Dennis Hopper, By Peter L Winkler


Over a still from Easy Rider of the star on his gleaming hog, the cover copy trumpets: "The Wild Ride of a Hollywood Rebel". But Winkler's expertly tooled account reveals a career that constantly conked out.

After initiating New Hollywood with the massive success of Easy Rider, he ploughed through one dud after another.

By the time of Apocalypse Now, Hopper was as "blitzed-out-of-his-noggin" as the character he played.

Though he bounced back as the creepy villain in Blue Velvet, he "became trapped in playing endless variations for the rest of his life".