March 26th, 2010
06:57 PM ET

An ailing Dennis Hopper honored in Hollywood

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.

"I'm just hoping to see if he's OK," said Desiree Romano, who said she's personally known Hopper for 35 years and remembers him for his craziness. "I haven't seen him in a while."

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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soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Smarterthanyou

    If any of you who are blaming the wife actually do research, you'd discover that Dennis is the one filing for divorce, not his wife. So stop calling her names, he is the one ending his marriage in the midst of his cancer treatment. He has to take at least part of the responsibility on this.

    March 30, 2010 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
  2. Widowed by prostate cancer

    Terminal cancer is incredibly stressful! I'm glad Dennis Hopper was able to enjoy being honored as he deserves. Those who say he should also be able to show up for court are incredibly insensitive. He must be in a lot of pain and on lots of medication. Showing up for a brief time to be honored is totally different than the stress of spending fatiguing and confusing hours in court over a contentious divorce. No one should have to spend their last days of life that way.

    March 30, 2010 at 3:09 am | Report abuse |
  3. Al Read


    March 29, 2010 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ronee Kalagian


    March 29, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. AshannaK

    Flugel76: It's people like you that give the human race a bad name.
    Mr. Hopper deserved the honor. If you feel the way you do, then YOU go to court for him. Won't do it, right? Well, don't worry; there are plenty of Humans who don't feel like you do and are not in a 'snit' for a stupid reason. Dennis Hopper's personal life is none of your business. Would you want others butting into yours???

    March 28, 2010 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  6. jake

    thanks for the common sense Neener.

    March 28, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Neener

    For Flugel76: Hmmm... manage to get myself together to attend an event where I will have a chance to say "thanks" and to say goodbye to people who have meant to much to me? Or, go to a place where stress will be the order of the day and very well may suck up the last few drops of living I have left. Hmmm.... tough choice.

    March 28, 2010 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. jake

    tj is likely a divorcee and she (as well as flugel) is middle aged and unattractive.

    March 28, 2010 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  9. tj

    flugel76 is right. You have time to show up at an event giving you award but no time to show up at court. Sorry, having cancer is not an excuse not to be in court when you are to appear.

    March 28, 2010 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  10. jake

    flugel is probably just one of those typical gold digging broads with no sense of class. And probably not very attractive.

    March 28, 2010 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Todd

    I have watched Mr. Hopper play many roles over the years, but I will always identify him best as "Billy" from Easy Rider. As for his recent personal events, leave the man's his business and nobody else's. Take care Dennis...

    March 28, 2010 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mack

    You're right lack common sense by making such a comment.

    March 28, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Lynda

    flugel76 – SHAME ON YOU!

    March 28, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  14. flugel76

    If he's well enough to make public appearances, then he's well enough to appear in court. At least that's what common sense would dictate. But we don't have a whole lot of that in this country, do we?...

    March 28, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  15. The Crypticum Keeper

    I've just always been in awe of his range. He could play the biggest, meanest guy or some shrunken man down on his luck– and everything in between. I'm glad to see him be able to attend the ceremony and hope he's able to get a break from the pain of divorce soon. No one should have to go through that while dying.

    March 28, 2010 at 12:19 am | Report abuse |
  16. ryan

    blue velvet
    the american friend

    hes a legend.

    March 27, 2010 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Jazz

    I've been a fan of Dennis Hopper for years, although I've never seen all of his movies. My favorite one, though, is "Flashback" where he played a rebel hippie on his way to prison. A great performance!

    March 27, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Old Magnolia

    Perennial bad boy Hopper played an angry beatnik poet on a silly but memorable episode of "Petticoat Junction" in the 1960s. It's not a role that Hollywood name droppers will write about.

    March 27, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  19. laura TJ

    Anything he has ever done – Peace & blessings to him & his family. Gifted amn

    March 26, 2010 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |

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