"I'm an old-fashioned guy... I want to be an old man with a beer belly sitting
on a porch, looking at a lake or something." Johnny Depp.
Initially known for having starred in the hit series 21 Jump Street (1987-1990),
former teen idol Johnny Depp was recently nominated for an Academy Award for
Best Actor after portraying Sir James Matthew Barrie in Marc Forster's Finding
Neverland (2004). He is also credited with such acclaimed films as Platoon
(1986), Edward Scissorhands (1990), What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993), Don Juan
DeMarco (1995), Ed Wood (1994), Sleepy Hollow (1999), and notably Pirates of the
Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003).
One of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People (1996 and 2001) and Sexiest
Man Alive (2003), Johnny Depp is widely known for his relationships with such
female idols as Jennifer Grey, Winona Ryder, Sherilyn Fenn and Kate Moss. Depp
is currently involved with long-time girlfriend, French singer and actress,
Vanessa Paradis (born on December 22, 1972), who gave him two kids.
Depp's off screen life has raised the public's eye several times. He was once
accused as being a drug dealer at his club, The Viper Room, after the death of
actor River Phoenix, who died outside the club due to a drug overdose in 1993.
Depp also drew the public's attention in 1994, when he was arrested for wrecking
a presidential suite in a hotel in Manhattan and then in 1999 when he was
arrested again after engaging in a fight with paparazzi in London.
On the more positive side, in November 2004 Depp joined the Entertainment
Industry Foundation, the Montblanc and the National Arts Initiative in their
programs providing children more access to arts.
Childhood and Family:
Of Cherokee, Navajo, Irish, and German descendant John Christopher Depp III was
born on June 9, 1963 to city engineer John Christopher and waitress/homemaker
Betty Sue Palmer (Johnny tattooed her name on his left arm). Born in the small
town of Owensboro, Kentucky, Johnny, together with his parents and three
siblings, Danny (screenwriter, a.k.a. D.P. Depp), Christy Dembrowski (personal
manager; born in 1961), and Debbie, moved to Miramar, Florida in 1969 after the
death of their grandfather.
Following the divorce of his parents, Johnny grew up a troubled teenager and was
involved in drugs and left high school to pursue a musical career as a
guitarist. However, Johnny then turned to acting and took an acting class with
Peggy Feury at the Loft Studio, Los Angeles, California.
Johnny Depp, who nicknamed himself Mr. Stench and is also sometimes called
Colonel (nickname given to him), married Anne Allison (a makeup artist) on
December 20,1983 but later divorced in 1985.
"Anything I've done up till May 27, 1999 was kind of an illusion, existing
without living. My daughter, the birth of my daughter, gave me life." Johnny
On May 24, 1999 Johnny became the father of daughter Lily-Rose Melody and
followed with son Jack John Christopher Depp III on April 9, 2002. Johnny shares
the two children with their mother, long-time girlfriend Vanessa Paradis (dating
since June 1998). Currently, they reside between France and Los Angeles.
Deeper With Depp
"All the amazing people that I've worked with - Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Dustin
Hoffman, have told me consistently: Don't compromise. Do your work, and if what
you're giving is not what they want, you have to be prepared to walk away."
Originally dreaming of being a rock musician (plays guitar), Johnny Depp signed
with several neighboring bands, including The Flame (later became The Kids or
The Rock City Angels) and once became the opening act for the Iggy Pop tour
concert. In order to pursue his music career, Depp, his former wife, and The
Kids, flew to L.A. and then found himself selling ballpoint pens by phone. On
one occasion, makeup artist wife Allison introduced him to actor Nicolas Cage,
who suggested Depp pursue an acting career and later set him up with a meeting
with an agent.
With the new agent, Depp landed his debut role in Wes Craven's thriller A
Nightmare On Elm Street (1984), followed with his first leading part in Private
Resort and appeared on an episode of the ABC's Lady Blue in 1985. After
appearing in the TV movie Slow Burn and the big screen's Platoon (both 1986),
Depp nabbed a three years contract, replacing Jeff Yagher, starring as
undercover cop Tommy Hanson (1987-1990) in Fox's teen-hit series 21 Jump Street.
