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The Hollywood rebel's 10 most unforgettable performances

With the passing of Dennis Hopper today at age 74, American cinema has lost a true rebel. From the start, "Dennis the Menace" didn't follow industry rules. Early in his career, he met with studio head Harry Cohn to discuss signing with Columbia. When the legendary mogul demeaned Nike Free Haven 3.0 Hopper's experience playing Shakespeare on stage, the cocky 18yearold hurled an obscenity at him. Needless to say, the kid didn't sign with Columbia.

Although Hopper appeared opposite screen royalty James Dean, Marlon Brando, Elizabeth Taylor he never quite attained that status himself. His work often took a back seat to prodigious drug use and a turbulent personal life. Still, over the course of a career spanning six decades, this hellraiser delivered some breathtaking performances. Here are 10 of the most notable.

While still a teenager, the precocious Hopper appeared in several Shakespeare productions at San Nike Free Haven 3.0 Diego's Old Globe Theatre. At 18, he left for Hollywood with $200 in his pocket and scored his first role almost immediately, playing an epileptic in the NBC drama Medic. In the clip displayed above, you'll see the young Hopper had screen presence. The day after this episode aired, seven movie studios called to ask about putting him under contract.

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Rebel Without a Cause (1955), Giant (1956)

Hopper signed with Warner Bros. for $200 per week and was cast as gang member Goon in director Nicholas Ray's Rebel Without a Cause. It was a small role but a memorable shoot for the 18yearold he had a brief affair with Natalie Wood and befriended her costar, James Dean.

"I thought I was the best young actor in the world," Hopper once said. "Nike Free Powerlines Then I met James Dean. I'd never seen acting like that before. He was way over my head." The two developed a teacherstudent dynamic as the brooding star introduced the neophyte to a more naturalistic style of acting. Hopper appeared with Dean again the following year, playing the son of a ranching magnate in Giant.

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After a legendary battle of wills with director Henry Hathaway on the set of the 1958 film From Nike Free Powerlines Hell to Texas, Hopper earned a welldeserved reputation as "Dennis the Menace." He was unofficially consigned to the Hollywood sidelines, and subsequently went to New York to study Method acting with Lee Strasberg. His movie breakthrough didn't arrive until 1969, when he cowrote, directed and acted in Easy Rider, a tale of two bikers who deal drugs and hit the road in a quest for freedom (along with "free love" and copious amounts of pot). This paean to the '60s counterculture is a fascinating portrait of America at the tail end of a turbulent decade. The film was immensely profitable and influential and represents the peak of Hopper's cultural influence. He definitely wasn't clean when he arrived in the Philippines to play a trippedout photojournalist in Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now. "Sometimes, he was just so wired and so out there that his mind couldn't track what few little tasks we were asking him [to do],"Nike Free TR Twist Mens Coppola once said. "And when he drank and did all these things, it was just a nonstop manic monologue all the time." Perhaps because of his altered state of mind, Hopper delivered an indelible performance. Hopper is perfect as an insane oneman chorus who incessantly sings the praises of Kurtz (Marlon Brando), the Special Forces officer who's gone rogue.

Most people can express their fondness for the songs of Roy Orbison or Pabst Blue Ribbon beer without terrifying you. Not Frank Booth. In David Lynch's Blue Velvet, Hopper created one of the most horrific characters in film history a psychosexual deviant who runs the underworld in the sleepy little town of Lumberton. This is a portrayal of a psychotic on the level of Tony Perkins as Norman Bates or Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter. Hopper's performance instantlyNike Free TR Twist Mens reinvigorated his career. The actor knew how important the role could be for him, telling Lynch: "I have to play Frank Booth because I am Frank Booth." Let's hope that he wasn't being too literal.

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Thanks to Blue Velvet, Hopper was typecast in psychotic villain roles.Nike Free TR Twist Womens In the blockbuster Speed, he played Howard Payne, a disgruntled exbomb squad sergeant who rigs a Los Angeles city bus with explosives. Although Payne wasn't half as dark or unsettling as Frank Booth, the gig gave Hopper one of his bestknown bits of dialogue: "Pop quiz, hotshot: There's a bomb on a bus. Once the bus goes 50 miles an hour, the bomb is armed. If it drops below 50, it blows up. What do you do? What do you do?"

During the latter part of his career Hopper tapped into the lucrative world of advertising work, most notably starring as crazed football ref Stanley in a series of spots for Nike shoes. His character was an amusing amalgam of those whackedout roles in Nike Free TR Twist WomensApocalypse Now and Blue Velvet an unhinged guy who enthused about the players just a tad too much. In 2006, Hopper became the celeb pitchman for Ameriprise, a retirement investment company. It was ironic casting, given the "live for the moment" credo of Easy Rider.

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