Interestingly enough, Dennis Hopper's fifth marriage isn't necessarily the most dramatic. Before he married down, he married up — all the way up, to Brooke Hayward, daughter of the actress Margaret Sullivan and agent Leland Hayward. "It was," said a friend, "about as close as he would ever get to Old Hollywood royalty."
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Dennis, however, was no Prince Charming. Married in 1961 (and divorcing later in 1969), Brooke had the pleasure of being Dennis' partner in life during the heyday of his bad boy behavior and cinematic success.
"He was an incredibly colorful character in those days," she recalled in an interview. "A sweetheart." No kidding:
Brooke would later trace Hopper's decline into alcoholism to the first hippy love-in in San Francisco in 1966, where he got into acid in a big way. When he returned, she later recalled: 'He had a three-day growth of beard, he was filthy, his hair was crazy — he'd started growing a ponytail, his eyes were blood red.
Dennis was altered for ever.' Not long after that, he hit her for the first time, breaking her nose. 'It wasn't a big deal, but it did make me think twice about ever getting into an argument with him,' she said. [Source: Daily Mail]
Eventually their marriage dissolved under the enormous weight of his outsized ego and substance abuse habits. Nevertheless, Hayward remained fond of Hopper till the very end, even lashing out against fifth wife Victoria Duffy in the papers: "Dennis was in so much pain because of all the fighting he was going through with Victoria. It's horrible the way he died, but even worse when you think what she put him through. He was suffering so much, but then he had to deal with all these nasty accusations from her." Why I Loved Rediscovering My Ex-Husband
Married October 31 1970— Divorced November 8, 1970
And then there was the day (it was Halloween) when he married Michelle Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas fame, a marriage which lasted about a week in 1970, most of which was spent in handcuffs. (Was it to keep Phillips from running away or vise versa? It's a classic he said, she said, purportedly.)
Dubbed by friends as the "Six Days War," Dennis once recalled: "I woke up so stoned, I didn't know who the hell this pretty blonde next to me was."
And: "Seven of those days were pretty good. The eighth day was the bad one."
The cause for divorce? Hopper's "unnatural sexual demands." Which makes you wonder exactly what happened that pushed her over the edge. Nevertheless, Phillips remembers them as "the happiest days of my life." Sex, Drugs And Emotional Intimacy?
Married 1972 — Divorced 1976
Children: Daughter Ruthanna Hopper
Notable movies/television filmed surrounding marriage: The Last Movie
Two years later, Hopper moved on to Daria Halprin, marrying her in 1972 after the disastrous The Last Movie. Nothing really fantastic happened during their marriage, just more drugs, another baby, daughter Ruthanna, and a divorce in 1976.
Married June 17, 1989 — Divorced April 1992
Children: Son Henry Lee Hopper
Notable movies/television filmed surrounding marriage: Can you name any?
His next marriage to ballerina/actress Katherine LaNasa was equally as tame and lasted three years producing son Henry Lee Hopper. Besides the son, there seems nothing else noteworthy to be reported! He was, after all, sober at that point. After their divorce he went on to make True Romance and Speed.
Which now brings us back to the lovely Victoria Duffy, which I'm sure we've all heard enough about by now. Five wives, four children, and 200+ listing in his filmography, Dennis Hopper, may you now rest in peace.
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