March 26th, 2010
06:57 PM ET
During my time at CNN, I've covered dozens and dozens of Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremonies, but I can't remember one surrounded with as much anticipation as Friday's event – when actor Dennis Hopper's star was unveiled on the famous boulevard.
The "Easy Rider" star has been in headlines recently because of his health (he's dying of prostate cancer) and a messy divorce that, his doctor says, is hampering his cancer treatment.
The dedication ceremony had been on the books for months, but many in Hollywood and the press wondered if the ill actor would even be able to make an appearance.
Romano was one of hundreds who gathered in front of the Egyptian Theatre, many wondering if this would be Hopper's final public appearance.
When Hopper finally arrived, the Oscar-nominated star appeared frail, had bandages on his right hand and forehead, and walked very slowly... but still managed to shake plenty of hands, wave to cheering fans, and even crack a smile here and there. As the ceremony began and friends like actor Viggo Mortensen offered praise, Hopper, at times, seemed more amused by his six-year-old daughter Galen, who bounced up and down in her seat next to her ailing father.
Director David Lynch, Dwight Yoakum, and Johnny Mathis were in attendance... even Jack Nicholson came to honor his old "Easy Rider" co-star.
After being helped to the podium, Hopper humbly accepted his honor, said he'd been looking towards this day to look as good as possible and be as strong as possible... and explained the bandages. He says he took a terrible fall as photographers followed him outside his home in Venice Beach.
In closing, Hopper said, "I just want to thank you, that's all I can do."
As you look back on Hopper's career and life, what movies, television shows, and commercials will leave a lasting impression on you?
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