The role made him a youth idol and his good looks splashed in front of several
Depp began the 1990s playing Wade 'Cry-Baby' Walker, costarring Iggy Pop, in
John Waters' musical comedy Cry Baby. However, it was his peculiar title role in
Tim Burton's runaway success Edward Scissorhands (costarring Winona Ryder) that
shot his name to stardom. After appearing in the sequel of Nightmare on Elm
Street, Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991), Depp joined Jerry Lewis and
Faye Dunaway in Emir Kusturica's Arizona Dream (1992), starred in Jeremiah S.
Chechik's comedy Benny and Joon (1993), and played the title role in Lasse
Hallstr÷m's adaptation of Peter Hedges' drama-comedy What's Eating Gilbert Grape
(1993, costarring Leonardo DiCaprio). Always bound to music, Depp also appeared
in Tom Petty's music video, Into The Great Wide Open, in 1991.
In 1994 Depp reunited with director Tim Burton and received critical acclaim for
portraying the title role of unknown film director, Ed Wood, in the film with
the same name. Subsequently, Depp added to his acting resume such films as John
Badham's Nick of Time (1995), Don Juan De Marco (1995, opposite Marlon Brando),
and Jim Jarmusch's western Dead Man (1996, with Iggy Pop). In 1995 Depp set up a
rock group called P, which debuted with the Capitol Records label.
Cast as the title role of the undercover FBI agent in Donnie Brasco (1997,
opposite Al Pacino), Depp received more rave reviews. The rest of the 1990s saw
him in LA Without A Map (1998), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), The
Source (1999), and The Astronaut's Wife (1999). Additionally, Depp earned more
praise playing Ichabod Crane in another Tim Burton thriller film, Sleepy Hollow
(1999), alongside Christina Ricci. Depp also debuted in directing with the
short-film Banter for DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) in 1994 as well as
wrote, directed and starred in the adaptation movie of Gregory McDonald's novel
The Brave in 1997 (costarring Marlon Brando). He closed his 1990 acting career
with his mark on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on November 16, 1999 and starred in
Roman Polanski's thriller The Ninth Gate.
Depp's 2000 year films and roles includes a gypsy in Sally Potter's WW II epic
The Man Who Cried (rejoined with Christina Ricci), costarred with Javier Bardem
in Julian Schnabel's Before Night Falls, and appeared in Lasse Hallstr÷m's
adaptation of Joanne Harris' Chocolat. His roles continued to roll in films like
Ted Demme's Blow (2001), From Hell (2001, alongside Heather Graham), and in
Robert Rodriguez's western Once Upon A Time In Mexico (2003).
Gore Verbinski's box office hit, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the
Black Pearl (2003, with Geoffrey Rush), handed him both Oscar and Golden Globe
nominations for Best Actor. During 2004, Depp starred in The Secret Window, The
Libertine, and And They Lived Happily Ever After.
Most recently Depp was nominated again for an Oscar for his starring role as Sir
James Matthew Barrie in Marc Forster's film, Finding Neverland (2004). Depp's
upcoming film projects include Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), Corpse
Bride (2005), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006), The Diving Bell
and the Butterfly (2006), Shantaram (2007), and The Rum Diary (2005).
"With any part you play, there is a certain amount of yourself in it. There has
to be, otherwise it's just not acting. It's lying." Johnny Depp
- People's Choice: Favorite Male Movie Star, 2005
- The Actors' Fund Of America: Lee Strasberg Artistic Achievement Award,
- Irish Film & Television: People's Choice, Best International Actor, 2004
- MTV Movie: Best Male Performance, Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of
The Black Pearl, 2004
- Spacey Awards: Fave Movie Hero, 2004
- SAG Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role,
Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl, 2004
- Empire Awards: Best Actor, Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The
Black Pearl, 2004
- Blockbuster Awards: Favorite Actor, Sleepy Hollow, 2000
- CÚsar Awards: CÚsar Honorary Award, 1999
- London Critics Circle Film: Actor of the Year, Ed Wood, 1996
- London Critics Circle Film: Actor of the Year, Don Juan DeMarco, 1995
- MTV Movie: Best On-Screen Duo, Benny & Joon, 1994
- ShoWest Award: Male Star of Tomorrow, 1990