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Dennis Hopper's death follows battle with cancer, divorce fight

By Alan Duke, CNN
  • Hopper was surrounded by his children when he died, his wife said
  • Actor was diagnosed with prostate cancer last October
  • Hopper wished to be buried in Taos, New Mexico, his wife said
  • Hopper and wife Victoria were in the midst of a bitter divorce battle during his illness

Los Angeles, California (CNN) -- Actor Dennis Hopper died at his home in Venice, California, Saturday morning, his wife said. He was 74.

Hopper, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer in October 2009, was surrounded by his children when he died, Victoria Hopper told CNN.

While funeral arrangements have not been decided, Hopper's wish was to be buried in Taos, New Mexico, his wife said. She said Taos was "his heart home."

Hopper and his wife were involved in a highly public and bitter divorce fight in the last months of his life.

The actor made his last public appearance on March 26, when his star was dedicated on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.

"I just want to thank you," Hopper said, as he smiled broadly."That's all I can do."

With his 6-year-old daughter, Galen, by his side, Hopper waved and bowed to hundreds of fans lining a barricade along Hollywood Boulevard.

Video: Dennis Hopper's star of fame

Hopper's lawyer argued in the divorce case that his estranged wife's presence was hampering his fight with cancer, but the judge allowed her to continue living in the family's Venice compound with their 6-year-old daughter, Galen.

His lawyer said Hopper was too ill to attend a divorce hearing, but his older children, an 18-year-old son and two adult daughters, sat in a back row of the courtroom.

iReport: Hopper became honorary mayor in 2009

Hopper's acting career has spanned almost six decades. In the 1950s, he had roles in several TV shows and films, including "Rebel Without a Cause" (1955) and "Giant" (1956). He became a Hollywood sensation for "Easy Rider," the 1969 film he directed and co-wrote in which he played a dissolute, counter cultural biker. He was twice nominated for Oscars.