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Prophet of Doom?

As a youngster in Kansas City, Dennis Hopper once took classes taught by the legendary painter Thomas Hart Benton. Sensing Hopper's artisitic inhibitions, Benton offered the amateur painter a word of wisdom. "One day," he declared, "you'll learn to get tight, and paint loose."

[Hopper's behavior certainly became more erratic: "Come the Revolution," he once screamed at a party of Hollywood producers, "this crowd will be dead!" In 1983, a delusional Hopper crouched under a folding chair rigged with dynamite at a Houston racetrack and tried to blow himself up to promote his one-man art show. He was unhurt. Months later, during the shooting of a small film called Jungle Fever, the actor was found crazed, naked and babbling, hiding in a Mexican jungle. (He was sent back to Los Angeles and put in a hospital.) He later cleaned up his life -- to such an extent that producer Mark Canton called him "the most steady, the rock" among his friends.]

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