10 Crazy Stories From Hollywood’s Original Hell-Raiser

Dennis Hopper seemed in some of a best cinema ever finished (Apocalypse Now, Easy Rider, Blue Velvet), as good as some of many laughably bad (Super Mario Bros, Waterworld). But he was also a strange Hollywood hell-raiser, creation Charlie Sheen demeanour unequivocally lovable in comparison. Over a impetus of his life, he went from Hollywood wunderkind to artist to executive to countercultural icon, all a while rubbing shoulders with scarcely any poignant cocktail enlightenment idol of a 20th century before exploding—-both figuratively and literally.

10Hanging Out With Elvis


In 1956, Elvis Presley arrived in Hollywood. Over a impetus of 18 months, he starred in 4 movies, a suspicion being that these films would be solemnly expelled while Elvis was portion a two-year army in a army, gripping his form as high as possible.

During this time, Elvis was generally meddlesome in articulate to anybody who had been tighten friends with one of his favorite actors, James Dean, who had died in a automobile collision a prior year. Elvis fast befriended a 21-year-old child named Dennis Hopper, who’d starred alongside Dean in both Rebel Without a Cause and a posthumously expelled Giant.

According to Hopper, who spent a integrate of weeks unresolved out with Elvis, there was an comical review where Elvis confided that he was uneasy about a stage in his arriving movie—Love Me Tender—where he had to strike a woman. Elvis wasn’t endangered about environment a bad example; he was assured that he’d have to strike a singer for real. When Dennis Hopper patiently explained that he’d customarily have to act like he was conflict a actress, it shortly became apparent that Elvis didn’t know that assault in cinema wasn’t real.

9He Was Blacklisted From Hollywood For Eight Years

In 1958, Dennis Hopper had a splendid destiny forward of him. At usually 22 years old, he’d worked with some of a best actors in Hollywood and had perceived behaving recommendation from costars like James Dean. However, when he began work on From Hell to Texas, a director, Henry Hathaway, told him that nothing of that mattered. He didn’t need process actors. He compulsory people who’d tighten adult and do what they were told. Clearly, this would lead to some vital tension.

Hathaway and Hopper clashed regularly around a shoot, constantly screaming and impiety and blaming any other for their behavior. The final straw came while filming a elementary 10-line scene. Hathaway told Hopper that he had adequate film batch to film for 4 months, and Hopper couldn’t leave until he delivered a line a accurate approach he wanted. Eighty-six takes later, Hopper pennyless down and started great before revelation improved and doing a stage a approach Hathaway wanted. Hathaway afterwards walked adult to Hopper and pronounced “Kid, you’ll never work in this city again.”

For a while, this looked like it competence be true. Hopper claimed Hathaway got him blackballed from Hollywood. He would be on a Hollywood blacklist for 8 years, with no vital studio wanting to sinecure him.

8He Photographed Icons


After he was effectively outcast from Hollywood, Dennis Hopper altered on to art. He’d once been speedy to try photography by James Dean; with small behaving work available, he motionless that he’d finally give it a try. During this time, he won an general photography foe and was widely published in magazines such as Artforum, regulating his photography to cater a famous ’60s soup can artist, Andy Warhol. One of Hopper’s cinema of Andy Warhol even seemed on a cover of Artforum (the initial design of Andy Warhol ever to be published on a repository cover). He also designed manuscript covers for performers such as Ike and Tina Turner, as good as photographing famous actors, musicians and artists.

Not ease with simply photographing famous cocktail enlightenment icons, Hopper also prisoner some of a pivotal events of a polite rights movement. He took some unequivocally close-up photos of Martin Luther King delivering a debate during a 1965 Alabama Freedom impetus and hitched a float to Selma with his crony Marlon Brando (a apparent believer of King). Hopper described it as a harrowing experience: “Brando got me involved . . . He pulled adult in his automobile and said, ‘What are we doing day after tomorrow?’, and we said, ‘Nothing,’ and he said, ‘You wish to go to Selma?’ And we said, ‘Sure, man. Thanks for seeking me!’ [When we got there, police] dogs were biting, and people were being bombed, and it was like, ‘Where are we?‘ ”

Hopper certified that he finished little-to-no income by his art. Nevertheless, Hopper was during belligerent 0 of a counterculture transformation (even purchasing Warhol’s unequivocally initial soup can imitation for usually $75). His photos, that have recently reemerged, have been exhibited during a Royal Academy of London, and art critics (even nonetheless these things are rarely subjective) insist that they are flattering good. Whether we determine or not, they are still a fascinating glance into life in a 1960s. Check out a brief documentary above to see a few for yourself.

