Dennis Hopper Quotes

Dennis Lee Hopper, 1936 – 2010

Born: 17 May 1936, Dodge City, Kansas
Died: 29 May 2010, Venice, California

Hopper’s family moved to Kansas City after WW II where Hopper took art classes from Thomas Hart Benton. They moved to San Diego where Hopper was voted most likely to succeed at Helix High School, La Mesa and took an interest in acting which he developed during five years at the Actors Studio with Lee Strasberg. His first film role was in Rebel Without a Cause, he shot another moved, Giant, with James Dean before that actor’s death. He started a separate career in photography in the early sixties, largely portraiture, and he was also a painter and sculptor. He developed a reputation for trouble and didn’t find work for a period of seven years before John Wayne got him roles in two movies. In 1969 he was about to give up on acting and become a teacher when he teamed with Peter Fonda, writer Terry Southern, and Rip Torn to film Easy Rider, the first film Hopper directed. After pulling a knife on Torn in a fight, a little-known Jack Nicholson was brought in. Based on the huge success of that he directed The Last Movie, but he holed up in Taos, New Mexico and spent a year dropping LSD and editing a movie that bombed. For the next decade he worked mostly in Europe before he was cast in 1979 as the manic photojournalist in Apocalypse Now. In 1983, when he was going through three grams of cocaine and a gallon of rum a day, he checked himself into drug rehabilitation program which was successful. His output after that was more consistent and directors were more willing to work with him, the Quotemaster thinks his portrayal of the alcoholic former basketball player in Hoosiers was brilliantly done. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in October of 2009, by March of 2010 he weighed only 100 pounds and was unable to sustain conversations. That month he did attend the installation of his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He died at home after the cancer had metastasized into his bones.

Dennis Hopper quotes:

I am just a middle-class farm boy from Dodge City and my grandparents were wheat farmers. I thought painting, acting, directing and photography was all part of being an artist. I have made my money that way. And I have had some fun. It’s not been a bad life.

Dennis Hopper
I had final cut, and I cut my own throat.

Dennis Hopper
I had final cut, they wanted me to re-edit it, I refused.

Dennis Hopper
I live in a city that is billboards. Billboards and graffiti.

Dennis Hopper
I should have been dead ten times over. I’ve thought about that a lot. I believe in miracles. It’s an absolute miracle that I’m still around.

Dennis Hopper
Independent films in this country are in the same position. Miramax and Fine Line are not independent-they’re with Disney! Come on. Or they’re with Warner Brothers. They’re all with somebody.

Dennis Hopper
It takes more than going down to the video store and renting “Easy Rider” to be a rebel.

Dennis Hopper
I’ve been a Republican since Reagan. I voted for Bush and his father. I don’t tell a lot of people, because I live in a city where somebody who voted for Bush is really an outcast.

Dennis Hopper
I’ve been sober now for 18 years. With all the drugs, psychedelics and narcotics I did, I was an alcoholic. Honestly, I only used to do cocaine so I could sober up and drink more. My last five years of drinking was a nightmare. I was drinking a half-gallon of rum with a fifth of rum on the side, in case I ran out, 28 beers a day, and three grams of cocaine just to keep me moving around. And I thought I was doing fine because I wasn’t crawling around drunk on the floor.

Dennis Hopper
Jimmy [Dean] was the most talented and original actor I ever saw work. He was also a guerrilla artist who attacked all restrictions on his sensibility. Once he pulled a switchblade and threatened to murder his director. I imitated his style in art and in life. It got me in a lot of trouble.

Dennis Hopper
Like all artists I want to cheat death a little and contribute something to the next generation.

Dennis Hopper
My whole written history is one big lie! I mean, I can’t even believe my history.

Dennis Hopper
People keep asking me, ‘What evil lurks in you to play such bad characters?’ There is no evil in me, I just wear tight underwear.

Dennis Hopper
Seven of those days were pretty good. The eighth day was the bad one.

Dennis Hopper

on his eight-day marriage to Michelle Phillips
The alcohol was awful. I was a terrible alcoholic. I mean, people used to ask how much drugs I did. I said, ‘I only do drugs so I can drink more’. I was doing the coke so I could drink more. I mean, I don’t know any other reason. I’d start drinking in the morning. I’d drink all day long.

Dennis Hopper

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