“Wild Bunch” actor, American Graffiti, was 84 – The Hollywood Reporter

Bo Hopkins, the cunning, wild-eyed actor best known for portraying thieves and miscreants in films such as wild bouquetAnd the American graffitiAnd the Midnight Express And the white lightingHe died Saturday. He was 84 years old.

Hopkins died at Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys after suffering a heart attack on May 9, said his 33-year-old wife, Sian. The Hollywood Reporter.

A favorite of Sam Peckinpah, Hopkins, by connecting it to poetry, chose it in three features—such as Clarence “Crazy” Lee in wild bouquet (1969), as a double bank robber in getaway (1972) and as a weapons expert in killer elite (1975).

His role as Joo Young, the leader of the Grease Pharaohs gang George LucasAmerican graffiti (1973), cemented him as a first-class screen villain. Highlights of his role included persuading Kurt (Richard Dreyfuss) to attach a hook and chain to a police car so that the rear axle will fly when being chased.

“I go to car shows because American graffiti It’s the national anthem for auto shows, “Hopkins He said In a 2012 interview with shock cinema magazine. “Graffiti Getting people to run up and down the streets. It’s getting people in cars to do this kind of thing again. If I told you how many times people came to Kandy [Clark]pee [Le Mat] And I’m on these shows and they tell us we changed their lives, you won’t believe it.”

As his career developed, the sand-haired South Carolina native was cut to the right side of the law, and executive producer Quentin Tarantino I used it to portray a good man in him From Dusk to Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money (1999).

“Tarantino told me that he loves my job and that he did the role,” he said. Well, I got the text and said, ‘Sure, I’ll do this. that is great.’ Well, they didn’t tell me they were going to shoot in South Africa.”

in wild bouquetHopkins, the capricious young member of the gang, terrorizes a group of hostages inside a bank before meeting a horrific end in a hail of bullets. Just before his death, he uttered one of the film’s most quotable lines – “Well, how would you like to kiss my black sister’s ass?”

“They took me to special effects and the wires were up my ass, right up to my legs. He remembers his first big movie role.” I thought I’d go to the moon if things blew up. I’ve never worked with silly. Sam asked if I wanted a shirt. I said: No, sir. ‘I want to feel it.’ … Well, I didn’t know. I wanted to feel it, experience it, just like we talked about it at the Actress Studio. And like a damn asshole, I didn’t wear a T-shirt.”

A short but impressive performance getaway (1972), Frank Jackson at Hopkins has his private parts blown up by partner Rudy (Al Lettieri) during another bank robbery. Rudy, in turn, was portrayed by Doc (Steve McQueen), which takes off with stolen loot.

Peckinpah gave Hopkins a more important role in killer elite As a weapons expert, James was recruited to stop an assassination.

Hopkins added to his criminal mystery as a moon by his side Burt Reynolds in white lighting (1973) and as Tex, a mysterious man seals the fate of Billy Hayes (Brad Davis), in Midnight Express (1978).

William Mauldin Hopkins was born on February 2, 1938 in Greenville, South Carolina. His father worked in a local mill while his mother stayed at home with the children. At the age of 39, his father had a heart attack and died on the balcony of his house in front of his wife and son.

Hopkins was sent to live with his grandparents when his mother remarried the following year, then learned when he was twelve that he was adopted at nine months old. Eventually he met his mother and got to know his half-brothers.

Growing up a lot, Hopkins said he used to steal money from his family members to treat his friends to the movies. He was heading to correctional school after a botched robbery when he joined the US Army just before his seventeenth birthday.

“I don’t know how my mother and grandmother endured with me,” Hopkins recalls. Later, I came home and took them to see wild bouquet and my second movie, [1969’s] The bridge in Remagen. That’s when everyone who said I was going to end up in prison said they always knew Billy would make something of himself.”

After serving, which took nine months in Korea, Hopkins returned to Greenville and landed a role in a production of Teahouse of the August Moon at a local theater, then earned a scholarship to the Pioneer Playhouse in Kentucky. “I think there were 180 people trying to buy summer stock,” he said. “I didn’t even know what summer stock was.”

Hopkins Pioneer Playhouse’s experience led to the opportunity to perform in a play in New York, and he was in an off-Broadway production of bus stop When the producers asked him to change his name. Taking his character’s first name, Bo Hopkins was born.

After only a few months in the city and another stint back home, Hopkins decided to try his luck in Hollywood and was awarded a scholarship to acting school at Desilu-Cahuenga Studios and then a place as an observer in Los Angeles’ hot spot for actors. studio.

With Diane Davis as his agent, Hopkins made his on-screen debut in 1966 in an episode of The Phyllis Diller Show. “After something Phyllis Diller, I did a job gun smokeand then Andy Griffith Showplays Goober’s assistant,” he said. “George Lindsay always said he was the one who started my career.”

Other early TV appearances appeared VirginiaAnd the wild westAnd the Jude to defend And the rat patrol.

Hopkins’ time on Desilu also led to his breakthrough role. wild bunch Actor William Holden heard about his performance in a production of a picnic He was recommended by screenwriter Roy N. Sickner, who persuaded Peckinpah to give Hopkins the role of Crazy Lee.

Two of Hopkins’ favorite outlaw gigs debuted in 1975 when he played Turner, a very clunky Mafioso man who loves to dress up as a cowboy, in the indie film New Noir. nickel ride And as gangster Pretty Boy Floyd in the ABC telefilm kansas city massacre.

As a man who goes to lawmen, he photographed a mayor in small town in texas (1976), sweet sixteen (1983), mutant (1984), Hunter County War (1989), Bounty Hunter (1989), Ultimate Alliance (1990), Fertilize the rowing bomb (1992), Texas Payback (1995) and crack in the ground (2001).

Other Hopkins Features Included moon war (1970), Monty Walsh (1970), The man who loved the cat dance (1973), boss (1975), claws (1977), the fifth floor (1978), Big Bad John (1990), Radioland murder (1994) and to retreat (1997).

He also had recurring roles as adulterous Matthew Blasdale on ABC Dynasty, And as renegade lawyer John Cooper on NBC Rockford files In 1978-1979 he guest starred on other shows such as Barnaby JonesAnd the Charlie’s AngelsAnd the fantasy islandAnd the First teamAnd the The Scarecrow and Mrs. King And the She wrote the murder.

In 2020, Hopkins appeared in his last movie, hillbilly epitaphDirected by Ron HowardOn the occasion of the reunion with his counterpart American graffiti Share the star. “It was so exciting for him,” his wife said.

Also among the survivors are his children, Matthew and Jane.