Saturday, October 17, 2009

William DeWolf Hopper, actor

I had planned to pay bills this afternoon, but the bill-paying desk is in the living room, and Rick is in there watching “20 Million Miles from Earth,” a cheesy space-monster-from-Venus flick made in 1957. Rick says that all the questions posed by this movie have one answer: it was made in 1957. The stop-motion Venusian starts out as a peace-loving vegetarian, but is driven to rage by the dumb people who corner it, poke it, hit it, stab it, and shoot it. After a few minutes of that treatment the Venusian gets pissed off. I found myself rooting for this beleaguered alien, then I realized I wasn't going to get the bills paid and left the room.
Monster movies aren't really my thing.
The big dumb handsome lead is played by big handsome William Hopper. I don't think the man himself was dumb. His parents were an actor named DeWolf Hopper, and Hedda Hopper, the gossip columnist, whose maiden name was “Elda Furry.” Wow.
He was in many movies in the 1930s, served with distinction in World War II, sold cars in LA after the war until he took a role in “The High and the Mighty” in 1954, and after that worked regularly as an actor, and is probably best known for playing Paul Drake, a private investigator on the Perry Mason Show, from 1957 to 1966.
He died young, in 1970 at the age of 55, of pneumonia following a stroke, and is buried in Whittier, California.
William Hopper, ladies and gentlemen.

1 comment:

The Crow said...

Oh, the crush I had on Paul Drake!