Bo Hopkins had a long and distinguished acting career as one of the best in the United States. Between 1969 and 1979, the seasoned actor was known for his supporting appearances in a number of studio pictures. A few television shows and movies also included him.
There are almost 130 shows he’s been a part of. Phyllis Diller’s The Phyllis Diller Show was where he made his debut as Chub in 1966. In the years since, he has won numerous awards, including the Golden Boot Award.
In addition to his military service, he also worked in the entertainment sector. At the age of sixteen, Hopkins enlisted in the United States Army. After serving in the military, the late actor decided to pursue a career in acting. With the help of a few guest appearances on TV shows and summer stock, he was able to hone his skills.
Early Life of Bo Hopkins
As a nine-month-old infant, Bo Hopkins was adopted by a couple who were unable to conceive; his adoptive parents used to call him Billy. His biological parents are unknown.
A mill worker in Taylors, South Carolina, his father died suddenly when Bo was 39 years old, forcing Bo and his mother to relocate to a new house in Ware Shoals. In Lockhart, South Carolina, at the age of 12, Bo met his birth mother and half-siblings.
Bo was a troubled youngster who dropped out of school at the age of 16, yet he enlisted in the US Army and was sent to the 101st Airborne Division, one of the most elite units in the military.
He was stationed at Fort Jackson, Fort Pope, and Fort Gordon before being sent to Korea for a nine-month tour of duty there.
Bo Hopkins’s Career
1961 – 1970
A scholarship to study stage production and acting at the Pioneer Playhouse in Kentucky resulted from ‘Bo’ Hopkins’ interest in acting after he completed his military service.
He then proceeded to New York City, where he performed in several plays and studied at the Actors Studio, before moving to Hollywood. Small roles on television also began to come his way, with his first appearance on “The Phyllis Diller Show” in 1966 as Chub.
1971 – 1980
Hopkins’ first major role in the film was as Crazy Lee in Sam Peckinpah’s 1969 Revisionist Western “The Wild Bunch.” The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay since it is considered one of the best westerns.
American Graffiti (1973), created by Francis Ford Coppola, was followed by his roles as Joe in George Lucas’ coming-of-age comedy and Burt Reynolds’ sidekick Roy Boone in White Lightning (1973).
When he worked with Kirk Douglas again on his Western remake, “Posse,” two years later he played Wesley and appeared in “The Killer Elite” with James Caan and Robert Duvall as Jerome Miller.
His first leading part as Sheriff Duke came in 1976’s action film “A Small Town in Texas,” and his performance of Tex in Alan Parker and Oliver Stone’s 1978 prison drama “Midnight Express” followed in 1978.
Later, he played John Cooper in the NBC detective drama “The Rockford Files,” which starred James Garner, from 1978 to 1979.
The role of Matthew Blaisdel on “Dynasty,” a prime-time CW soap opera, was Bo Hopkins’ first major break in the 1980s (1981-1987). In addition to his role as Sheriff Dan Burke in the 1983 horror film “Sweet Sixteen,” he went on to star in other made-for-television movies, including “Ghost Dancing,” “Dark Horse,” and “A Smoky Mountain Christmas” (1986).
As Sheriff Whistler and Ranger Steven Haynes, he appeared in the 1990 action-drama “The Final Alliance” alongside David Hasselhoff, followed by 1992’s “The Legend of Wolf Mountain.”
The Ballad of Little Jo” was directed by Maggie Greenwald in 1993 and starred Bo Hopkins as Frank Badger. With “Riders In The Storm” and “U-Turn,” he had his second and third major roles, playing Billy Van Owen in the Western and Ed in Oliver Stone’s noir crime thriller, respectively.
“A Crack In The Floor” (2001) and “Shade” (2003), which he also produced and played alongside Melanie Griffith, Sylvester Stallone, and Jamie Foxx) were two of Bo Hopkins’ most notable roles in the early 2000s. Three years after that, he appeared in Mia Goldman’s independent film “Open Window” as Tucker Brennan.
As time went on, however, he became less active in the quest for new projects, and he appeared on the big screen occasionally, most notably as Coach Morris in the 2013 family drama “A Little Christmas Business” and Papa Lamb in the 2016 comedy, “The Boys at the Bar.”
Bo most recently appeared as Papaw in Ron Howard’s drama “Hillbilly Elegy” (2020). He will play King Frederick in Joe Estevez’s next love drama, “Of God and Kings,” which is now in post-production and scheduled to be released in mid-2021.
Net Worth of Bo Hopkins
Bo Hopkins is an American actor with a net worth of $3 million. The month of February 1942 saw the arrival in the world of Bo Hopkins in Greenville, SC. As an actor, he’s appeared on stage, on television, and in movies. More than 130 acting roles are on Hopkins’ resume.
Bo Hopkins’s Personal Life
He has been married twice. He married his first wife, Norma Lee Woodle, on 30 October 1959 while still a minor. They had a daughter named Jane, but divorced on August 15, 1962, after a separation of three years. In 1989, Bo married Sian Eleanor Green, with whom he has a son, Matthew Hopkins, and they were together till his death.
A Los Angeles address is their current place of abode. Bo Hopkins’ hobbies include fishing and koi pond keeping. He’s also a great baseball fan, particularly of the Anaheim Angels.
How Old Was He at the Time of His Death?
American Graffiti” and “Wild Bunch” star Bo Hopkins died at the age of 80, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The actor’s death at a California hospital on Saturday was the result of a heart attack he had suffered a few weeks previously.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Hopkins’ wife, Sian Hopkins, verified the news. The media outlet stated that Hopkins died at Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys, California.