Dennis Hopper died today at his home in Venice, California, at the age of 74.
The actor was for many years also a prolific photographer. In the 1960s, when he believed he wasn't going to get future work from movie studios because of his wild-man reputation, he considered becoming a career photographer; he'd received his first camera as a gift from Brooke Hayward, his first wife (who also helped resuscitate his acting career), and had taken to it readily. Most of his better known photographic output coincided with the decade of the 1960s. "I was a compulsive shooter back then," he told Christopher Goodwin. "I was very shy, and it was a lot easier for me to communicate if I had a camera between me and other people."
The most recent book of his work, Dennis Hopper: Photographs 1961–1967, with multilingual text in English, French and German, was issued as a $1,000 limited edition by Taschen in 2009. Another book that covers the same period and includes some of the same work, 1712 North Crescent Heights: Dennis Hopper Photographs 1962–1968, is unfortunately out of print.
The movie "Easy Rider," which Hopper directed and co-wrote, and in which he co-starred, took in $50 million in 1969, when a typical movie ticket cost $1.25.
(Thanks to Dave)
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Original contents copyright 2010 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.