Depp at the 2009 premiere of his film Public Enemies in Paris
|Born||John Christopher Depp II
June 9, 1963
Owensboro, Kentucky, U.S.
|Occupation||Actor, screenwriter, director, producer, musician|
|Spouse(s)||Lori Anne Allison (m. 1983–85)|
|Partner(s)||Vanessa Paradis (1998–2012)
Amber Heard (2012–present; engaged)
|This article is part of a series on|
John Christopher "Johnny" Depp II (born June 9, 1963) is an American actor, film producer, and musician. He has won the Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild award for Best Actor. He rose to prominence on the 1980s television series 21 Jump Street, becoming a teen idol.
Since then, Depp has taken on challenging and "larger-than-life" roles, starting with a supporting role in Oliver Stone's Platoon in 1986, then playing the title character in Edward Scissorhands (1990). He later found box office success in Sleepy Hollow (1999), Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) and its sequels, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), Alice in Wonderland (2010) and Rango (2011). He has collaborated on eight films with director and friend Tim Burton.
Depp is regarded as one of the world's biggest movie stars. He has gained worldwide critical acclaim for his portrayals of such people as Ed Wood in Ed Wood, Joseph D. Pistone in Donnie Brasco, Hunter S. Thompson in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, George Jung in Blow, Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean, J.M. Barrie in Finding Neverland, and the Depression Era outlaw John Dillinger in Michael Mann's Public Enemies. Films featuring Depp have grossed over $3.1 billion at the United States box office and over $7.6 billion worldwide. His most commercially successful films are the Pirates of the Caribbean films, which have grossed $3 billion; Alice in Wonderland which grossed $1 billion; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory which grossed $474 million; and The Tourist which grossed $278 million worldwide.
Depp has been nominated for major acting awards, including three nominations for Academy Award for Best Actor. Depp won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. He also has garnered a sex symbol status in American cinema, being twice named as the "Sexiest Man Alive" by People magazine in 2003 and 2009. He has been listed in the 2012 Guinness World Records as the highest paid actor, with $75 million.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Acting career
- 3 Production company
- 4 Other interests
- 5 Personal life
- 6 Controversy
- 7 Awards, nominations and recognitions
- 8 Filmography
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Depp was born in Owensboro, Kentucky in 1963, the youngest of four children of Betty Sue Palmer (née Wells), a waitress, and John Christopher Depp, a civil engineer. Depp moved frequently during his childhood. He and his siblings lived in more than 20 different places, eventually settling in Miramar Florida in 1970. In 1978, when he was 15, Depp's parents divorced. His mother married, as her second husband, Robert Palmer (died 2000), whom Depp has called "an inspiration to me".
With the gift of a guitar from his mother when he was 12, Depp began playing in various garage bands. A year after his parents' divorce, Depp dropped out of high school to become a rock musician. He attempted to go back to school two weeks later, but the principal told him to follow his dream of being a musician. He played with The Kids, a band that enjoyed modest local success. The Kids set out together for Los Angeles in pursuit of a record deal, changing their name to Six Gun Method, but the group split up before signing a record deal. Depp subsequently collaborated with the band Rock City Angels and co-wrote their song "Mary", which appeared on Rock City Angels' debut for Geffen Records titled Young Man's Blues.
On December 24, 1983, Depp married Lori Anne Allison, the sister of his band's bass player and singer. During Depp's marriage, his wife worked as a makeup artist, while he worked a variety of odd jobs, including a telemarketer for pens. His wife introduced him to actor Nicolas Cage, who advised Depp to pursue an acting career. Depp and his wife divorced in 1985. Both Depp and his subsequent fiancé Sherilyn Fenn auditioned for the 1986 film Thrashin'. They were both cast, with Depp being chosen by the film's director to star as the lead, which would have been Depp's second major role. Depp was later turned down by the film's producer, who rejected the director's decision.
Depp starred in a lead role on the Fox television series, 21 Jump Street, which premiered in 1987. He accepted this role to work with actor Frederic Forrest, who inspired him. Depp's long-time friend Sal Jenco joined the cast as a semi-co-star as the janitor named Blowfish. The series' success turned Depp into a popular teen idol during the late 1980s. Despite this success, Depp felt "forced into the role of product." He subsequently decided to appear only in films that he felt were right for him. Depp and his co-stars, Peter DeLuise and Holly Robinson, briefly reprised their roles in cameo appearances in the series' 2012 feature film adaptation, which featured a much more comedic tone than the series.
