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John Christopher "Johnny" Depp II (born June 9, 1963) is an American actor and musician known for his portrayals of offbeat, eccentric characters such as Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, Raoul Duke in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Sam in Benny & Joon.

Depp rose to prominence in a lead role on the television series 21 Jump Street and quickly became regarded as a teen idol. Uncomfortable with that characterization, he turned his focus to film roles that he felt were right. He initially came to film prominence as the titular character of Edward Scissorhands, and later found box office success in roles such as Ichabod Crane in Sleepy Hollow, Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series and his role as the quirky Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

He has collaborated with director and close friend Tim Burton in seven films, the most recent of which include Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007) and the upcoming Alice in Wonderland. Depp has garnered acclaim for his portrayals of real life figures such as Edward Wood, Jr., in Ed Wood, Joseph D. Pistone in Donnie Brasco and George Jung in Blow (2001). More recently, he portrayed legendary bank robber John Dillinger in Michael Mann's 2009 film Public Enemies.

Films featuring Depp have grossed over $2.3 billion at the United States box office and over $4.8 billion worldwide. Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor three times, Screen Actors Guild Awards four times and Golden Globe Awards eight times, Depp won the Best Actor Awards from the Golden Globes for his role in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and from the Screen Actors Guild for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.

Background

Early life

Depp was born in Owensboromarker, Kentuckymarker, the son of Betty Sue Palmer (née Wells), a waitress, and John Christopher Depp, Sr., a civil engineer. He has one brother, Danny, and two sisters, Christie (now his personal manager) and Debbie. Depp has German, Cherokee (mostly from a great-grandmother), and Irish ancestry. According to biographies, the Depp family originated with a French Huguenot, Pierre Deppe or Dieppe, who settled in Virginiamarker around 1700. Depp stated he did not know the origin of his surname and joked about the name translating to "idiot" in German. The family moved frequently during Depp's childhood, and he and his siblings lived in more than 20 different locations, settling in Miramar, Floridamarker, in 1970. In 1978, Depp's parents divorced. He engaged in self-harm as a child, due to the stress of dealing with family problems and his own insecurity. He has seven or eight scars from practicing self-harm. In a 1993 interview, he explained his self-injury by saying, "My body is a journal in a way. It's like what sailors used to do, where every tattoo meant something, a specific time in your life when you make a mark on yourself, whether you do it yourself with a knife or with a professional tattoo artist".

1980s

Depp's mother bought her son a guitar when he was 12, and Depp began playing in various garage bands. His first band was in honor of his girlfriend, Meredith. A year after his parents' divorce, Depp dropped out of high school to become a rock musician. As he once explained on Inside the Actors Studio, 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 Angelesmarker in pursuit of a record deal, changing their name to Six Gun Method. The group split 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, a makeup artist and 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 ink pens. Later, his wife introduced him to actor Nicolas Cage, who advised Depp to pursue an acting career. In 1985, Depp and Allison divorced. After his marriage ended, Depp dated and was engaged to Sherilyn Fenn (whom he met on the set of the 1985 short film Dummies).

1990s and 2000s

In 1994, Depp was arrested and questioned by police for allegedly causing serious damage to a New York City hotel suite. Since 1998, following a relationship with British supermodel Kate Moss, Depp has had a relationship with Vanessa Paradis, a French actress and singer whom he met while filming The Ninth Gate. He was arrested again in 1999 for brawling with paparazzi outside a restaurant while dining in London with Paradis.

The couple have two children. Daughter Lily-Rose Melody Depp was born May 27, 1999, and son John "Jack" Christopher Depp III was born April 9, 2002. In 2007, his 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 Hospitalmarker, Depp visited the hospital in November 2007 dressed in his Captain Jack Sparrow outfit and spent 4 hours reading stories to the children. He later donated £1 million (about $2 million) to the hospital in early 2008.

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; kismet. All the math finally worked." The family divides its time between their home in Meudon, located in the suburbs of Paris, Los Angeles, and their villa in Le Plan-de-la-Tour, a small town an hour and a half from Saint-Tropezmarker, in the south of France. Depp also acquired a vineyard estate in the Plan-de-la-Tour area in 2007.

