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Bo Hopkins, ‘American Graffiti’ & ‘The Wild Bunch’ Actor, Dies At 84

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  • Bo Hopkins has died at the age of 84.
  • His wife confirms he had a heart attack earlier this month.
  • He was best known for films like ‘American Graffiti’ and ‘The Wild Bunch.’

 

It has been reported that Bo Hopkins, an actor known for his role in American Graffiti and The Wild Bunch, has died at the age of 84. The news was confirmed on the actor’s website. “It is with great sadness that we announce that Bo has passed away,” the statement read.

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“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.” Bo had apparently suffered a heart attack earlier this month.

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Remembering Bo Hopkins

THE WILD BUNCH, front from left: Rayford Barnes, Warren Oates, center from left: Bo Hopkins, Jamie Sanchez, Ernest Borgnine, William Holden, Ben Johnson, 1969

Bo’s wife of 33 years, Sian Eleanor Green, confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that Bo died at the Valley Presbyterian Hospital in the Van Nuys suburb of Los Angeles, California.

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Bo began pursuing an interest in the arts after finishing service with the Army, which he had enlisted in at the age of 16. He first began performing in the local theatre communities before he headed to New York to begin appearing in off-Broadway productions. Soon after, he’d receive a scholarship to an acting school at the Desilu-Cahuenga Studios in Hollywood and had Diane Davis as his agent. He first made his on-screen debut on a 1966 episode of The Phyllis Diller Show.

MORE AMERICAN GRAFFITI, Charles Martin Smith, Bo Hopkins, 1979. (c) Universal Pictures/ Courtesy: Everett Collection.

“After the Phyllis Diller thing, I did a ‘Gunsmoke,’ then ‘The Andy Griffith Show,’ playing Goober’s helper,” he once said. “George Lindsey always said he was the one who started my career.” He later portrayed Crazy Lee in the 1969 western about a group of aging outlaws called The Wild Bunch, and then later starred as a bank robber in The Gateway in 1972 and then a weapons expert in the ‘75 film The Killer Elite. Bo also worked alongside Hollywood greats such as Burt Reynolds and Ned Beatty in White Lightning, and Brad Davis and Randy Quaid in Midnight Express. Another role he may be best remembered for in his career is his role in American Graffiti.

In his career, he appeared in more than 100 films and a number of television classics. We last saw him in the 2020 film Hillbilly Elegy. Bo is survived by his wife and his two children, Matthew and Jane.

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