Depp's first major role was in the 1984 classic horror film A Nightmare on Elm Street, as the boyfriend of heroine Nancy Thompson (played by Heather Langenkamp) and one of Freddy Krueger's victims. The director of the 1986 American skating drama Thrashin' then cast Depp for the film's lead role; however, his decision was later overridden by the film's producer. In 1986, Depp appeared in a secondary role as a Vietnamese-speaking private in Oliver Stone's Platoon. Depp's first release in 1990 was Cry-Baby. Although the film did not achieve high audience numbers upon its initial release, over the years it has gained a cult classic status. Depp's next release that year saw him undertake the quirky title role of Tim Burton's film Edward Scissorhands, a critical and commercial success that established Depp as leading Hollywood actor and began his long association with Burton.
In 1993, Depp continued to receive critical and commercial acclaim. He appeared in Benny & Joon, which became a sleeper hit. He then starred alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in What's Eating Gilbert Grape, a film about a dysfunctional family. In his review of the film, Todd McCarthy of Variety said, "Depp manages to command center screen with a greatly affable, appealing characterization." Depp's final 1993 release was the surrealist comedy-drama Arizona Dream, which opened to positive reviews.
In 1994, Depp played the title role in Tim Burton's comedy-drama biopic, Ed Wood, about one of history's most inept film directors. It received immense critical acclaim, with Janet Maslin of The New York Times writing that Depp had "proved himself as an established, certified great actor" and "captured all the can-do optimism that kept Ed Wood going, thanks to an extremely funny ability to look at the silver lining of any cloud." Depp was nominated for Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for his performance.
In 1995 Depp starred in three films. He played opposite Marlon Brando in the box-office hit Don Juan DeMarco, as a man who believes he is Don Juan, the world's greatest lover. He next appeared in Dead Man, a Western shot entirely in black-and-white; it did poor business and had mixed critical reviews. Depp then appeared in the financial and critical failure Nick of Time, playing an accountant who is told to kill a politician to save his kidnapped daughter.
In 1997, Depp starred alongside Al Pacino in the crime drama Donnie Brasco, directed by Mike Newell. Depp portrayed Joseph D. Pistone, an undercover FBI Agent who assumes the name 'Donnie Brasco' in order to infiltrate the Mob. To research his role, Depp spent time with the real-life Joe Pistone. The film was an immense financial and critical success, and is considered one of Depp's finest performances.
Depp was a fan and longtime friend of writer Hunter S. Thompson. He played a version of Thompson (named Raoul Duke) in 1998's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, based on Thompson's pseudobiographical novel of the same name. Depp accompanied Thompson as his road manager on one of the author's last book tours. In 2006, Depp contributed a foreword to Gonzo: Photographs by Hunter S. Thompson, a posthumous biography published by ammobooks.com. In 2008, he narrated the documentary film Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. Depp paid for most of Thompson's memorial event in the writer's hometown of Aspen, Colorado, where, following Thompson's wishes, fireworks were set off and Thompson's ashes were shot from a cannon. Depp returned to Thompson's work with a film adaptation of the novel The Rum Diary, released in 2011.
Depp has generally chosen roles which he found interesting, rather than those he thought would succeed at the box office. Critics have often described Depp's characters as "iconic loners." Depp has referred to some of his less-successful films as "studio-defined failures" and "box office poison", and that he thought the studios neither understood the films nor did a good job of marketing them.
The 2003 Walt Disney Pictures film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl was a major success, in which Depp's performance as the suave but shambling pirate Captain Jack Sparrow was highly praised. Studio bosses were more ambivalent at first, but the character became popular with the movie-going public. According to a survey taken by Fandango, Depp was a major draw for audiences. The film's director, Gore Verbinski, has said that Depp's character closely resembles the actor's personality, but Depp said he modeled the character after The Rolling Stones' guitarist Keith Richards. Depp was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for the role.
In 2004, Depp was again nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award for his performance as Scottish author J. M. Barrie in the film Finding Neverland. He next starred as Willy Wonka in 2005's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a major box-office success that earned him a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy.
Depp reprised the role of Jack Sparrow in the Pirates sequels Dead Man's Chest (2006), At World's End (2007) and On Stranger Tides (2011), each of which were major successes as well. Depp has said that Sparrow is "definitely a big part of me," and he even voiced the character in the video game Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow.
