May 29, 2010, 2:56 pm
By THE NEW YORK TIMES
Dennis Hopper, whose portrayals of drug-addled, often deranged misfits in the landmark films “Easy Rider,” “Apocalypse Now” and “Blue Velvet” drew on his early out-of-control experiences as part of a new generation of Hollywood rebel, died at his home in Venice, Calif., on Saturday, The Associated Press reported. He was 74.
The death was announced by Alex Hitz, a family friend, according to The A.P. A cause of death was not immediately given, but Mr. Hopper was recently being treated for prostate cancer.
Mr. Hopper, who said he stopped drinking and using drugs in the mid-1980s, followed that change with a tireless phase of his career in which he claimed to have turned down no parts. His credits include at least six films released in 2008 and at least 25 over the past 10 years.
Most recently, Mr. Hopper starred in the television series “Crash,” an adaptation of the Oscar-winning film of the same title. Produced for the Starz cable channel, the show had Mr. Hopper portraying a music producer unhinged by years of drug use. During a promotional tour last fall for that series, he fell ill; shortly thereafter, he began a new round of treatments for prostate cancer, which he said was first diagnosed a decade ago.