'Easy Rider' associate producer commits suicide

Authorities say Easy Rider associate producer Bill Hayward has died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The Los Angeles County coroner’s office said Thursday that the 66-year-old Hayward shot himself in the heart with a handgun on March 9 in Castaic. The suicide occurred in trailer where he was living.

Hayward was the son of agent Leland Hayward and actress Margaret Sullavan, all part of a Hollywood family whose talent and beauty was often outshone by its demons.

Sullavan and her daughter Bridget Hayward both died of drug overdoses in 1960.

Bill Hayward’s other sister Brooke was once married to Easy Rider star Dennis Hopper, who said Thursday that Hayward “was a wonderful man and this is a great tragedy for our family.”

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