After 74 glorious and rambunctious years on this earth, Hollywood hellraiser Dennis Hopper has died from prostate cancer, leaving behind an impressively long legacy of a life, if not lived necessarily well, than lived abundantly full.
Take a look at his IMDB page, it's intimidating: Rebel Without A Cause, Easy Rider, Blue Velvet, Apocalypse Now, Hoosiers... The list scrolls on, but invariably falls short. Poet. Photographer. Libertine. Lover. Icon. Addict. Mad man. Father. Add those accolades and you begin to get a picture of a "true creative" in every sense of the word. Quiz: Do You Fall For Bad Boys?
And the bastard, god bless him, knew it, saying once: "Well, it's tough being a legend if you don't die young. Enfant terribles should be smothered at birth. If I live much longer, people will have to tell me what it was all about, because I sure as hell can't remember too much of any of it. Fortunately, I don't think that'll be a problem for long. After the life I've lived, I can already smell the sweet breath of that final kiss-off.'"
That healthy ego, of course, was all part of the charm. He was loved and he was hated, often concurrently, and by none more so than the women who survived him: ex-wives Brooke Hayward, Michelle Phillips, Daria Halprin, Katherine LaNasa and estranged wife Victoria Duffy. 8 Celebrities Whose Deaths Left Mourning Exes
Let us begin at the end with the indomitable Victoria Duffy, the fifth, final and longest-reigning wife, who, despite his best efforts, remained legally "his" to the very end, restraining order and all.
Dennis Hopper married the much younger (read thirty-one years his junior) Victoria Duffy in 1996 after a string of successful-ish films in the early 90s that included True Romance, Speed, and Water World. All seemed to be going well in the marriage, which produced a daughter, Galen Grier Hopper, until this past January, when a terminally-ill Hopper filed for divorce from his hospital bed. Citing "irreconcilable differences" and her "out-of-control spending," Hopper expressed one last wish: "to die in peace." 12 Inappropriate Times To Break Up
Right on queue, Victoria came out with a public statement accusing her step-children of pressuring their heavily-medicated father to cut her and her daughter cut out of his will. For a brief period, it seemed like it was Ms. Duffy was the one being wronged. You felt sorry for Victoria, seemingly the victim of blended-family tensions, mercilessly kept from her husband's dying side.
But then her true side was revealed: Art work stolen from his private collection. Accusations that Hopper was "trying to kill her." Death bed summons to court.
It was all too much, and her provocations finally led to a court room declaration by Hopper's doctor that "the less Mr. Hopper has to do with his estranged wife at this time, the more likely he is to have his life extended." Marriage And Health: Damned If You Do And Don't