John Christopher Depp III was born June 9, 1963, in Owensboro, Kentucky. The son of John Christopher, a city engineer and Betty Sue Palmer, a waitress and homemaker (Depp has a tattoo of his mother's name on his left arm), young Johnny relocated to Florida, with his three older siblings. The family moved to Florida shortly after the death of Depp's grandfather, with whom the future actor was very close.

Never the studious teenager and even more distraught by the divorce of his parents, Depp delved into the world of experimental drugs, and picked up a whole new passion: the guitar. The high-school dropout spent his days playing guitar in a garage band, after he taught himself how to play with the instrument his mother bought him.

on fire and rocking

Depp joined a rock band called The Flame, with whom he toured the Florida nightclub circuit. The Flame eventually dubbed themselves the Kids, and the band was hired as the opening act on an Iggy Pop tour. Hoping to strike a chord as famous rockers, the Kids moved to Los Angeles. Depp took a job selling ballpoint pens over the phone in order to support himself, but he and his fellow rockers decided to break up and move on.

Bigger and better things awaited Depp, who at the time was married to makeup artist Lori Allison. Their marriage was short-lived, but it did lead to something: Lori introduced Johnny to Nicolas Cage, who saw star potential in the young Depp. Thanks to their encounter, Depp was cast in his feature film debut, in the slasher Nightmare on Elm Street, in 1984.

After a starring role in the campy Private Resort, a bit part in 1986's Platoon, and acting lessons at L.A.'s Loft Studio, Depp was cast as Officer Tom Hanson in the teen crime drama, 21 Jump Street. Depp initially refused the role, but eventually accepted it and remained on the show -- and on the cover of every teen magazine -- for 3 years. To his dismay, Depp became a heartthrob posted on the wall of every teenage girl, a role he wanted no part in.

cutting away at fame

Depp was given the opportunity to prove his worth as the eccentric title role in Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands, in 1990. He starred in Cry-Baby that same year, and even made an appearance in the final installment of Nightmare on Elm Street, Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare, in which he was credited as Oprah Noodlemantra.

The brooding actor made it a point to always take on different characterizations. He certainly never became pigeonholed, despite the oddball, wacky characters he usually portrayed, as seen in 1993's Benny & Joon and 1994's Ed Wood. Depp made Hollywood and critics take notice with his incredible portrayal of a guy tired of his small-town lifestyle in 1993's What's Eating Gilbert Grape.

While his work in 1995's Don Juan DeMarco and Nick of Time didn't garner much attention, Depp was highly praised for his turn as an FBI undercover agent who infiltrates the mob opposite Al Pacino, in 1997's Donnie Brasco. He also took time to write, direct and star in The Brave that year.

In 1998, Depp starred as the alter ego of buddy Hunter S. Thompson in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, co-starring Benicio Del Toro, and tried his hand at sci-fi in 1999's The Astronaut's Wife, along with gorgeous Charlize Theron. He re-teamed with Tim Burton to star in the magnificently gothic adaptation of the Halloween legend, 1999's Sleepy Hollow, in a brilliant portrayal of constable Ichabod Crane.

Depp began the year with roles in The Man Who Cried (co-starring good friend Christina Ricci), Before Night Falls, and the small film that could, Chocolat, as a gypsy who falls for Juliette Binoche.

a deep black book

While Depp has had his share of beautiful co-stars, he also had a wide variety of leading ladies in his own life, such as ex-fiancées Sherilyn Fenn, Jennifer Grey and Winona Ryder, with whom he was engaged for three years. The tattoo in honor of his Edward Scissorhands co-star once read Winona Forever; it has since been laser-altered to read Wino Forever. Besides Winona, Depp's most famous ex-fiancée is Kate Moss. Depp and the waifish model were engaged from 1995 to 1997, and had an on again, off again relationship.

Depp presently shares a house in France with Vanessa Paradis, a French actress and singer, and the mother of their daughter, Lily-Rose Melody, born in 1999. The only reason Depp is ever away from home is in order to fulfill his film contracts; he loves his daughter so much that he doesn't even keep a picture of her in his wallet, for fear of it crinkling.

Despite Depp's critical acclaim as an actor, he has surprisingly never won an Oscar, although he has been honored with the 1990 ShoWest Male Star of Tomorrow award, the 1996 London Critics Circle Actor of the Year award for Ed Wood and the 1998 Honorary Cesar.

And even with Depp's acclaim as one of his generation's best actors, his name has had its share of tabloid smears, especially after River Phoenix died of a drug overdose in 1993 outside the Viper Room, the club Depp owns. Depp also became tabloid fodder when he was arrested for trashing the presidential suite of a Manhattan hotel in 1994 -- he finally paid over $2,000 worth of damages.

