Hopper remembered at N.M. service
Ranchos de Taos, N.M. — Jack Nicholson and Val Kilmer were among the actors who joined dozens of Dennis Hopper’s relatives, friends and Taos locals to remember the two-time Oscar nominee at a memorial Mass on Wednesday in New Mexico.
Hopper’s simple wooden coffin was ushered into the adobe chapel at historic San Francisco de Asis church.
Hopper, who was twice nominated for Oscars and received a star this year on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, died Saturday at age 74 at his home in Los Angeles. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2009.
Nicholson, cast alongside Hopper in “Easy Rider” as a drunken young lawyer in a breakout role, described Hopper as “an all-around guy.”
“It was a very singular relationship I had with him, like nobody else. We were soul mates in a way. I really miss him,” Nicholson said.
Hopper first came to New Mexico in 1969 to scout locations for the iconic “Easy Rider.” He lived in Taos for 12 years through the early 1980s.
City moves ahead with Jackson museum plans
Gary, Ind. — Michael Jackson’s father and Gary officials announced plans Wednesday to move ahead with a long-delayed performing arts center to help revitalize the late singer’s hometown, drawing cautious optimism from residents who say they’ve heard this song many times before.
Work on the $300 million museum and performing arts center could begin as early as next year, said Gary Mayor Rudy Clay, acknowledging this isn’t the first time city officials have made promises about the project.
“The question has been asked: Why now, why Gary, is it really going to happen?” Clay said. “Now is the time. We’ve got to seize the moment.”
Jackson left Gary as a child and visited just once, in June 2003, to announce plans for the center. No details were given then about how the center would be paid for, and the financial plans were equally vague Wednesday.
Clay said money to build the Jackson Family Museum and Hotel and the Michael Jackson Performing Arts and Cultural Center and Theaters would come from the Jackson Family Foundation, investors and donations. But neither he nor Joe Jackson said how much the foundation would chip in or how much investors have pledged.