7John Wayne Once Threatened To Kill Him


By 1965, Dennis Hopper was authorised behind into Hollywood after being recast by a same male who’d kicked him out (Henry Hathaway) for 1965’s The Sons of Katie Elder. A few years later, he starred alongside John Wayne in True Grit.

According to Hopper, he had a sincerely gentle attribute with Wayne, for a many part. Wayne dished out accessible recommendation on behaving and life, and a dual got on sincerely well. However, one day, John Wayne allegedly attempted to kill him.

Wayne, who was a disturbed conservative, suspicion of Hopper as his unequivocally possess “in-house commie.” Whenever some new domestic growth uneasy or uneasy him, Wayne would come after Hopper (whom he referred to as a “pinko“).

According to several sources, Wayne arrived on set one day around helicopter, indignant that his daughters had attended a UCLA harangue by a polite rights activist, screaming, “Where’s that pinko Hopper?!” To make matters worse, Wayne was also carrying a gun on his belt. If Biskind’s book is to believed, Hopper spent a rest of a afternoon stealing in a sideboard while John Wayne stalked about, observant things like “I wish that red motherf—r. Where is that communist hiding?”

6He Was Once In A Knife Fight With Rip Torn


Jack Nicholson’s dermatitis purpose was a compassionate inebriated parochial lawyer, George Hanson, in a film East Rider. However, creatively that purpose was to be filled by Rip Torn, a actor who’s substantially improved famous now as Agent M from 1997’s Men in Black.

According to Dennis Hopper’s chronicle of events, a story he mostly told during radio interviews, Torn was dismissed after he attempted to conflict Hopper with a blade during a cooking party. However, Hopper’s story wasn’t true. Torn would after sue, alleging a story was derogatory and had had a disastrous outcome on his career—nobody wants to sinecure an actor who brandishes knives for no reason. Torn won a box when dual of a other guest benefaction during a tangible cooking celebration corroborated adult his chronicle of events. He was awarded $1 million in damages.

According to Torn, this is what unequivocally happened. In 1967, Peter Fonda, Rip Torn, a author named Terry Southern, and his mother were all eating cooking during an LA grill when Dennis Hopper arrived, uninformed from plcae scouting in Texas, angry about “intolerant Texans.” Torn (a Texan, himself) told Hopper not to generalize afterwards hold his palm out in a accommodating gesture. Hopper slapped his palm away, and pronounced “Sit down, we motherf—r,” picked adult a beef knife, and forked “it right between Torn’s eyes, a few inches from his forehead.” A scuffle ensued. Torn grabbed Hopper’s wrist and disfigured it until a blade forsaken afterwards picked it adult and forked it during Hopper. If that judgment has not assured we that Rip Torn unequivocally deserves his absurd surname afterwards Torn’s respond to Hopper’s offer to step outward usually might:

“I’ll wait for we in a street. Bring your knives. Bring your guns. Bring your pals, and we’ll find out in about 3 seconds who a punk is.”

Torn afterwards went outside, brandishing a waste can lid as a temporary defense usually in box Hopper motionless to start shooting. (Hopper customarily carried a installed pistol.) Hopper didn’t go outside.

5Dennis Hopper And Peter Fonda Feuded Over Easy Rider For Decades

When Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda set out to make Easy Rider (originally patrician The Loners), nobody suspicion they would succeed. And righteously so. They had no book and no applicable experience. Hopper, who had never directed, was to direct, and Fonda, an actor, was to produce. They attempted pitching to vast studios such as AIP, though nobody wanted to take a risk on an suspicion that seemed as cursed as theirs.

