Dennis Lee Hopper was an American actor, filmmaker, photographer, and artist. As a young man, Hopper became interested in acting and eventually became a student of the Actors Studio. He made his first television appearance in 1954 and appeared in two films featuring James Dean, Rebel Without a Cause and Giant. During the next ten years, Hopper appeared frequently on television in guest roles, and by the end of the 1960s had played supporting roles in several films.

He directed and starred in Easy Rider, winning an award at the Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay as co-writer. Journalist Ann Hornaday wrote: “With its portrait of counterculture heroes raising their middle fingers to the uptight middle-class hypocrisies, Easy Rider became the cinematic symbol of the 1960s, a celluloid anthem to freedom, macho bravado and anti-establishment rebellion.” Film critic Matthew Hays notes that “no other persona better signifies the lost idealism of the 1960s than that of Dennis Hopper.”