The actor Dennis Hopper has filed for divorce from his fifth wife on his deathbed, according to reports.
The 73-year-old star of Easy Rider, Rebel Without A Cause and Apocalypse Now has prostate cancer. He is said to have less than a month to live after the disease spread to his bones.
In his final days, Hopper has separated from his wife and is understood to be trying to cap the amount she will receive from his will.
Hopper and Victoria Duffy, 41, have been married for nearly 14 years and have a daughter, Galen, who will turn seven in March.
In court papers Hopper lists the date of separation as last Tuesday and offers to pay his wife support.
He is also requesting joint legal and physical custody of Galen.
Reports say Hopper is trying to prevent his wife from contesting his will, which apparently leaves her only a quarter of his estate.
Miss Duffy is understood to be furious after discovering that her inheritance would be exactly what she had agreed to under the couple’s prenuptial agreement and no more – despite the relatively long duration of their marriage. A friend of the couple said: ‘It’s truly a tragedy, and sadly it’s all about the money and who inherits what.’
Hopper also hopes the move will force Miss Duffy to move from the Venice Beach compound where he and two of his grown-up children and their families live.
One U.S. report claimed Miss Duffy had ‘barricaded herself in’ at the California home while Hopper was in hospital. The actor announced in October that he had cancer, which is believed to have been diagnosed in 2002.
In recent days his condition is said to have deteriorated considerably.
His marriage to Miss Duffy lasted longer than any of his others, which include an eight-day marriage to Michelle Phillips of The Mamas And The Papas in 1970. She was his second wife.
Hopper has been a star in Hollywood-for more than 50 years. He appeared alongside James Dean in Rebel Without A Cause and Giant in 1955 and 1956 and also appeared in classics such as Cool Hand Luke and True Grit.
He was nominated for an Oscar for co-writing the classic 1969 road movie Easy Rider, and for acting in Hoosiers, which was released in 1986. In later years, he also gained recognition as an artist.