The swashbuckling sword talents Depp acquired for his role as Sparrow were highlighted in the documentary film Reclaiming the Blade. In the film, swordmaster Bob Anderson shared his experiences working with Depp on the choreography for The Curse of the Black Pearl, and described Depp's abilities as a sword-wielding actor to be "about as good as you can get."
Depp and Gore Verbinski were executive producers of the album Rogues Gallery, Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys. Depp played the title role of Sweeney Todd in Tim Burton's film adaptation of the musical, for which he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. Depp thanked the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and praised Tim Burton for his "unwavering trust and support."
In director Terry Gilliam's 2009 film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell each played the character initially portrayed by their friend Heath Ledger, who died before the film was completed. All three actors gave their salaries to Ledger's daughter, Matilda.
In 2007, Depp accepted Warner Bros.' proposal to make a film version of the gothic soap opera Dark Shadows, which aired on ABC TV from 1966 to 1971. He had been a fan as a child. Depp and Graham King produced the movie with David Kennedy, who ran Dan Curtis Productions inc. until Curtis died in 2006. Depp starred as Tonto in 2013's The Lone Ranger, opposite Armie Hammer as the title character.
Depp will film a documentary about Keith Richards. Depp will star in and produce an adaptation of the comic book Rex Mundi. Depp will collaborate with Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides director Rob Marshall again to create a remake of The Thin Man. Depp plans to star as Carl Kolchak in the project Night Stalker, and has bought rights to the comic book The Vault. Depp will star in the film adaptation of the musical, Into the Woods. His role in the film was originally uncertain because Variety reported that he would play the Baker while The Hollywood Reporter said he would portray the Wolf. On May 10, 2013, a casting notice released by Disney confirmed that Depp will play the Wolf. The film began shooting in September 2013 and will be released on Christmas Day 2014. He will also make a cameo appearance in London Fields. Depp will reprise the role of the Mad Hatter in the sequel to Alice in Wonderland, which is scheduled for a May 2016 release.
Depp stated in a BBC radio interview on July 29, 2013 that he hopes to be involved with "quieter things" at some point in the near future, implying that he will retire from acting. Depp explained in further detail during the interview: "I wouldn't say I'm dropping out any second, but I would say it's probably not too far away. When you add up the amount of dialogue that you say per year and you realise that you've said written words more than you've had a chance to say your own words, you start thinking about that as an insane option for a human being."
Collaborations with Tim Burton
Depp has collaborated with director and close friend Tim Burton in films, beginning with Edward Scissorhands (1990), opposite Winona Ryder and Vincent Price. His next role with Burton was in the 1994 film Ed Wood. Depp later said that "within 10 minutes of hearing about the project, I was committed." At the time, the actor was depressed about films and filmmaking. This part gave him a "chance to stretch out and have some fun"; he said working with Martin Landau "rejuvenated my love for acting". Producer Scott Rudin once said "Basically Johnny Depp is playing Tim Burton in all his movies," although Burton personally disapproved of the comment. Depp, however, agrees with Rudin's statement. According to Depp, Edward Scissorhands represented Burton's inability to communicate as a teenager. Ed Wood reflected Burton's relationship with Vincent Price (very similar to Edward D. Wood, Jr. and Bela Lugosi).
Depp's next venture with Burton was the role of Ichabod Crane in Sleepy Hollow (1999), opposite Christina Ricci. Sleepy Hollow reflected Burton's battle with the Hollywood studio system. For his performance, Depp took inspiration from Angela Lansbury, Roddy McDowall and Basil Rathbone. Depp stated, "I always thought of Ichabod as a very delicate, fragile person who was maybe a little too in touch with his feminine side, like a frightened little girl."
Depp did not work with Burton again until 2005 in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, in which he played Willy Wonka. The film was a box office success and received positive critical reception. Gene Wilder, who played Willy Wonka in the 1971 film, initially criticized this version. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was released in July, followed by Corpse Bride, for which Depp voiced the character Victor Van Dort, in September.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007) followed, bringing Depp his second major award win, the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy as well as his third nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor. Burton first gave him an original cast recording of the 1979 stage musical in 2000. Although not a fan of the musical genre, Depp grew to like the tale's treatment. He cited Peter Lorre in Mad Love (1935) as his main influence for the role, and practiced the songs his character would perform while filming Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. Although he had performed in musical groups, Depp was initially unsure that he would be able to sustain Stephen Sondheim's lyrics. Depp recorded demos and worked with Bruce Witkin to shape his vocals without a qualified voice coach. In the DVD Reviews section, Entertainment Weekly's Chris Nashawaty gave the film an A minus, stating, "Depp's soaring voice makes you wonder what other tricks he's been hiding ... Watching Depp's barber wield his razors ... it's hard not to be reminded of Edward Scissorhands frantically shaping hedges into animal topiaries 18 years ago ... and all of the twisted beauty we would've missed out on had [Burton and Depp] never met." In his introduction to Burton on Burton, a book of interviews with the director, Depp called Burton "... a brother, a friend, ... and [a] brave soul". The next Depp-Burton collaboration was Alice in Wonderland (2010). Depp played the Mad Hatter alongside Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway and Alan Rickman. In 2012, he starred in the Burton-directed Dark Shadows, a film based on the 1966–1971 gothic soap opera of the same name, alongside fellow Tim Burton regular Helena Bonham Carter, as well as Michelle Pfeiffer and Eva Green.
