Bo Hopkins, American Graffiti and Hillbilly Elegy Actor, Dead at 84

Bo Hopkins, a character actor whose career spanned five decades in Hollywood, has passed away at the age of 84. The Hollywood Reporter brings of his death, revealing that the actor passed "at Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys after suffering a heart attack on May 9." Hopkins wife Sian confirmed the news, revealing he died this morning. Born on February 2, 1938, in Greenville, South Carolina, Hopkins became a favorite of filmmaker Sam Peckinpah, who hired him to appear in three of his feature films, 1969's The Wild Bunch (where he played Clarence "Crazy" Lee); 1972's The Getaway; and 1975's The Killer Elite.

"They took me to special effects and had wires runnin' up my ass, up my legs. I was squibbed up 26 times," Hopkins told  Shock Cinema magazine back in 2012 about The Wild Bunch. "I f--kin' thought I was gonna go to the moon if them things ever went off. I'd never worked with squibs. Sam asked me if I wanted a T-shirt. 'No, sir,' I said. 'I want to feel it.' ... Well, see, I didn't know. I wanted to feel it, experience it, just like we talked about at the Actors Studio. And like a damn fool, I didn't wear a T-shirt."

Hopkins began his career in guest appearances on TV shows, appearing on The Phyllis Diller Show, Gunsmoke, The Andy Griffith Show, The Virginian, and Judd for the Defense. He would continue to appear in television through the 1970s including Charlie's Angels, The Rockford Files, Doc Elliot, and Ironside. Around that time however he would make the leap into feature films, appearing in countless western feature films that also included The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing, Posse, and A Small Town in Texas.

Notably Hopkins also appeared in the George Lucas-directed feature American Graffiti, his second collaboration with Ron Howard following The Andy Griffith Show (when Howard was just 13). The pair would later return for the sequel, More American Graffiti. Other major films that Hopkins appeared in included The Day of the Locust, Midnight Express, and more. Hopkins would also appear in 18 episodes of the original run of Dynasty. 

Photo by ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images