Born John Christopher Depp II on 9th June 1963 in Owensboro, Kentucky, Johnny is the youngest of four children to waitress Betty Sue Palmer and civil engineer John Christopher Depp. Johnny had a somewhat turbulent childhood; his family frequently moved when he was a child, eventually settling in Miramar, Florida. His parents divorced when he was 15 years old. He studied at Miramar High School but he dropped out shortly after his parents divorce. Unfortunately the young teen occasionally found himself in trouble with the law thanks to his recreational drug and underage alcohol use.
A PASSION FOR MUSIC
As a teen, Johnny also discovered a passion for music. He taught himself to play the guitar and performed around Florida’s club circuit with local rock band, The Kids. He achieved moderate success with this band including opening for Iggy Pop. Johnny later moved to Los Angeles where he met his wife, Lori Allison, who introduced him to actor Nicolas Cage. Identiying Johnny’s potential as an actor, Nicolas helped the young man land his first role in Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street in 1984 marking the start of what would be a varied and successful career.
With his matinee idol looks, it wasn’t long before Johnny got his first acting break. After a few low-profile leads and bit-parts in the likes of Platoon (1986), he landed his breakthrough role on the television series 21 Jump Street in 1987, a mere 3 years after his acting debut. Starring in 80 episodes, 21 Jump Street made Johnny a star, with the actor instantly becoming a favorite among teen audiences. However, he resented his newfound status and was keen to shake his teen reputation with increasingly unique roles. His desire to challenge himself lead him to director Tim Burton who cast Johnny as the titular Edward Scissorhands in his 1990 film. The film was a critical and commercial success, earning Johnny his first Golden Globe nomination and marking the start of a string of collaborations between the director and star.
JOHNNY DEPP AND DIRECTOR TIM BURTON
Johnny continued to impress with a slew of diverse roles including performances in Benny and Joon (1993), acclaimed drama What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? (1993), crime biopic Donnie Brasco (1997), and Terry Gilliam’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), but it was his work with Burton that largely defined his early career with the actor earning another Golden Globe nomination for his work in Ed Wood (1994), and box office success with a starring turn in Sleepy Hollow (1999). The duo’s collaborations would prove to be even more prolific in the 2000’s with the releases of box office hits Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), Corpse Bride (2005), Sweeney Todd (2007), and Alice in Wonderland (2010), the latter of which made over $1 billion at the worldwide box office.
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN
Johnny’s most iconic role however,would be under a different director, with the actor appearing as Jack Sparrow in the Disney adventure Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (2003). The film was a box office smash, and for the first time in his career, Johnny became a blockbuster star earning him a legion of new admirers, a Golden Globe nomination, and his first Oscar nomination. It transformed him into one of cinema’s most popular actors, which he swiftly capitalized on with yet more acclaimed performances in Finding Neverland (2004); for which he earned his second Oscar nomination, and crime biopic Public Enemies (2009). He reprised the role of Jack Sparrow for the back-to-back sequels Dead Man’s Chest (2006), and At World’s End (2007), and has recently reunited with Pirates director Gore Verbinski for children’s animation Rango (2011). He will next be seen in the highly anticipated Pirates sequel On Stranger Tides (2011).
Johnny’s drug and alcohol use frequently resurfaced early in his acting career, and a few arrests for violence and destruction of property earned the actor a reputation as one of cinema’s bad boys. His passion for music has also continued to play a major part in his life with the star forming another band, P, and performing on recordings by Oasis and Shane McGowan. Johnny has had several high profile relationships, but has only been married once; to Lori Allison (1983-1985). He has previously dated Kate Moss, and actresses Jennifer Grey, and Winona Ryder, whose name he has famously tattooed on his arm. He is currently in a relationship with Vanessa Paradis whom he has dated since 1998 and shares 2 children; daughter Lily-Rose (born 1999), and son Jack (born 2002). Johnny is currently represented by United Talent Agency.
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