In 2004, Depp formed his production company Infinitum Nihil to develop projects where he will serve as actor and/or producer. Depp is the founder and CEO, while his sister, Christi Dembrowski, serves as president. The company's first production came in 2011 with The Rum Diary, adapted from the novel of the same name by Hunter S. Thompson. The film is written and directed by Bruce Robinson. Also in 2011, Hugo, directed by Martin Scorsese, was released. Dark Shadows, directed by Tim Burton, was released in 2012.
As a guitar player, Depp has played slide guitar on the Oasis song "Fade In-Out" (from Be Here Now, 1997), as well as on "Fade Away (Warchild Version)" (b-side of the "Don't Go Away" single). He also played acoustic guitar in the movie Chocolat and on the soundtrack to Once Upon a Time in Mexico. He is a friend of The Pogues' Shane MacGowan, and performed on MacGowan's first solo album. He was also a member of P, a group featuring Butthole Surfers singer Gibby Haynes, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea and Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones. He has appeared in Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers' music video "Into the Great Wide Open" and The Lemonheads "It's a Shame About Ray" music video. He made a cameo as the Mad Hatter in the music video for Avril Lavigne's "Alice" in 2010. He performed lead guitar and drums for a cover of Carly Simon's "You're So Vain", which appeared as a bonus track on some editions of Marilyn Manson's 2012 album Born Villain., also performing live with Marilyn Manson in the Revolver Golden Gods Awards 2012, performing various songs of Marilyn Manson. He also appeared in the music video of "My Valentine" from the album Kisses on the Bottom by Paul McCartney released in February 2012, along with Natalie Portman.
Winemaker and restaurateur
Depp and Paradis grew grapes and had wine making facilities in their vineyard in Plan-de-la-Tour north of Saint-Tropez. Along with Sean Penn, John Malkovich and Mick Hucknall, Depp co-owned the French restaurant-bar Man Ray, located near the Champs-Élysées.
Family and relationships
Depp was married to Lori Anne Allison from 1983 to 1985. He was later successively engaged to actresses Jennifer Grey and Sherilyn Fenn in the late 1980s before proposing in 1990 to his Edward Scissorhands co-star Winona Ryder, for whom he tattooed "WINONA FOREVER" on his right arm. In 1998, following a four-year relationship with British supermodel Kate Moss, Depp began a relationship with Vanessa Paradis, a French actress and singer whom he met while filming The Ninth Gate. After months of media speculation, Depp and Paradis announced their separation in June 2012. Depp has been dating actress and model Amber Heard since 2012 after the pair met on the set of the film The Rum Diary. The couple became engaged on Christmas Eve in 2013.
Depp has two children with Paradis: daughter Lily-Rose Melody Depp (born 1999), and son John "Jack" Christopher Depp III (born 2002). In 2007, Depp's daughter recovered from a serious illness, an E. coli infection that began to cause her kidneys to shut down and resulted in an extended hospital stay. To thank Great Ormond Street Hospital, Depp visited the hospital in November 2007, dressed in his Captain Jack Sparrow outfit, and spent four hours reading stories to the children. In 2008 he donated £1 million (about $2 million) to the hospital.
Although Depp has not remarried, he has stated that having children has given him "real foundation, a real strong place to stand in life, in work, in everything." "You can't plan the kind of deep love that results in children. Fatherhood was not a conscious decision. It was part of the wonderful ride I was on. It was destiny. All the math finally worked." Depp acquired a vineyard estate in the Plan-de-la-Tour area in 2007. Several reports indicated Depp bought Burnham Westgate Hall in Norfolk, England, a 13-bedroom Georgian country house, in June 2011.
