Gene Hackman has paid tribute to his Hoosiers co-star Dennis Hopper, who died on Saturday (29May10) after losing his battle with prostate cancer.
The 74 year old passed away at his home in Venice, California, surrounded by friends and family members.
Hackman worked with the star on the 1986 sports movie, which earned Hopper an Academy Award nomination for his role as a basketball-loving drunk.
In a statement, Hackman says, "As an actor, one is always taken by someone who is different. An iconoclast, Dennis was an artist and I will always treasure having worked with him. He will be missed."
And Isabella Rossellini, who worked with Hopper in the 1980s, has also paid her respects: "When I first met Dennis on the set of Blue Velvet, he had just come out of rehab. I was afraid of him, but Dennis turned out to be infinitely kind, compassionate and understanding. He had gone to hell and came back from it with great wisdom. It will take me a while to realise and accept he isn't with us any longer."
Oscar-winning actress Marlee Matlin took to her Twitter.com page to honour the star, writing, "Dennis Hopper RIP. A maverick, a wonderful actor. You always got something unexpected from him. He will be missed."
Hopper's Easy Rider co-star Peter Fonda was the first of many colleagues to express sorrow at his tragic passing, insisting, "I was blessed by his passion and friendship."
Bouquets of flowers have been laid on Hopper's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, an honour he received in March (10).