Dennis Lee Hopper was an American actor, filmmaker, photographer, and artist. He attended the Actors Studio, making his first television appearance in 1954, and soon after appeared in two films with James Dean. In the next ten years he made a name in television, and by the end of the 1960s had appeared in several films. Hopper also began a prolific and acclaimed photography career in the 1960s.
In 1969 Hopper directed and starred in Easy Rider, winning an award at the Cannes Film Festival, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay as co-writer. Journalist Ann Hornaday wrote: \"With its portrait of counterculture heroes raising their middle fingers to the uptight middle-class hypocrisies, Easy Rider became the cinematic symbol of the 1960s, a celluloid anthem to freedom, macho bravado and anti-establishment rebellion. \" Film critic Matthew Hays notes that, \"no other persona better signifies the lost idealism of the 1960s than that of Dennis Hopper. \"\nHopper was unable to build on his success for several years, until the fame brought by his role as the American Photojournalist in Apocalypse Now.