"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 Depp
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." Johnny Depp.
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 teen magazines.
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 Hallström'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 Hallström'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