‘Wild Bunch’ and ‘American Graffiti’ Actor Bo Hopkins Dies at 84

Yvonne DiMora via YouTube

Sadly, May was quite the month for celebrity deaths. George Shapiro, producer and manager of Jerry Seinfeld and Andy Kaufman, died at the age of 91, and ‘Yes’ drummer Alan White died at the age of 72, both on May 26, 2022. Not too long before that, on May 9, Bo Hopkins passed away at the age of 84.

Hopkins was known for his roles in films such as The Wild Bunch, American Graffiti, Midnight Express and White Lightning. He died after suffering a heart attack at Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys.

His death was confirmed by his official website, with a statement: “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.”

Though the cause of death wasn’t mentioned, it was clear that Hopkins impacted everyone he met.

Hopkins was actually born as “William” before changing his name to “Bo,” which was a nod to the character he played in “Bus Stop,” his first off-Broadway play. His father died when he was nine, so his mother, as well as his grandmother, raised him. He later found out he was adopted and was able to meet his birth parents.

Before Hopkins was acting, he joined the U.S. Army at the age of 16. After that, he went on to find a few roles in summer stock productions and guest spots on various TV episodes. His first film was the 1969 western “The Wild Bunch,” where he played “Crazy Lee.” After that, his career took off, when director Sam Peckinpah hired him to play the robber in the 1972 film “The Getaway.”

That whole decade, he was cast in other major feature films, including “White Lightning” (1973), “Posse” (1975), “The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing” (1973), “Midnight Express” (1978), “American Graffiti” (1973) and more.

Hopkins was also a big TV star, with guest star roles on several shows such as “The Rockford Files” (1974), “Charlie’s Angels” (1976), “The A-Team” (1983), “Hotel” (1983) and “Matt Houston” (1982).

The actor was survived by his wife of 32 years, Sian Eleanor Green, with whom he had two children: his son, Matthew, and daughter, Jane.

For a lovely photo tribute to Hopkins, check out the video below.

Were you a Bo Hopkins fan? What was your favorite role he’s ever played whether in a movie or on TV?

[Image credit: Wikipedia]