Dennis Lee Hopper was an American actor, filmmaker, and artist. Hopper became interested in acting and eventually became a student of the Actors Studio. He made his first appearance as an actor in 1955, appearing in two films co-starring James Dean, "Rebel Without a Cause," and "Giant." Over the next ten years, Hopper appeared frequently on television in guest roles, and by the end of the 1960's had played supporting roles in several films. He directed and starred in "Easy Rider," winning an award at the Cannes Film Festival. He also was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay as co-writer of the film's script. Hopper appeared in THE RIFLEMAN pilot episode, "The Sharpshooter," in the title role. He also appeared in "Three-Legged Terror" (episode 30) as Johnny Clover. By mid-career, he was unable to build on his early success for several years, until a feature role in "Apocalypse Now" brought him back to public attention.
He subsequently appeared in "Rumble Fish" and "The Osterman Weekend." Hopper received critical recognition for his work in "Blue Velvet" and "Hoosiers," the latter film garnering him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He directed "Colors," portrayed King Koopa in the film version of "Super Mario Brothers," and he played the villain in "Speed." Hopper's latest work included a leading role in the television series "Crash." Hopper was a prolific photographer, painter, and sculptor whose works have been exhibited world wide.