Eventually, Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider of Raybert Studios (creators of The Monkees) concluded to financial them. They perceived a check for $40,000 and immediately fabricated a ragtag organisation of hippies with small to no experience, roving to New Orleans to film what would turn a Mardi Gras scene. They still had no script.

At several points, it looked like a film competence never be completed. Hopper tended to get into weird and extended rants. At one point, he finished adult in a aroused fight with one of his cameramen, call 17 members of his organisation to quit. Hopper and Fonda afterwards fell out after Hopper assured Fonda to use a pain of his real-life mother’s self-murder in a stage where Fonda sits on a statue of Madonna during a LSD sequence. Fonda began personally recording Hopper’s behavior, as he ranted on for hours during a time, with a goal of lobbying a studio to get him fired. Fonda was so frightened of Hopper that he even hired a bodyguard and started carrying a gun. He was assured that Hopper was going to kill a movie—an avowal not helped when Hopper spent 22 weeks haphazardly modifying a film before being sealed out by a studio.

However, notwithstanding all this, Easy Rider went on to turn a pound strike that nobody would have anticipated. A mostly makeshift film finished on a bill of usually over half a million dollars, it went on to sum some-more than $60 million, apropos a initial eccentric film to be distributed by a vital studio. Film changed, many overnight.

Yet, notwithstanding their success, Hopper and Fonda never unequivocally managed to reconcile. The categorical bone of row among them was how a credits for Easy Rider were shared—Hopper always confirmed that he had created most, if not all, of a script; Fonda claimed that his possess submit was scarcely sizable. Their unequivocally open argument (and a occasional lawsuit) continued until Hopper’s genocide in 2010. When Fonda flew to Taos, New Mexico, for Hopper’s funeral, he was told that he couldn’t attend a service. One of Hopper’s failing wishes was that Fonda be criminialized from his funeral.

4He Once Shot An Andy Warhol Painting


As we mentioned, Hopper was a inclusive art gourmet and tighten crony of Andy Warhol. In 1972, Hopper bought one Warhol’s pieces, a vast imitation of a blue-faced Chairman Mao. According to Alex Hitz, a longtime crony of Hopper, “One night, in a center of a binge, Hopper, out of a dilemma of his eyes, saw a Mao, and he was so spooked by it that he got adult and shot during it, twice, putting dual bullet holes in it.”

When Warhol found out what Hopper had done, he was surprisingly ease about a whole thing. Rather than get insane about a bullet holes, he finished a imitation a partnership and annotated a holes. He called a initial hole, that had left somewhat high over Mao’s shoulder, “warning shot.” The second, a approach strike usually above Mao’s left eye, perceived a somewhat reduction talented “bullet hole.”

After Hopper’s genocide in 2010, a shot-up Andy Warhol sole for $302,500 (£193,00) during auction, 10 times a estimate. As a final note, greatfully don’t try sharpened any design we own; 99.9 percent of a time, it won’t boost a value.

3His Australian Film Entry


In 1974, Dennis Hopper was once again struggling to find tools due to his repute as a wildest male in Hollywood. So when a Australian executive Philippe Mora offering him a lead purpose in an Australian film about Dan Morgan (a famous Australian bush-ranger, or bandit, who shabby Ned Kelly), he jumped during it. On his initial day in Australia, Hopper got arrested.

Hopper went full process for a role. He spoke in an Irish accent for a entirety of a shoot, refused to rinse (getting so sharp during one indicate that he reduced a makeup artist to tears), and drank so many that a executive was certain that Hopper would die from ethanol poisoning—Hopper was celebration 30 beers and half a gallon of rum per day. The executive personally had Hopper’s correspondence molded into masks so that he could finish a film with prolonged shots and doubles.

Things got so bad that a famous aboriginal actor David Gulpilil (Walkabout, Rabbit Proof Fence) left into a Australian bush. When he was tracked down, he explained that he’d been so uneasy about Hopper’s function that he’d left to ask a kookaburras and trees what was wrong with him. When asked what a kookaburras and trees had said, Gulpilil replied, “He’s crazy.”

