Dennis Lee Hopper (born May 17, 1936) is an American actor, filmmaker and artist. Hopper became interested in acting and eventually became a student of the Actors Studio. He made his first television appearance in 1955, and appeared in two films featuring James Dean, Rebel Without a Cause (1955) and Giant (1956). Over the next ten years, Hopper appeared frequently on television in guest roles, and by the end of the 1960s had played supporting roles in several films. He directed and starred in Easy Rider (1969), winning an award at the Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay as co-writer of the film’s script.
He was unable to build on his success for several years, until a featured role in Apocalypse Now (1979) brought him attention. He subsequently appeared in Rumble Fish (1983) and The Osterman Weekend (1983), and received critical recognition for his work in Blue Velvet and Hoosiers, with the latter film garnering him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He directed Colors (1988), and portrayed King Koopa in the film version of Super Mario Bros. (1993) and the villain in Speed (1994). Hopper’s more recent work includes a leading role in the television series Crash.
Hopper is a prolific photographer, painter, and sculptor whose works are exhibited worldwide. His photography is known for portraits from the 1960s. His painting style ranges from abstract impressionism to photorealism and often includes references to his cinematic work and to other artists.