Dennis Hopper, the legendary Hollywood Actor has died at the age of 74 after fighting a long battle with prostate cancer.

The star of seminal movie classics like Easy Rider, Rebel Without a Cause, Apocalypse Now and Blue Velvet died in his Venice Beach home surrounded by family and friends.

He made his major movie debut with a role alongside James Dean in Rebels Without a Cause. In between featuring in Giant and Cool Hand Luke, he truly came to prominence by directing the counter culture classic Easy Rider. It received a number of Academy Award nominations (Hopper himself nominated for Best Screenplay), and set a landmark for low-budget films made by avant-garde directors, while also makiing Jack Nicholson a star.

He descended into a prolonged period of substance abuse in the 70s, but returned in the ground-breaking Apocalypse Now as a crazed photographer. The role led him back into the conscience of Hollywood and he followed this with appearances throughout the 80s in movies like Rumble Fish, David Lynch's Blue Velvet. He finally garnered an Academy Award nomination for on screen work with a supporting nod in Hoosiers. Famed for starring in unconventional roles, he also brushed with the mainstream as a villain in True Romance, Speed, Super Mario Bros. and Boiling Point. Let's not forget he also filmed Space Truckers here in Ireland. His last major feature film appearance was in 2008 when he starred in Elegy alongside Sir Ben Kingsley and Penelope Cruz.

He was never one to shy away from controversy, and only recently had been battling a 14 month divorce as well as a terminal disease. Hopper, a renowned art collector, accused his fifth wife Victoria Duffy of stealing various pieces from their home, including a portrait of himself by Andy Warhol, and sculptures by Banksy, worth more than $2 million.

His most recent appearance was in March this year, where he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It was one of the last times he spoke in public. A frail-looking Hopper, flanked by fellow actors Jack Nicholson and Viggo Mortensen, reflected on his life's work: "Everyone here today that I've invited, and obviously some that I haven't invited, have enriched my life tremendously." He continued, "They've shown me a world that I would never have seen being a farm boy from Dodge City, Kansas, and learning things I would never have learned."

A hugely influential contribution to the art of film, Hopper is survived by three grown kids from his earlier marriages, and seven-year-old daughter, Galen, from his recent marriage to Duffy.

Mark Linehan