HOLLYWOOD, CA ( ABC NEWS ) By MICHAEL S. JAMES and SHEILA MARIKAR (May 29, 2010) Dennis Hopper, the director, star and co-writer of "Easy Rider" and an edgy actor in numerous other films, has died at age 74 after a lengthy illness, his production company Easy Rider Productions confirmed.
The acclaimed actor lost his battle with prostate cancer in Venice, Calif.
Hopper died at 8:15 a.m. PT at his home in Venice, Calif., from complications of prostate cancer, a friend, Alex Hitz, told the Reuters news service.
Though he may be best known for "Easy Rider," the 1969 cult classic, Hopper's film and television career extended back into the 1950s and he stayed active up until recently.
He also was considered something of a Hollywood wild man, whose battles with drugs, alcohol and erratic behavior may have helped stall his career in periods both before and after "Easy Rider."
Nevertheless, he enjoyed an acting comeback in the 1980s and afterwards on the strength of films such as "Apocalypse Now" (1979), "Rumble Fish" (1983) and "Blue Velvet" (1986).
Despite his declining condition in recent months, Hopper recently appeared in Hollywood to receive a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame in March. Surrounded by his children and colleagues, the actor appeared to be in good spirits, smiling, laughing and waving.
"Everything I learned in life I learned from you," he told a crowd of supporters at the star ceremony, referring to Hollywood. "This means so much to me. Thank you very much everyone, and Hollywood."