January 19, 2010 / 12:07 AM / 9 years ago

Cancer-stricken Dennis Hopper divorcing wife

Actor Dennis Hopper attends a panel for the Starz drama series "Crash" at the Television Critics Association 2008 summer press tour in Beverly Hills, California in this July 11, 2008 file photo. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Bedridden Hollywood actor Dennis Hopper said on Monday he was seeking a divorce from his fifth wife while fighting what one of his children called “a hell of a battle” against prostate cancer.

The unusual filing was made last Thursday. Hopper, 73, and Victoria Duffy have a 6-year-old daughter, Galen. Hopper has three other children from previous marriages.

In a statement, Hopper was quoted as saying: “I wish Victoria the best, but only want to spend these difficult days surrounded by my children and close friends.”

Hopper, perhaps best known for directing and starring in the 1969 cult classic “Easy Rider,” was diagnosed with cancer last September. A family friend said he has recently embarked on a new course of chemotherapy.

His eldest daughter, Marin, said in a statement to Reuters: “Dennis is brave, and he is fighting a hell of a battle.”

In a wildly varied career spanning more than 50 years, Hopper appeared alongside his mentor, James Dean, in “Rebel Without a Cause” and “Giant,” and played maniacs in such films as “Apocalypse Now,” “Blue Velvet” and “Speed.”

He received two Oscar nominations, for writing “Easy Rider” (with co-star Peter Fonda and Terry Southern), and for a rare heartwarming turn as an alcoholic high-school basketball coach in the 1986 drama “Hoosiers.”

His domestic life has never been dull. One of his marriages included an eight-day union with Michelle Phillips of the Mamas and Papas in 1970. Phillips later told Vanity Fair that she was subjected to “excruciating” treatment. Hopper also broke the nose of his first wife, Brooke Hayward, after a drug binge.

Reporting by Dean Goodman; Editing by Eric Beech

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