France pays tribute to Dennis Hopper

American actor Dennis Hopper, who directed the film Easy Rider and has appeared in roles in Blue Velvet and Speed, has been named a chevalier of France's Order of Arts and Letters.

American actor Dennis Hopper, who directed the film Easy Rider and has appeared in films including Blue Velvet and Speed, has been named a chevalier of France's Order of Arts and Letters.

Hopper, 72, appeared to be emotionally moved as he accepted the prestigious honour at a ceremony in Paris on Monday.

The Cinematique Française in Paris is opening an exhibit on Hopper's work this week that pays tribute to his career, which began in the 1950s in TV series such as Cheyenne and Medic.

Hopper also had roles in films such as Rebel Without a Cause, Giant and True Grit.

In 1969, he and friend Peter Fonda scraped together enough money to make the low-budget  Easy Rider, which Hopper directed and starred in from a script written with Terry Southern. The huge success of the film made Fond and Hopper household names.

His next directorial effort, The Last Movie, was a flop and he didn't direct another for 10 years, when he returned with Out of the Blue and Colors.

Hopper also had a series of offbeat roles, among them the pot-smoking photographer in Apocalypse Now, a deranged drug dealer in River's Edge and foul-mouthed Frank Booth in Blue Velvet.

The Cinematique Française is showing photographs, films and selections from Hopper's private art collection, which includes works by pop artists Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg.

Hopper is about to appear in TV series Crash, an adaptation of the Oscar-winning film of the same name to debut on Friday.

The Crash series is being produced for cable channel Starz by Canadian Paul Haggis, who also co-wrote and directed the film.

With files from the Associated Press