Like the Notorious Frontiersman

“I am just a middle-class farm boy from Dodge City. I thought painting, acting, directing and photography was all part of being an artist. I have made my money that way and I have had some fun. It has not been a bad life.”

Dennis Hopper

 
 

Polaroid photos of Dennis Hopper, by Andy Warhol

It makes perfect sense that Dennis Hopper was related to Daniel Boone. Like the notorious frontiersman, Hopper ascended into the mythic golden landscape of American culture. He might have been one of the most authentic representations of combustible cool that Hollywood ever managed to capture on film…

Tony Shafrazi
Dennis Hopper Complete Interview

 
 

Portrait of Dennis Hopper, Andy Warhol, 1971

 
 

Dennis Hopper in London, 1982. Photo: David Gallant

 
 

“I was born in Dodge City, Kansas, in 1936. It was just at the end of the Dust Bowl. We lived about seven miles outside of Dodge on a little 12-acre farm where we grew Chinese elm trees and had 400 chickens and cows and made all our own food. My grandparents were from Kentucky—I’m related to Daniel Boone. He was my great-great-great uncle. Sarah Boone, his sister, was my great-great-great grandmother.”

 
 

Oil sketch of American pioneer Daniel Boone by Chester Harding, the only portrait of Boone painted from life. This was painted when Boone was 84 years old, a few months before his death. Harding painted Boone in June 1820 while Boone was living with his daughter Jemima Boone Callaway in Missouri. According to historian Ted Franklin Belue, “from this original oil portrait Harding made three copies: two busts and a full-length.” (The Life of Daniel Boone by Lyman Draper, edited by Ted Franklin Belue. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 1998, p. 2.)

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