Friday, March 21, 2008

Easy Rider Bill Hayward Takes His Final Ride

Easy Rider" associate producer Bill Hayward, part of a regal Hollywood family whose talent and beauty was often overshadowed by its demons, has died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said Thursday. He was 66. Hayward shot himself in the heart with a handgun in Castaic on March 9, county coroner's spokesman Craig Harvey said. The suicide occurred in a trailer where Hayward was living. Hayward has already been cremated and a memorial service was planned for April.

"He was a wonderful man and this is a great tragedy for our family," "Easy Rider" director and star Dennis Hopper said in a statement. Hopper was married and had a daughter with Hayward's sister Brooke in the 1960s.

The family's troubles were chronicled in Brooke Hayward's best-selling 1977 memoir "Haywire," which became a 1980 TV movie that Bill Hayward produced. The book discusses Bill and Brooke Hayward's belief that their mother and sister may have killed themselves, and Bill Hayward shared his thoughts on suicide.

"It would be more of a challenge not to do it," he said. "Since it seems to run in the family. It's like trying to beat the system. There must be something inherently weird. The family drops like flies."
This easy rider also loved motorcycles. He had a serious motorcycle accident about five years ago that left him severely injured and mentally diminished. We wonder if he employed one of these on his bike.

[Fresno Bee]

1 comment:

Marjorie said...

I didn't know about this. I didn't know him, but I knew of him through his sister's book, "Haywire." This makes me very sad.