Depp has 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.

In 2003, Depp comments about the United States appeared in Germany's Stern magazine, commenting that "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, within the context of a Letter to the Magazine. Depp has also disagreed with subsequent media reports that he says paint him as a "European wannabe", saying that he just likes the anonymity of living in France and his simpler life there.

Career

Television

Depp starred in a lead role on the Fox TV television series, 21 Jump Street, which premiered in 1987. Depp accepted this role because he was not getting much work in the business and wanted to work with actor Frederic Forrest, who inspired him. Later in the season, 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. He found the teen-idol status an irritant, noting that he felt "forced into the role of product" and that it was "a very uncomfortable situation and I didn't get a handle on it and it wasn't on my terms at all." Depp promised himself that after his contract on the series expired, he would only appear in films that he felt were right for him.

Film roles

Depp's first major role was in the 1984 horror film A Nightmare on Elm Street, playing the heroine's boyfriend and one of Freddy's victims. In 1986, he also appeared in a secondary role as a Vietnamese-speaking private in Oliver Stone's Platoon. Depp then left his teen idol image in 1990, playing the quirky title role in the Tim Burton film, Edward Scissorhands. The film's success began a long association with Burton. Depp, an avid fan and long-time friend of writer Hunter S. Thompson, played a version of Thompson (named Raoul Duke) in 1998's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, based on the writer's pseudobiographical novel of the same name. Depp also accompanied Thompson as his road manager on one of the author's last book tours. In 2006, Depp contributed a personal foreword to Gonzo by Hunter S. Thompson, a posthumous visual biography of the writer's legacy published by ammobooks.com. A close friend of Thompson's, Depp paid for most of Thompson's memorial event, complete with fireworks and the shooting of Thompson's ashes by a cannon, in Aspen, Coloradomarker, where Thompson lived.

Depp's film characters have been described by the press as "iconic loners," and Depp has noted that this period of his career was full of "studio defined failures" and films that were "box office poison," stating that he believes film studios never "understood" the films he appeared in and did not know how to market them properly. Depp has also said that he specifically chose to appear in films that he found personally interesting, rather than those he thought would succeed at the box office.

Depp's status as a major star was solidified with the success of the 2003 Walt Disney Pictures film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, for which his lead performance as the suave pirate Captain Jack Sparrow was highly praised. The performance was initially received negatively by the studio bosses who saw the film, but the character became popular with the movie-going public; in 2006, Depp's co-star from the sequel to Pirates of the Caribbean, Bill Nighy, described the role as probably being "one of the most popular performances of recent times." According to a survey taken by Fandango, Depp was also considered to be one of the main reasons audiences wanted to see the movie. The film's director, Gore Verbinski, has said that Depp's Jack Sparrow character closely resembles Depp's own personality, although Depp himself said that he modelled the character after Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards. Depp, who has noted that he was "surprised" and "touched" at the positive reception given to the film, was nominated for an Academy Award for the role. In 2004, he was again nominated for a Best Actor Oscar, this time for playing Scottish author J. M. Barrie in the film Finding Neverland. Depp next starred as Willy Wonka in the 2005 film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which was a major success at the box office.

Depp returned to the character of Jack Sparrow for the sequel Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, which opened on July 7, 2006 and grossed $135.5 million in the first three days of its U.S. release, breaking a box office record in reaching the highest weekend tally ever. The next sequel to Pirates of the Caribbean, At World's End, was released May 24, 2007; Depp has mentioned his attachment to his Captain Jack Sparrow character, specifying that Sparrow is "definitely a big part of me", and expressing his desire to portray the character in further sequels. Depp voiced Sparrow in the video game, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow. Johnny Depp's swashbuckling sword talents as developed for the character of Jack Sparrow, were highlighted in the documentary film Reclaiming The Blade. Within the film Sword-master Bob Anderson shared his experiences working with Johnny Depp on the choreography. Anderson who also trained Errol Flynn, another famous Hollywood pirate, described in the film Depp's ability as an actor to pick up the sword to be, "about as good as you can get."

