Dennis Hopper, the veteran actor and director who changed the course of American movies with his film Easy Rider, has died at age 74. The cause of death was described as complications from prostate cancer. After spending many years as a character actor in films and television, including a small part in Rebel Without a Cause, Hopper made his directorial debut with the low-budget Easy Rider, the first U.S. movie to become a mainstream hit by appealing directly to the ’60s counterculture. The movie was a tremendous box-office hit and opened up a new era of experimentation and directorial freedom in Hollywood. While Hopper never achieved the same success as a director, he continued to be in demand as an actor, noted for his roles as psychopaths in hits like Apocalypse Now and Speed.