Monday 5 December 2016

The luminaries who lit up our lives and took their leave in 2010

It's time to take stock of those who have passed this year and remind us to make our mark, writes Hilary A White

Published 26/12/2010 | 05:00

THE curtain draws on 2010 and the world will once again take that meditative breath that characterises the transition into a new year. Part of that compulsory pause switch will be to take stock of those faces taking a bow for the last time -- the good and the great whose passing may not cut us to the core but will rob us of just enough colour and texture to be notable.

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Someone once said that when your life flashes before your eyes, make sure that it's worth watching. It's one of those conveniently tidy and pithy maxims that is most appropriate for that great conundrum of life -- namely the passing of it. But it is a principle that resounds clearly during any glance back at the figures on whom the great bartender above called 'closing time' in 2010.

It would have been an utterance familiar to Dennis Hopper, the notorious Hollywood hedonist who seemed to weave in and out of favour with the film industry. A bright and fast career was consolidated with the 1969 counterculture classic Easy Rider, which Hopper co-wrote, directed and starred in. Critical praise and an Oscar nomination quickened a taste for drink, drugs and divilment and couldn't prevent him from falling into the bad books of film-makers who found him too much hassle to work with (he was, by his own admission, wired in every scene of Apocalypse Now). Hopper cleaned up and became the go-to guy to play the kind of baddies we secretly root for (Blue Velvet, Speed, 24), an ominous, creamy voice and a twinkle in the eye that kept you guessing.

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