In 2012, Depp was sued alongside three security firms by disabled UC Irvine medical professor Robin Eckert, who claimed to have been attacked by his bodyguards at a concert in Los Angeles in 2011. Eckert suffered injuries including a dislocated elbow in the attack, during which she was allegedly hand-cuffed and dragged 40 feet across the floor. She argued in court that as the security guards' direct manager, Depp failed to intervene, even though he did not actively take part in the battery. In October 2012, it was decided that Eckert could seek compensation and punitive damages from Depp, with a trial date set for August 12, 2013. Depp ultimately settled with Eckert for an undisclosed sum.
On October 16, 2011 episode of Larry King Live, when asked by Larry King if he had faith, Depp replied, "Yes. I have faith in my kids. And I have—I have faith, you know, that as long as you keep moving forward, just keep walking forward, things will be all right, I suppose, you know. Faith in terms of religion, I don't—religion is not my specialty, you know."
Depp has around 13 tattoos, many of them signifying important persons or events in his life. They include a Native American in profile and a ribbon reading "Wino Forever" (originally "Winona Forever", altered after his breakup with Winona Ryder) on his right biceps, "Lily-Rose" (his daughter's name) over his heart, "Betty Sue" (his mother's name) on his left biceps, and a sparrow flying over water with the word "Jack" (his son's name; the sparrow is flying towards him rather than away from him as it is in Pirates of the Caribbean) on his right forearm.
Comments on U.S.
In 2003, Depp told Germany's Stern magazine, "America is dumb, is something like a dumb puppy that has big teeth—that can bite and hurt you, aggressive." Although he later asserted that the magazine misquoted him and the quotation was taken out of context, Stern stood by its story, as did CNN.com in its coverage of the interview. CNN added his remark that he would like his children "to see America as a toy, a broken toy. Investigate it a little, check it out, get this feeling and then get out." The July 17, 2006 edition of Newsweek reprinted the "dumb puppy" quotation, verbatim, in the context of a Letter to the Magazine. Depp has also disagreed with subsequent media reports that perceived him as a "European wannabe", saying that he likes the anonymity of living in France and his simpler life there.
In 2011, Depp became a U.S. resident again, because France wanted him to become a permanent resident, which he said would require him to pay income tax in both countries.
Claims of Native American ancestry and Comanche adoption
In a 2002 interview, Depp stated that he believed he has Native American ancestry; in 2011, he specified, "I guess I have some Native American [in me] somewhere down the line. My great-grandmother was quite a bit of Native American, she grew up Cherokee or maybe Creek Indian. Makes sense in terms of coming from Kentucky, which is rife with Cherokee and Creek." He has also stated that he "apparently" has Native American ancestry, and that "There are so many different things you're told [growing up] in Kentucky" [about his heritage]. His claims of Native ancestry came under question when Indian Country Today Media Network stated that Depp has never inquired about his heritage nor does the Cherokee Nation recognize him as a member.
Depp was adopted as an honorary son by LaDonna Harris, a member of the Comanche Nation, on May 22, 2012, making him an honorary member of Harris' family, but not an enrolled member of the Nation. Harris, president of Americans for Indian Opportunity, invited him to join her family after hearing he would be portraying the role of Tonto as a Comanche in the 2013 feature film The Lone Ranger. The ceremony took place at Harris' home; Comanche Nation Tribal Administrator Johnny Wauqua was in attendance. Depp was presented with gifts by the family, which he then presented to the attendees, as per tradition. In 2013, Indian Country Today Media Network questioned whether "Tonto's Giant Nuts" (credited in the 2003 movie Once Upon a Time in Mexico), the name of Johnny Depp's band, was a wise choice given the actor's role as Tonto. Critical response from the Native community also included satirical portrayals of Depp by leading Native comedians.
Controversy arose over both the adoption and Depp's portrayal of Tonto, a Native American character, in The Lone Ranger as Depp was not raised in, nor does he have confirmable ancestry from, any Native American community, though he has said he 'guesses' he may have some distant Cherokee or Creek ancestry.
Awards, nominations and recognitions
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- Citations – books
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Johnny Depp.|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Johnny Depp|
- Johnny Depp at the Internet Movie Database
- Johnny Depp at People.com
- Johnny Depp collected news and commentary at The Guardian
- Johnny Depp collected news and commentary at The New York Times
- Works by or about Johnny Depp in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Johnny Depp at the Notable Names Database