Posts Tagged ‘dennis hopper’

Late diagnosis doesn’t stop Douglas

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Young Gekko

It’s a natural part of life, I guess, but it’s still saddening to hear of actors succumbing to things like cancer.

Michael Douglas came on David Letterman to confirm that he was diagnosed with throat cancer, and was already at Stage 4 (when the cancer has started to spread to other organs).

He had already started the necessary procedures for chemo therapy, and is very optimistic that he’s going to come out on top.

When Dennis Hopper was remembered at the Emmy Awards, it reminded me of the acting greats that are getting to the truthful age where the insides of the body can’t live up to the masks of plastic surgery.

Apparently it’s more common for those aged 50 and up to get throat cancer. Michael Douglas has said that he used to smoke and drink, two factors that increase the chances.

Old Gekko

He even voluntarily went into rehab for his drinking habits, but take into consideration that this was in the ‘90s, before going to rehab was like popping into the doctor’s office before going back to work.

Douglas played Wall Street’s money mastermind Gordon Gekko, and is appearing in the sequel with Shia LeBeouf. Think back to the line: “Greed is good.”

The trailer shows a scotch-holding, cigar-smoking Gekko being as charmingly sneaky as he was with Charlie Sheen in the late ‘80s.

A lot of Douglas’ roles relate to political figures and business executives. Unfortunately for the deep, gravelly-voiced actor, those types tend to smoke and drink in excess.

Greed sucks, Michael. I hope it’s menthol in those cigars. And congrats on keeping Zeta-Jones.


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When a star fades to black

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

"Mmm! These cookies!"

I knew it was coming, but it was still a shock when I heard Dennis Hopper finally passed from cancer.

I can remember hearing Phil Hartman being killed by his psycho wife and thinking: “Oh, who’s going to voice Troy Maclure now?”

When Chris Farley died of copious amounts of…well, evrything, I thought of the skits he did on Saturday Night Live, and even movies like Beverly Hills Ninja, and thought we’d lost something special.

There’s something about a celebrity’s death that affects us, and the way we put an immense amount of respect into someone we didn’t even know. Michael Jackson was considered creepy and secretive, living with the shame of the accusations, whether true or false.

But the moment his heart stopped, ours broke. People who would usually point and laugh when they saw his face were suddenly very quiet, or even hysterical in claiming their respect for the pop singer.

Slipknot’s Paul Gray died as well, which seeing as one of their stage performances are crazy dangerous to begin with, I wasn’t too shocked, but it was an “Aww” moment.

Celebrities are people we don’t know, but seem to get much more praise from their departures than their closest friends and family.

Come to think of it, Dio passed away in May too…what’s going on? Who’s killing off all the good characters?

Well, it’s when you hear about a death of someone and you go “Good riddance” that makes it kind of strange. Brittany Murphy’s husband was found dead in the same room as the actress last week too. Seemed like a bit of a jerk, so there goes his chance of sympathy.

Barbara Walters announced on The View that she was undergoing open heart surgery. It’s announced that she’s fine though. Close call.

Did any one know that Gary Coleman died last week? Huh…


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Dennis Hopper’s not dead yet

Friday, March 26th, 2010

He really didn't hate buses.

Latest news coming out has said that Dennis Hopper the actor’s treatment will not include chemotherapy, as his prostate cancer is terminal.

People are already writing him off as dead, but Patrick Swayze received more attention through the press through his ongoing battles, and all he did was Road House. Why not Hopper?

Dennis Hopper was more than just ‘that’ actor. He was an established artist. And not just an actor who dabbled in a bit of painting, but a deep, philosophical kind of guy with a great history throughout the New Hollywood movement.

Sounds like I’m giving the man a standing ovation, but unlike most ‘artists’, Dennis was also a great photographer, filmmaker and painter.

Andy Warhol's painting

He was a part of the big movements of the anti-establishment. He walked alongside Martin Luther King Jr. during the memorable moments of the equal rights movement, capturing those pivotal moments with his camera. He hung out with Andy Warhol in New York, and both had made representations of each other through art.

His early work highlighted the actor within him, and started to get a lot of attention. Working with James Dean on Rebel Without a Cause and Giant exposed him to a newer way of acting that wasn’t so scripted, and added naturalism to the screen.

‘From Hell to Texas’ also taught him the struggles betwen director and actor, and conflicts about his acting style drove him off the Hollywood circuit for eight years.

This is when the artist within Hopper came to be. James Dean’s encouragement to keep taking photographs inspired him to grow out the hair and use his camera, capturing what became a huge hit with his photography work from ’61 to ’67.

Writing, directing and acting in 1969′s Easy Rider kickstarted the low-budget, hippy anti-establishment films of the 60′s and 70′s. His part as a whacked out photographer in Apocalypse Now was a great appearance, but wasn’t the best for his public image as people considered it to be a representation of the man. But he ignored it all, and went on to be in the wonderful Blue Velvet.

Easy Rider'

He kept close to independent films as they represented true filmmaking, and kept with his artistic side. But when he acted as Keanu Reeve’s villain in Speed, it was his new Hollywood stamp as “Hey, aren’t you that guy…?”.

He’s had five wives (one of which lasted for six days), gone through alcohol and substance abuse in the 70′s and survived to tell the tale.

There has been more success for him as an artist in Europe than the US, and now with his cancer being labelled terminal, it’s a tragic piece of news to hear about the man who had offered so much art about to pass on.

He’s lived a full life, and contributed deeply to the arts, and I wanted to give a shout-out to the champion of the arts who was one of the leaders of counter-culture.


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