By far one of the most adventurous and bizarre actors around, Johnny Depp is a rare gem in a Hollywood after-party crowded with action heroes and pretty boys. After an early chain of failure including a spoiled dream to become a famous rock star and the annoying pin-up years as a television star, Johnny dived into the cinematic underground where he slowly began to prove himself as one of the greatest actors of the past fifty years. Born in Owensboro, Kentucky in 1963, Johnny was raised under the blue collar working hands of a city engineer father and a waitress mother. After the death of Johnny’s grandfather, the family moved down to Florida and the actor quickly found himself engulfed in a world of drugs and music following the divorce of his parents. Dropping out of high school after he became intensely depressed, Johnny discovered a new passion with music and began playing guitar in a garage band to bide his time. The rock band, initially calling themselves The Flame before changing it to The Kids, toured the Florida nightclub circuit and was eventually hired as the opening act for Iggy Pop. Brashly believing they would one day be famous rockers, The Kids moved to Los Angeles to chase their dream, but soon broke up and left Johnny with no resort but to sell ballpoint pens over the phone in order to support himself.
While on the move as an out of work rocker, Johnny married make-up artist Lori Allison, and during their short-lived marriage, he was introduced to Hollywood up-and-comer Nicolas Cage. Cage, who saw potential in the young rebel, helped in landing Johnny his first role in the Wes Craven slasher, “Nightmare on Elm Street.” The former rock star continued to appear in numerous bit roles before he was finally offered a starring role on the TV police drama, “21 Jump Street.” The entire television experience was a dismal one for young Depp, quickly becoming something he never intended to become: a teen heartthrob stuck on the inside of teenage girl’s lockers. For three years, Johnny tried to get out of his contractual agreement to appear on the show and was finally delivered justice when the show was cancelled in 1992.
Vowing to never to act again in something he wasn’t one hundred percent about, Johnny began a new, risk-filled career of oddball characters that he enjoyed bringing to life. After appearing in cult classics like “Edward Scissorhands” (where he met equally eccentric director, Tim Burton) and “Ed Wood,” Johnny’s talent for portraying the free spirit became the buzz of the red carpet, but he quickly proved to critics that there was even more to the rebellious actor, wowing them with dramatic roles in “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” and “Donnie Brasco” in the following years.
Unfortunately for Johnny, the inescapable fame he soon enjoyed also brought plenty of tabloid tarnish that exploited his wild lifestyle and numerous engagements. The most famous of these instances includes the notorious incident at the Viper Room, a hip club that Depp owned in the early 90’s on Sunset Blvd, when actor friend River Phoenix died of a drug overdose. Johnny also became primetime news when he was charged $2,000 for trashing a suite at the Manhattan hotel in 1994. His crazy love life includes more than five engagements over a decade, the most famous being his on-again-off-again fling with model Kate Moss and his long-term involvement with Winona Ryder, an eventual breakup that ended in laser-repairing an old tattoo that read “Winona Forever” into “Wino Forever.”
Now a rejuvenated actor who has cleaned up his act, Johnny is married to French actress Vanessa Paradis and lives in France with his two kids. Despite the amazing critical acclaim Johnny has received over the past decade though, the talented actor still hasn’t grabbed an Oscar of his own. While he remains to be humble about the situation, moviegoers are aware that he’s long overdue for the golden statue. Charming, humorous and out of the ordinary, Johnny Depp is best compared to the late Marlon Brando with his brilliant method acting, but fans never know what to expect from the actor – though we’re sure he won’t become a cross-dresser like Brando himself.
Johnny on the Web
An online database of Johnny's film and TV career.
TV Guide: Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp Videos, Interviews and More on TV Guide's Online Video Guide
The usual Yahoo-quality biography with a great accompanying collection of pictures.
By far the best fan site on the net, Depp Impact offers fans a catalog of every magazine appearance, Johnny's impact on pop culture, fan encounter stories and an ideal news archive that features the most interesting news and updates.
Not much information here besides a few interesting news pieces, contact info and a page of film quotes.
Johnny Depp Fan
An amateurish fan site with an unbelievable collection of over 100 articles and a few picture galleries.
All Johnny Depp
Another decent fan site that includes recent news updates and a bigger gallery of photos from films, premieres and print.
The Johnny Depp Quiz
A cool, little page that asks the viewer a series of questions and then determines what Depp character they're most like.
Another die-hard fan site that differs from the others with a huge multimedia page and a diagram displaying all of Johnny's tattoos in detail.
The best source to check up on all the latest Johnny Depp news stories.
A great fan site to visit if you're looking to polish up on useless facts like Johnny's zodiac or read through past scripts and film reviews.
Johnny on the Screen
Whether it's as a drug-addicted coke dealer ("Blow"), an eccentric director ("Ed Wood") or a loony Casablanca ("Don Juan DeMarco"), Johnny Depp never fails to deliver in every role he brilliantly portrays. A modern day Brando who goes that extra mile to bring his onscreen characters to life, Johnny has blown away the competition with all of his films, both top-rated Oscar nominations and B-movies alike. After an early career of "Teen Beat" photo shoots following him around the set of "21 Jump Street" and a few bit roles in "Nightmare on Elm Street" and "Platoon," Johnny made a vow never to take a role he didn't enjoy ever again. After that, Johnny became one of the coolest, and most respected, actors around Tinseltown. With a collection of cooky characters in "Benny and Joon," "Edward Scissorhands" and "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," Johnny also made a leap to become a box office draw with films like "Sleepy Hollow" and "From Hell" without surrendering to the Hollywood bigwigs. His most recent performances in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" films, "Sweeney Todd" and "Public Enemies" show the actor's versatility as both an A-list star and a true artist.
Johnny always keeps himself incredibly busy and has a flurry of projects in various stages of development. He can currently be seen in his eighth film with director Tim Burton -- the big screen adaptation of "Dark Shadows" -- and his directorial debut, the untitled Keith Richards documentary, is due in theaters later this year. Johnny will next be seen as Tonto in Disney's "The Lone Ranger," is rumored to star in a remake of "The Thin Man," and may also return for another "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie.
"The only gossip I'm interested in is things from the Weekly World News -- 'Woman's bra bursts, 11 injured'. That kind of thing."
On his interests:
"I'm attracted to the extreme light and the extreme dark. I'm interested in the human condition and what makes people tick. I'm interested in the things people try to hide."
On his relationship with Winona:
"It became such a public thing. You're taking a squirt and some guy walks up to you and says, 'Hey! how's Winona?' I mean, huh? You're there with your Johnson in your hand. It takes everything, every inch of strength not to turn around and pee on him!"
On protecting his family:
"If someone were to harm my family or a friend or somebody I love, I would eat them. I might end up in jail for 500 years, but I would eat them."
On his career:
"I don't want to be 85 years old and have my grandkids go, 'Ewwww. Grandpa did some dumb shit.' I'd rather have them say, 'Wow, man, you're nuts!'"