Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp

Early Life

John Christopher Depp II, better known as Johnny Depp, is the youngest of four children. He was born on June 9th 9th 1963 in Owensboro, Kentucky. However, his family started moving around a lot when he was 7 up until his father, John, who was a civil engineer, landed a job in Miramar, Miami. His mother, Betty Sue Depp, used to work as a waitress and a homemaker.

Johnny hated his new home and was under a lot stress due to frequent family problems. He started to smoke, self-harm, and experiment with drugs at the tender age of 12. When Johnny’s parents split up when he was 15, he had to go collect the weekly child support money from his father’s office. This caused a clash between Johnny and his father.

When he was 16, Johnny dropped out of high school to join a band called “The Kids.” The band was able to open for other bands like “The B-52’s” and “The Talking Heads,” however this wasn’t enough for Johnny to be able to get by, to the point where he ended up living in a friend’s car for months. 


Introduction to Acting

At the age of 20, Depp was still part of the band as they tried to make their way to fame. They were still living on tight budgets and were making money by selling pens to a telemarketing firm. In that same year, in 1983, he married Lori Allison, a makeup artist who later introduced him to her ex-boyfriend, Nicolas Cage.

Depp landed his first actual movie role in 1984 in the film Nightmare on Elm Street when Cage introduced him to a Hollywood agent who landed him several roles as an extra in movies. A year later, Depp’s band, as well as his relationship with Allison fell apart.

He also had a couple of failed, brief relationships with actresses Sherilyn Fenn, who he had met on the Dummies movie set and got engaged to, and Jennifer Grey, who he had also proposed to.

Depp started studying acting in Loft Studios in LA, as well as in private coaching classes. He became an idol overnight in 1987 when he replaced Jeff Yagher for the role of Tommy Hansen, an undercover cop in the television series 21 Jump Street. This gave him the opportunity to land more significant roles after the end of 21 Jump Street’s contract in 1989.

Weightier Roles

Depp had the opportunity to further boost his image when he starred in cult hit, John Waters musical, Cry-baby, in 1990. He then starred in Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands, establishing him as an A-list actor. The movie grossed more than $54 million at the box office. Depp met and started dating Winona Ryder on the set of that movie in 1990.

They got engaged but then split up in 1993 when her parents disapproved of their marriage. Depp continued to thrive in his career, and won a Golden Globe for his performance as Sam in Benny & Joon (1993), then starring as Gilbert in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? in the same year.

Troubled Image

In 1993, Johnny Depp formed a short-lived rock band named “P.” In August of that year, he partnered up with two individuals and bought The Viper Club in LA, in which he took the opportunity to introduce his band’s music.

The club was quickly becoming the trendiest spot in LA. However disaster struck the club when River Phoenix suffered a drug overdose, and died later in the day, outside the club on October 31st.

Depp then started to suffer from depression and was immersed in drugs around the time he started to publicly date supermodel Kate Moss in 1994. Although they always made the headlines, they fought a lot, leading up to the famous incident of Depp trashing a hotel room in NYC after one of their fights. Their relationship lasted for four years their breakup in 1998.

Although his image was slightly hindered, this didn’t take a toll on Depp’s career. He starred in the Burton, Golden Globe nominated movie, Ed Wood in 1994. He also starred in Don Juan DeMarco in 1995, Donnie Brasco in 1997, and as Thompson in Terry Gilliam’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

Depp became close friends with journalist Hunter S. Thompson, who Gilliam’s based his movie on, up until Thompson’s death in 2005. Depp later financed his funeral.

Box Office Star

Depp’s career continued flourishing as he took part in major films like The Astronaut's Wife, Sleepy Hollow, Chocolat, Blow, From Hell,  and Once Upon a Time in Mexico. In 2004, his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in the box office hit Pirates of the Carribean, earned him an Academy Awards nomination. He also earned more than 10 award nominations, including an Academy Award, and a Golden Globe, for his role as Peter Pan in Finding Neverland.

He continued working on the sequels of Pirates of the Caribbean in 2006 and 2007, the same year in which he also starred in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, which also won him a Golden Globe.

He also starred in box office success Alice in Wonderland and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. He returned to Pirates of the Caribbean as Captain Jack Sparrow in 2011, and starred in the independent film The Rum Diary.

In 2012, he starred in Burton Comedy, Dark Shadows, and then in The Lone Ranger in 2013, which was unfortunately a miss on the box office. His success picked up in 2015 when he starred in Black Mass, in 2016 with Through The Looking Glass, and with his return in 2017 to Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Then, he starred in an adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express and film Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald as a major feature in 2018.

Private Life

In 1999, Depp met French actress and model Vanessa Paradis, who he had two children with, Lily-Rose Melody Depp, and Jack John Christopher Depp III. Depp and Paradis spent 14 years together before they split up. Not long after the breakup, he met co-star Amber Heard, and later married her in 2015.

Heard filed a divorce a year later, as well as a restraining order, claiming that Depp abused her physically and verbally. Afterwards, Depp filed a $ 50 million defamation lawsuit against her.

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