 1969's "Easy Rider" along with co-star Peter Fonda and Terry Southern, was revered by many in Hollywood for a career that spanned five decades. Not bad for often playing sadistic, villainous characters.
Here are a few words that appeared in print, online and on Twitter the weekend of the actor-director's passing:
Several of Hopper's co-stars from some of his most well-known -- and favorite films -- paid tribute to their friend and co-star via prepared statements.
Peter Fonda, co-star in "Easy Rider" (1969): "Dennis introduced me to the world of Pop Art and 'lost' films. We rode the highways of America and changed the way movies were made in Hollywood. I was blessed by his passion and friendship."
Isabella Rossellini, co-star in "Blue Velvet" (1986): "When I first met Dennis on the set of 'Blue Velvet,' he had just come out of rehab. I was afraid of him, but Dennis turned out to be infinitely kind, compassionate and understanding. He had gone to hell and came back from it with great wisdom. It will take me a while to realize and accept he isn't with us any longer."
Gene Hackman, co-star in "Hoosiers" (1986): "As an actor, one is always taken by someone who is different. An iconoclast, Dennis was an artist and I will always treasure having worked with him. He will be missed."
Actors Sent Tweets to Express Condolences for Dennis Hopper
Not all had the opportunity to work with Hopper, but for a business with heavy actor turnover, his iconic status outshone most during his career. His film debut was in "Rebel Without a Cause" in 1955.
Here, a sampling of what was written by directors, actors and friends.
"TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2, HOOSIERS, BLUE VELVET, RED ROCK WEST, EASY RIDER. Thanks for always making it seem simple & fun, Mr. Hopper. RIP." -- director-actor Kevin Smith.
"So long Dennis. U taught me so much." -- actress Virginia Madsen, who starred in the Hopper-directed "The Hot Spot."
"RIP Dennis Hopper. Man, I'm getting tired of typing those three letters ..." -- Michael McKean.
"Dennis Hopper RIP. A maverick, a wonderful actor. You always got something unexpected from him. He will be missed ... Easy Rider, Blue Velvet, True Romance, Crash..some of the fine work and much more from Dennis Hopper. Thank you DH. RIP" -- actress Marlee Matlin.
"RIP Dennis Hopper. The world was your canvas & you captured it brilliantly.Thank u for the friendship u gave my dad&inspiration u gave us all" -- Soleil Moon Frye.
"RIP to another LEGEND Dennis Hopper a great actor, great director and a brilliant artist. Your work will live on as will ur spirit" -- Marlon Wayans.
"Sweet Dennis Hopper. Bless you for your gifts you gave us all these years." -- Christina Applegate.
"RIP Dennis Hopper. One of the great ones." -- Elizabeth Banks.
At Interview, a magazine that usually pairs actor-on-actor for one-on-one interviews, a conversation between Hopper and "Twilight" star Kristen Stewart has been pulled from the archives and reposted after Hopper's death.
Seconds into the conversation, Stewart asks Hopper, "Why in god's name did you want to do this? You have no idea how cool this is for me."
Hopper, no doubt, would think it was cool to know how much he was appreciated.