Dennis Hopper

Dennis Hopper
Dennis Hopper directed and co-starred as Billy in "Easy Rider" with Peter Fonda and Jack Nicholson

The original movie stoner, Dennis Hopper was born in Dodge City, Kansas on May 17, 1936. The actor got his start in Hollywood with bit parts in Rebel Without a Cause (1955) and Giant  (1956), both starring James Dean.

His acting career was long and illustrious - 199 credits deep despite taking off most of the '70s. Initially, Hopper split time between movie and TV roles.

The first sign that Hopper wasn't just another Hollywood character actor came in 1967 when he appeared in The Trip - written by Jack Nicholson and directed by Roger Corman - as Max, the "head" of a hippie house.

Two years later, Hopper was at the helm, directing Easy Rider and co-starring as Billy with Peter Fonda and Nicholson. It's generally considered the greatest stoner movie of all time.

Hopper followed with Last Movie (1971), a colossal failure that, combined with cocaine and alcohol, sent him packing for most of the '70s.

Francis Ford Coppola rescued Hopper form temporary obscurity when he cast him as the babbling photographer in Apocalypse Now (1979) and the father in Rumble Fish (1983).

Hopper had a big year in 1986 with Blue Velvet, River's Edge and Hoosiers, and worked consistently for the rest of his career. He also began directing again (ColorsThe Hot Spot), and returned to TV, appearing in 24Crash and E-Ring.

In 1999, Hopper was arrested for marijuana possession at Calgary Airport. He admitted to having two film containers filled with pot. In 2000, the charge was dismissed.

He was married five times and had four children. Hopper and fifth wife Valerie were in a nasty custody battle over their six-year-old daughter Galen when he died on May 28, 2010.

Hopper acknowledged in Oct. '09 that he'd been suffering from prostate cancer and had become a regular customer at The Farmacy dispensary in Venice, California, where he lived.

Hopper's daughter Marin is keeping the flame alive with Hopper Reserve, a cannabis brand dedicated to her father. They have the following flower categories and strains available as pre-rolls at Los Angeles-area adult-use stores: The Strong-Willed Rebel (Pink Lemonade sativa), The Mystic of the Desert (Gas OG indica) and The Artist of the Mind (Sugar Shack hybrid).


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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.