Dennis Hopper (AP Photo / Julie Markes)
Before Dennis Hopper died, two years ago today, he had a long, varied and fantastic movie career. He appeared in dozens upon dozens of movies, from Rebel Without a Cause in 1955 to his final film, 2010's Alpha and Omega.
We love many of his performances, but a few special ones stand out. For these – the cream of the crop – Hopper won awards. We're taking a look at his greatest hits, starting with an iconic road movie.
Easy Rider won Hopper the best first work award at Cannes in 1969. And the groundbreaking movie earned Hopper and his costars, Peter Fonda and Jack Nicholson, a place in the hearts of hippies everywhere.
Blue Velvet cast Hopper in the role of a psychopath. His character was despicable, but his performance was marvelous – and it won him multiple awards – an Independent Spirit Award, as well as awards from the Boston Society of Film Critics, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, and the National Society of Film Critics.
Hoosiers was released in the same year as Blue Velvet, making 1986 a very good year for Hopper. As he often did, Hopper played a flawed man, an alcoholic assistant basketball coach who initially sets the team back – but eventually gets a chance to redeem himself. The Los Angeles Film Critics Association honored Hopper for this movie as well.
Speed put Hopper back in the role of bad guy, and the kids loved it – as evidenced by his MTV Movie Award for best villain.
From complicated to deranged, Hopper's characters were always worth watching.
Written by Linnea Crowther