Dennis Hopper Hated Peter Fonda so Much He Banned the Actor From His Funeral

Melissa Willets - Author

Jan. 30 2024, Published 12:00 p.m. ET

Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper at Red Rock West Premiere Party at Club USA, New York, April 2, 199
Source: Getty Images

Imagine hating someone so much that you forbid them from attending your funeral. Well, that was how deep Dennis Hopper's hatred for his Easy Rider co-star Peter Fonda went.

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Dennis, who passed away in 2010, sued Peter — but even settling that suit didn't settle the score for Dennis. Find out what went so wrong between the actors that Peter was even banned from entering the chapel at Dennis' memorial service.

Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda riding their chopper motorcycles, with Luke Askew, in a publicity still for the film "Easy Rider" in 1969.
Source: Getty Images
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So, why did Dennis Hopper hate Peter Fonda so much?

The decades-long feud between the Speed villain and Jane Fonda's brother began when they were making the iconic film Easy Rider in 1969. According to Dennis, he was ultimately cheated out of millions of dollars at the hands of Peter.

According to Express, Dennis sued Peter in 1992 over who penned the Academy Award nominated movie. The lawsuit was reportedly settled out of court.

Then, in 1996, Dennis again levied a suit over allegedly not receiving adequate proceeds from the flick. That matter was also settled, with the details not being made public.

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For his part, Peter denied having done anything wrong with regards to the creation or rights for the movie. He wrote about the scandal in his 1998 book entitled Don't Tell Dad.

“Dennis Hopper is still insisting that he alone wrote the screenplay to Easy Rider, and has sued me for cheating him out of ‘millions and millions of dollars.' It blows my mind," the actor said in the book.

Despite his claims of innocence, Dennis never forgave Peter, who still said he supported all of his former co-star's work.

When the Cool Hand Luke alum passed away, Peter attempted to pay his respects to the star.

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"The funeral service was in a chapel in Taos, New Mexico. I rented a private jet and flew in, but I was not allowed in the chapel," Peter claimed.

He went on to live for another nine years, but passed away in 2019.

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Dennis Hopper also had a feud with Rip Torn.

Easy Rider spawned more drama between Dennis and another potential co-star, Rip Torn.

The star was the first pick for the part that later went to Jack Nicholson.

As Dennis told Jay Leno during a visit to his show in the '90s, "Yeah, Rip and I had a little problem. Well, at dinner he pulled a knife on me."

"He thought I was cutting him out of the picture — as he put it — before we were just writing. And he decided the script wasn't really correct," Dennis claimed.

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According to Rip, it was Dennis who pulled the knife, and he later sued his would-be co-star for defamation.

Rip won that lawsuit to the tune of $475,000.

Apparently this incident further intensified Dennis' hatred for Peter. Dennis had hoped that Peter, who was also at the dinner, would "bail him out of that lawsuit," William Hayward, the associate producer of Easy Rider, told the The Wall Street Journal in 1996, adding that Dennis was "very frustrated and annoyed."

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