According to Mora, when filming finished, Hopper “rode off in costume, poured a bottle of O.P. Rum into a genuine Morgan’s grave . . . drank one himself, [and] got arrested a subsequent day, with a blood ethanol reading that pronounced he should have been clinically dead, according to a decider study his ethanol tests. ”

2The Russian Suicide Death Chair


By a early ’80s, Dennis Hopper’s drug and ethanol problems were flourishing dangerously out of control. He was celebration a gallon of rum any day and doing 3 grams of coke. For reasons that were many expected drug-induced, he began to have delusions that a mafia had put a strike on him. Whether this is loyal or not is anyone’s guess—Hopper claimed that he once followed one of these strike organisation and pulled a blade on him, though it’s also probable that he usually frightened a bejesus out of some bad bystander.

Reasoning that he was substantially going to be killed by a mafia anyway, Hopper motionless to do a dangerous sorcery pretence called a “Russian Suicide Chair.” The pretence involves stuffing a chair with 6 sticks of dynamite, nonetheless withdrawal a vale recess, usually vast adequate for a chairman to fist into, so that a blast produces a opening that acts as a arrange of protected zone. Legend has it that this is a pretence that a Bolsheviks would use during a Russian Revolution to lift out feign executions.

After a screening of his 1983 film Out of a Blue in Houston, Hopper announced to a assembly that he was going to blow himself adult in a parking lot. The Houston glow marshals forbade this, for apparent reasons, so Hopper bused a whole assembly to a circuitously Big H Speedway instead. The inebriated waste watched Hopper nervously light a fuse. The dynamite exploded, and Hopper emerged from a fume totally unharmed. He did, however, have difficulty conference for a subsequent few weeks. You can see a whole thing in a above video.

1He Lost His Mind After Being Spiked With LSD


After flourishing all a stupidity of films like Easy Rider and Apocalypse Now, a film that indeed gathering Dennis Hopper over a corner was a little-known B film called Jungle Warriors. The plot, such as it is, involves a organisation of models who tarry a craft pile-up customarily to be prisoner by a South American drug lord. Hopper was offering an pornographic volume of income for a partial that customarily had 17 lines. Naturally, he supposed and trafficked to a filming location—Cuernavaca, Mexico.

However, after downing some nominal shots of tequila he found watchful for him in his hotel room, he was unexpected raid by impassioned and vicious hallucinations. He nude off all his garments and wandered off into a jungle—he after came to trust that a tequila had been laced with LSD.

“The third universe fight was indeed happening,” he would go on to explain, “and we was being guided by a spaceship that was determining my mind, and so we wasn’t certain either we was to travel to a United States or all a approach down to a tip of South America.”

He was found hurling rocks during flitting cars on a bustling highway a subsequent day. When some internal policemen attempted to get him to put on clothes, he fought them and begged them to kill him. He was afterwards taken to a internal hospital. Eventually, some organisation members came to collect him, bundling him onto a franchised craft behind to a United States. During a flight, Hopper hallucinated that he was behaving in a stage for Francis Ford Coppola that compulsory him to stand onto a blazing wing of a plane. (In actuality, he was perplexing to open a puncture doorway during takeoff.) Luckily, disaster was averted when some members of a film crew’s stuntmen grabbed him and hold him down.

The calamity didn’t finish there. After returning to LA, Hopper finished adult institutionalized after experiencing a bad box of ethanol withdrawal (remember—he drank half a gallon of rum per day) and became psychotic. He was injected with a antipsychotic drug Prolixin, reacted badly, and grown drug-induced parkinsonism. For months, Hopper was many sealed into his possess body, with even a many simple of movements unfit but extensive effort. Eventually, after determining to kill himself, he was swayed to see one some-more doctor. This was unequivocally lucky, as a other alloy sensitive him that a prior one had not injected him with adequate of a drug used to fight a effects of a Prolixin. After a discerning injection, a parkinsonism left entirely. After a few some-more stays in rehab, Hopper kicked ethanol and drugs forever, remaining solemn for a rest of his life.

Aaron Short is an Edinburgh-based tyro who has formerly created for both Cracked and Listverse.


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