A determined writer – overcomes Rheumatoid Arthritis – creates first full biography of Dennis Hopper

Readers of Peter Winkler’s new biography of the late actor and artist Dennis Hopper may not realize what a labor of love it represents. Winkler suffers from rheumatoid arthritis and cannot reach his fingers to the keyboard of his computer. Yet he was determined to write¬†Dennis Hopper: The Wild Ride of a Hollywood Rebel, so he tapped it out one letter at a time, using a red plastic chopstick to press the keys.

The result is the first biography to cover Hopper’s entire life and career. The meticulously researched account follows him from a lonely childhood in Kansas through his days as a Hollywood bad boy, later reformed, to his rise as a notable visual artist.

Winkler’s sister helped him conduct research, driving him to the library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to copy clippings collected throughout Hopper’s career. Then at home, in bed, the author, who has been described as “a genuine Hollywood historian and that rarity, a James Dean fan with a triple-digit IQ,” painstakingly pecked out the story he was so eager to tell.

via UCLA Magazine

 

More about Peter at the LA Times – A disabled writer’s book unfolds a tap at a time

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