Bo Hopkins, ‘American Graffiti’ and ‘The Wild Bunch’ actor, dies at 84

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Bo Hopkins, known for his roles in “American Graffiti,” “The Wild Bunch” and “Midnight Express” died on Saturday. He was 84.

A marquee on the actor’s self-titled website confirmed his death with the announcement: “It is with great sadness that we announce that Bo has passed away.

“Bo loved hearing from his fans from around the world and although he was unable to respond to every email over the last few years, he appreciated hearing from each and every one of you.”

Hopkins reportedly suffered a heart attack earlier this month.

His wife of 33 years, Sian Eleanor Green, told The Hollywood Reporter he died at Valley Presbyterian Hospital in the Van Nuys suburb of Los Angeles, California.

Bo Hopkins, ‘American Graffiti’ and ‘The Wild Bunch’ actor, dies at 84

Bo Hopkins, known for his roles in "American Graffiti" and "The Wild Bunch," died on Saturday at the age of 84. He attended the TCM Classic Film Festival opening night gala in 2014.
(Jennifer Lourie/FilmMagic)

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Hopkins is also survived by two children, Matthew and Jane.

Born William Mauldin Hopkins on Feb. 2, 1938, in Greenville, South Carolina, he pursued an interest in the arts after finishing service with the Army, which he joined at the age of 16. 

He performed in local theater before heading to New York for an off-Broadway production, and soon after, received a scholarship to an acting school at the Desilu-Cahuenga Studios in Hollywood with Diane Davis as his agent.

Hopkins made his on-screen debut in 1966 on an episode of “The Phyllis Diller Show.” 

Bo Hopkins, ‘American Graffiti’ and ‘The Wild Bunch’ actor, dies at 84

Bo Hopkins, right, as Joe and Richard Dreyfuss as Curt in the film "American Graffiti." 1973.
(Silver Screen Collection)

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“After the Phyllis Diller thing, I did a ‘Gunsmoke,’ then ‘The Andy Griffith Show,’ playing Goober’s helper,” he said. “George Lindsey always said he was the one who started my career.”

He portrayed Crazy Lee in the ‘69 western about a group of aging outlaws in “The Wild Bunch,” and became a favorite of director Sam Peckinpah, who cast him as a bank robber in “The Gateway” in 1972 and then a weapons expert alongside James Caan in the ‘75 flick “The Killer Elite.”

Hopkins worked with Burt Reynolds and Ned Beatty in “White Lightning,” and Brad Davis and Randy Quaid in “Midnight Express.”

He was also known for working with Richard Dreyfuss and Harrison Ford in the George Lucas film “American Graffiti.”

Bo Hopkins, ‘American Graffiti’ and ‘The Wild Bunch’ actor, dies at 84

Linda Evans and Bo Hopkins starred together on the ’80s classic television show, "Dynasty."
(ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content )

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He appeared in more than 100 films throughout his career, including “The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing,” “Posse,” “Sweet Sixteen” and “The Bounty Hunter.”

In addition, Hopkins worked on television classics, including “The Rockford Files,” “Charlie’s Angels,” “The A-Team” and the oil-rich soap opera “Dynasty.”

Hopkins’ final film role was in the 2020 movie “Hillbilly Elegy” with Amy Adams and Glenn , where he starred as Papaw Vance and was directed by his “American Graffiti” costar, Ron Howard.

Bo Hopkins, ‘American Graffiti’ and ‘The Wild Bunch’ actor, dies at 84

Hopkins appeared in the television movie "Casino" in the late ’80s.
(Bob Coburn /American Broadcasting Companies )

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