Dennis Hopper Funeral Today; Estate Battle Looms

Actor's estranged widow Victoria is expected to fight over his estate.

ByABC News
June 1, 2010, 12:09 PM

June 2, 2010— -- Dennis Hopper is expected to be laid to rest in New Mexico today, but the divorce battle between the actor and his estranged wife Victoria Duffy-Hopper is far from over.

Hopper, the iconoclastic star of "Easy Rider" and other films, died Saturday of advanced prostate cancer at age 74.

His funeral is scheduled for noon today at a church in Rancho de Taos, an enclave of Taos, New Mexico. Hopper owned a home in Taos and was often quoted saying he wanted to be buried in the picturesque town that is home to many artists and celebrities.

At the time of his death, the actor was engaged in a bitter divorce battle with his fifth wife, Duffy-Hopper. Now, it appears the fight will move from divorce court to probate court, where his widow is expected to mount a challenge for a portion of his estimated $30 million estate.

"We are very saddened to hear of Dennis Hopper's death," Duffy-Hopper's attorney Mirka Royston said in a statement to "The dissolution case is now at end, and the matter will proceed to the Probate Court."

Before Hopper's death, Duffy-Hopper had been trying to reach a settlement in the divorce case. Then it appeared the case was moving forward, with Hopper's attorney telling the court early last week that his client was competent and the court ordering the deposition to move forward. That changed on Thursday, when his lawyer returned to court, saying Hopper's condition had worsened to the point where he could no longer speak. Two days later, Hopper died.

Now it looks like the two sides will go to battle over the estate.

Hopper's attorney Joe Mannis appears ready for the fight.

"She said she would challenge it, and I fully expect her to do so," he was quoted saying on TMZ.

According to court documents, Duffy-Hopper's prenuptial agreement entitled her to 25 percent of his estate and $250,000 of a $1 million life insurance policy as long as the couple remained married and living together.

Hopper filed for divorce in January while battling prostate cancer, but the couple was still married at the time of his death.

The question remains, though, whether they were still living together.