His bad rep behind him, Depp got rave reviews for his portrayal of George Jung in 2001's Blow. He rounded up 2001 with the Jack the Ripper film, From Hell, alongside Heather Graham, and will next be seen in Robert Rodriguez's Once Upon a Time in Mexico.

What else do you need to know?

overall rating

Johnny Depp is an actor who takes his job seriously. He knows the ins and outs of life in Hollywood (maybe that is why he moved to Europe with his girlfriend) and doesn't let himself get caught up in the hype machine.

He does whatever he likes and has so far enjoyed a successful career on the big screen. His films do well with audiences and critics alike. Furthermore, he constantly tries to mix it up and try his hand at different roles to broaden his repertoire.

He's had his share of crazy times and has been in the tabloids more than he cares to remember, but he's emerged from his run-ins virtually unscathed.

Johnny gives each role his full effort and we would not be surprised if he wins an Oscar some time soon.

personality & talent

Johnny Depp is the mysterious type. He isn't a big talker and when he does have something to say, it's usually short and sweet. He isn't an easy fellow to pin down and he's somewhat elusive, which just adds to the mystery that is Depp.

Depp comes across as the brooding type, but he is much more congenial than he looks. He's a movie star yet doesn't look like one. Low-key may be the best way to describe him. However, he has had his wild times. He once trashed a swanky hotel room in New York and has thrown the occasional punch at the paparazzi.

Like many actors in Hollywood, he started his career with light fare, but worked hard to become one of the better actors of his generation. Roles in movies such as Donnie Brasco and Edward Scissorhands have allowed his talent to shine through.

woman magnetism

He's mysterious, brooding and a movie star. He once played guitar in a band (quite well, apparently), and he owns the infamous Viper Room, a club in Los Angeles. Is it a wonder that women flock to him? Heck, he's had more ex-fiancées than most guys have had girlfriends.

The fact that he's attached and has a child does not seem to deter the legions of adoring females that want to get deep with Depp.

accomplishments & fame

Johnny Depp once said of himself: "I'm not Mr. Blockbuster." Nonetheless, his movies usually fare quite well with audiences and critics alike, only not always in tandem.

His starring role on 21 Jump Street made him a sensation among teenage girls and paved the way for more serious roles in film.

He snagged a small part in Oliver Stone's Oscar-winning Vietnam film, "Platoon" (alongside Charlie Sheen), before moving on to leading roles in other big-budget movies.

He drew praise for his performances in Donnie Brasco (alongside Al Pacino), Ed Wood, What's Eating Gilbert Grape and his almost silent tour-de-force, Edward Scissorhands. He's also done well in a few romantic roles, playing Don Juan DeMarco (alongside Marlon Brando) in the film of the same name, and more recently with Juliette Binoche in Chocolat.

Johnny Depp has proven himself to be a very talented and flexible actor who isn't afraid of a challenge. Although he's slowed down a little since the birth of his daughter, expect to see more Johnny in the years to come as he matures professionally.

coolness factor

Johnny Depp simply exudes coolness. Think cool and Depp comes to mind for some reason, much like Lenny Kravitz does. He's not a rebel but does march to his own beat. Perhaps it is his quirks and laid-back style that set him apart from the Hollywood rabble; whatever it is, there is definitely something about Johnny that says cool.

personal style

Johnny prefers to dress casually, some would even say sloppily. He wears jeans and leather pants with open shirts. He is also big on leather jackets and tends to wear his hair long.

He also wears beaded bracelets and necklaces mixed in with his more common leather baubles. He looks good in a suit or tux, but rare is the occasion when Johnny sees the need for such formality.

That Johnny gives us free rein in the VIP room at the Viper Room for a weekend. Ladies, drinks are on the house!

Movies:

  • Sin City 3 (2008) (in production) (rumored)
  • The Rum Diary (2009) (announced)
  • Sin City 2 (2009) (pre-production) (rumored)
  • Shantaram (2008) (pre-production)
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007) (completed)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow (2006
  • Corpse Bride (2005) (voice))
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)
  • The Libertine (2004)
  • Finding Neverland (2004)
  • Ils se marièrent et eurent beaucoup d'enfants (2004)
  • Secret Window (2004)
  • Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
  • From Hell (2001)
  • Blow (2001)
  • Chocolat (2000)
  • Before Night Falls (2000)
  • The Man Who Cried (2000)
  • Sleepy Hollow (1999)
  • The Astronaut's Wife (1999)
  • The Ninth Gate (1999)
  • L.A. Without a Map (1998)
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
  • The Brave (1997)
  • Donnie Brasco (1997)
  • Nick of Time (1995)
  • Dead Man (1995)
  • Don Juan DeMarco (1995)
  • Ed Wood (1994)
  • What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)
  • Benny & Joon (1993)
  • Arizona Dream (1993)
  • Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)
  • Edward Scissorhands (1990)
  • Cry-Baby (1990)
  • Platoon (1986)
  • Private Resort (1985)
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

 
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