Dennis Hopper, whose pot-addled Billy in Easy Rider and psychopathic Frank Booth in Blue Velvet helped put the icon in iconoclastic, has died after a decade-long battle with prostate cancer. He was 74.
The legendary actor died about 9 a.m. Saturday surrounded by family in his Los Angeles home.
Taken ill with flu-like symptoms last September, Hopper later said he was suffering with prostate cancer. Family members told PEOPLE that the disease had spread to other organs in his system.
Known off-screen as a rabble-rouser and impossible when it came to taking direction, the young Method actor was soon virtually blacklisted from movies. Resorting to TV dramas and even moonlighting as a Vogue photographer, his turnaround came in 1969 when he joined forces with Peter Fonda, screenwriter Terry Southern and a then unknown B-movie actor named Jack Nicholson to costar in and direct a $400,000 road picture called Easy Rider.