Published: May 29, 2010 7:59 PM EDT
Updated: May 29, 2010 5:00 PM EDT

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Dennis Hopper, the high-flying Hollywood actor-director whose memorable career included the 1969 smash "Easy Rider," has died. He was 74.

Family friend Alex Hitz says Hopper died Saturday at his Venice home, surrounded by family and friends. The actor had been battling prostate cancer.

Hopper's roller coaster career also included "Rebel Without a Cause," "Blue Velvet," "Apocalypse Now" and "Hoosiers" as well as flops such as "The Last Movie."

 But the improbable success of the 1969 hippie-biker epic "Easy Rider" remained his biggest triumph. He not only co-starred but directed and co-wrote the film, which also starred Peter Fonda and Jack Nicholson.

Hopper, Fonda and Terry Southern were nominated for Oscars for best screenplay.