Depp and Gore Verbinski are 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 Sweeney Todd, for which he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. The traditional ceremony for the 65th Golden Globe Awards did not take place due to the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike. Depp thanked the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and praised Tim Burton for his "unwavering trust and support."

As a child, Depp was obsessed with Dark Shadows, a gothic-themed soap opera that aired on ABC from 1966 to 1971. As a result, he accepted Warner Brothers proposal to make a film version of the show. In July 2007, a rights deal was struck with the estate of Dan Curtis, the show's producer/director. Depp and Graham King will produce the movie with David Kennedy, who ran Dan Curtis Productions inc. until Curtis died in 2006. Depp will also appear in a film version of writer Hunter S. Thompson's book, The Rum Diary, portraying the main character Paul Kemp. Depp's production company has also picked up the rights to the story of poisoned former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko. Depp signed on to play one incarnation of the Heath Ledger character in the 2009 film, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus along with Jude Law and Colin Farrell. All three actors gave their salaries from the film to Ledger's daughter, Matilda. In upcoming films, he will portray the Mad Hatter in Burton's Alice in Wonderland and Tonto in a future Lone Ranger film. Disney Studios also announced that a fourth installment of the Pirates series is in development, in which Depp would reprise his Captain Jack Sparrow role.

Collaboration with Tim Burton

Depp has collaborated with director and close friend Tim Burton in seven films, beginning with his breakout role in 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. By accepting this part it gave him a "chance to stretch out and have some fun", and working with 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 with Edward D. Wood Jr. and Bela Lugosi).
Depp's next venture with Burton was the role of Ichabod Crane in the dark Sleepy Hollow (1999), opposite Christina Ricci. Sleepy Hollow showcased Ichabod's feelings that reflects 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 the 2005 release of two films, the first of which was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Depp modeled the character's hair on Anna Wintour. The film was a box office success and received positive critical reaction, although Gene Wilder, who played Willy Wonka in the 1971 film, initially opposed 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 for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy as well as a 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 genre, Depp grew to like the tale's musical treatment, commenting "How many chances do you get at a musical about a serial killer?" 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 demo of himself in West Hollywood, working with Bruce Witkin to shape his vocals without a qualified voice coach. In the DVD Reviews section, EW'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."

He has referred to working with Burton as "coming home", and he wrote the introduction to Burton on Burton, a book of interviews with the director, in which he called Burton "...a brother, a friend,...and [a] brave soul". The next Depp-Burton collaboration is the upcoming Alice in Wonderland (2010). Depp will play the Mad Hatter alongside long time collaborator Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway and Alan Rickman.

Other interests

Music

Depp backstage at the Ahmanson Theatre on December 31, 2006
As a guitar player, Depp has recorded a solo album, 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). As well, he 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. As well, he was a member of P, a group featuring Butthole Surfers singer Gibby Haynes and Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea. He has appeared in Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers' music video "Into the Great Wide Open".

Winemaker and restaurateur

Depp and Paradis grow grapes and have wine making facilities in their vineyard in Plan-de-la-Tour north of Saint-Tropez. Known for a fondness of French wines, among Depp's favorites are the Bordeaux wines Château Calon-Ségur, Château Cheval-Blanc and Château Pétrus, and the Burgundy wine Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. Interviewed in Madame Figaro, Depp stated, "With those wines, you reach nirvana". Along with Sean Penn, John Malkovich and Mick Hucknall, Depp co-owns the Parisian restaurant-bar Man Ray, located near the Champs-Élyséesmarker.

Awards and nominations

Some of the awards that Depp has won include honors from the London Film Critics Circle (1996), Russian Guild of Film Critics (1998), Screen Actors Guild Awards (2004) and a Golden Globe for Best Actor. At the 2008 MTV Movie Awards, he won the award for "Best Villain" for his portrayal of Sweeney Todd and "Best Comedic Performance" for Jack Sparrow. Depp has been nominated for three Academy Awards, in 2004 for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, in 2005 for Finding Neverland, and in 2008 for Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Depp won his first Golden Globe for his portrayal of Sweeney Todd in 2008.

