Dennis Lee Hopper (May 17, 1936 â May 29, 2010) was an American actor and film director. He is known for his roles as mentally disturbed outsiders and rebels. He earned prizes from the Cannes Film Festival and Venice International Film Festival as well as nominations for two Academy Awards, a Primetime Emmy Award and two Golden Globe Awards. Hopper studied acting at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego and the Actors Studio in New York. Hopper also began a prolific and acclaimed photography career in the 1960s.