EntertainmentThe Wild Bunch & American Graffiti Actor Bo Hopkins...

The Wild Bunch & American Graffiti Actor Bo Hopkins Has Passed Away At 80

Hopkins would work with Peckinpah again in 1972’s “The Getaway,” and kept choosing interesting roles alongside talented filmmakers for the remainder of his career. In the ’90s, he appeared in Oliver Stone’s thriller “U Turn,” then in Richard Linklater’s “The Newton Boys” a year later. Though Hopkins was often a talented supporting player, he rarely took the spotlight in major lead roles.

He was always memorable, though, as in films like 1973’s “White Lightning,” where the actor plays Southern moonshine runner Rebel Roy opposite Burt Reynolds. Funnily, many of the actor’s most popular roles see him playing colorful characters with distinctive nicknames, like CIA agent Tex in “Midnight Express.” The actor himself went by Bo rather than William, picking up the name from his first off-Broadway play, “Bus Stop.”

Like many actors of his era, Hopkins got his start in television and returned to the medium for a number of TV movies as well as recurring roles in some of the most buzzed-about shows of the time. Guest spots in “Gunsmoke” and “The Andy Griffith Show” were among the actor’s first-ever on-screen appearances, while he later played geologist Matthew on the soap operatic drama “Dynasty” and appeared as a lawyer in an arc on “The Rockford Files.”

Hopkins’ last on-screen role came in 2020, when he played J.D. Vance’s grandfather in the film adaptation of the book “Hillbilly Elegy.” In a great full-circle moment, the film was directed by Ron Howard, who appeared alongside Hopkins decades earlier in both “The Andy Griffith Show” and “American Graffiti.”

The actor’s cause of death has not been confirmed. According to Variety, he is survived by his wife of 32 years, Sian Eleanor Green; his son, Matthew Hopkins and his daughter, Jane Hopkins.

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