Filmography

Year Film Role Notes
1984 A Nightmare on Elm Street Glen Lantz
1985 Private Resort Jack Marshall
1986 Platoon Private Gator Lerner
1990 Cry-Baby Wade "Cry-Baby" Walker
Edward Scissorhands Edward Scissorhands Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1991 Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare Teen on TV Cameo (as Oprah Noodlemantra)
1992 Stuff only director short film
1993 What's Eating Gilbert Grape Gilbert Grape
Benny & Joon Sam Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Arizona Dream Axel Blackmar
1994 Ed Wood Edward D. Wood, Jr. London Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor also for Don Juan DeMarco

Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1995 Nick of Time Gene Watson
Dead Man William Blake
Don Juan DeMarco Don Juan/John R. DeMarco London Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor also for Ed Wood
1996 Cannes Man Himself
1997 Donnie Brasco Donnie Brasco / Joseph D. Pistone Nominated — Chlotrudis Award for Best Actor
The Brave Raphael Director and writer

Nominated — Best Actor Award
1998 Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Raoul Duke playing Hunter S. Thompson
L.A. Without a Map Himself / William Blake Cameo
1999 Sleepy Hollow Ichabod Crane Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy

Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Actor
The Astronaut's Wife Spencer Armacost
The Source Jack Kerouac Documentary film
The Ninth Gate Dean Corso
2000 Chocolat Roux Also musician: guitar

Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Before Night Falls Lt. Victor, Bon Bon
2001 From Hell Frederick Abberline Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Actor
The Man Who Cried Cesar (Limited release)
Blow George Jung
2002 Lost in La Mancha Himself Uncredited role
2003 Once Upon a Time in Mexico Sheldon Sands Composer: theme, "Sands' Theme"

Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl Captain Jack Sparrow Empire Award for Best Actor

Irish Film Award for Best International Actor

Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actor

Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role

Nominated — Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor

Nominated — Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor

Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy

Nominated — Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor

Nominated — Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor

Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy

Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Actor

Nominated — Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
2004 Happily Ever After L'inconnu Cameo
Finding Neverland Sir James Matthew Barrie Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actor

Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role

Nominated — Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor

Nominated — Empire Award for Best Actor

Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama

Nominated — London Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor

Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama

Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Actor

Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Secret Window Mort Rainey
2005 The Libertine John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester Nominated — British Independent Film Award for Best Actor
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Willy Wonka Empire Award for Best Actor

Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy

Nominated — Irish Film Award for Best International Actor

Nominated — London Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
Tim Burton's Corpse Bride Victor Van Dort voice role
2006 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest Captain Jack Sparrow Empire Award for Best Actor

Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy

Nominated — National Movie Award for Performance – Male
2007 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End Captain Jack Sparrow
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street Sweeney Todd / Benjamin Barker Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy

National Movie Award for Performance – Male

Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actor

Nominated — Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor

Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Actor
2008 Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson Narrator
2009 Public Enemies John Dillinger
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus Tony (1st transformation)
When You're Strange Narrator
2010 The Rum Diary Paul Kemp Also producer

post-production
Alice in Wonderland Mad Hatter post-production
2011 Rango Rango (voice) post-production


Television

Year Production Role Notes
1985 Lady Blue Lionel Viland Episode: "Beasts of Prey"
1986 Slow Burn Donnie Fleischer TV-Movie
1987-1991 21 Jump Street Officer Thomas "Tom" Hanson, Jr. TV series (57 episodes)
1987 Hotel Rob Cameron Episode: "Unfinished Business"
1999 The Vicar of Dibley Himself Episode: "Celebrity Party"
2000 The Fast Show Himself Episode: "The Last Ever Fast Show "
2004 King of the Hill Yogi Victor (voice) Episode: "Hank's Back"
2009 SpongeBob SquarePants Jack Kahuna Laguna (voice) Episode: "SpongeBob vs. The Big One"
2009 Ugly Betty Anthony Hartley Episode: Only Character Name Announced


References

External links




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