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Dennis Hopper gets star on Walk of Fame

March 26, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Dennis Hopper appeared in person for the unveiling of his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Friday.Hopper was clearly moved by the crowd who came out to see him get his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

It has been a long time coming. Hopper began his film career in the classic 1955 tale of teenage rebellion, "Rebel Without a Cause," developing a friendship with its star, James Dean. The two also appeared in "Giant."

But it was "Easy Rider" in 1969 that really cemented his stardom, long before his star got cemented into Hollywood Boulevard. Hopper received a best original screenplay Oscar nomination for co-writing the script of the 1969 counter-culture road movie which he directed and starred in.

With his roles, Hopper has left his mark on Hollywood, but cancer has left its mark on Hopper. The 73-year-old is battling prostate cancer and is said to be terminally ill.

The actor appeared gaunt while sitting on the stage Friday. He was also bandaged and bruised. That's because, on Thursday, he turned to respond to a voice he thought he knew. He didn't. It was a member of the paparazzi.

"I took a terrible fall. I have no muscles and things. I fell directly on my face and I had my glasses in my hand. I got pretty screwed up," said Hopper. "I know you have a tough job, but sometimes maybe you ought to be a little more sensitive."

His attorney claims Hopper weighs less than 100 pounds and is unable to undergo chemotherapy. However, his doctor gave him the OK to appear at the star unveiling.

Surrounded by his family, the actor thanked Hollywood for being "my home and my schooling."

Viggo Mortensen, who appeared with Hopper in the 1991 film "The Indian Runner" and "Boiling Point" two years later, joined him in speaking at the ceremony.

"It is an honor to be here with all of you in welcoming Dennis today and giving him his star which he deserves," said Mortensen. "Dennis Hopper has become to be considered by many a legendary, and legendarily eccentric director and actor in the movie business. He is someone who has seemed to have regularly risen out of the ashes of self-inflicted chaos, surprising us with his originality and wit."

Jack Nicholson, David Lynch and Dwight Yoakam were also on hand to honor their friend and colleague.

Hopper filed for divorce Jan. 14 from his wife, Victoria Hopper, to end their marriage of nearly 14 years, citing irreconcilable differences. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in October.

The two have agreed to stay 10 feet away from each other while the divorce is ongoing. She has stated in court filings that Hopper filed for divorce to cut her out of her inheritance, a claim the actor has denied.

The case is scheduled for a court hearing on April 5.

Hopper has appeared in more than 150 films including 'Apocalypse Now," "Blue Velvet" and "Speed."

Hopper received the 2,403rd star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

City News Service contributed to this report.