Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp won wide praise for his ability to transform into a remarkably diverse array of characters, from the sea-legged pirate Jack Sparrow in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise and the brutal mobster "Whitey" Bulger in "Black Mass" to an array of eccentrics in "Edward Scissorhands" (1990), "Ed Wood" (1994), "Sleepy Hollow" (1998) and "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" (2007), all for director Tim Burton. Born John Christopher Depp II on June 9, 1963 in Owensboro, Kentucky, he was the son of civil engineer John Christopher Depp and waitress Betty Sue Palmer. His childhood was spent in transit-he and his three older siblings relocated numerous times during his childhood before eventually settling in Miramar, Florida. Depp harbored dreams of being a musician, inspired largely by the gift of a guitar from his mother, and dropped out of school following his parents' divorce in 1978 to pursue a career in rock and roll. He found early success with a Florida band called the Kids, which headed to Los Angeles to land a record contract. The group folded before that dream could become a reality, and while his next band, Rock City Angels, did manage to record an album for Geffen Records, Depp was already making inroads into acting. His first wife, Lori Anne Allison, had introduced him to Nicolas Cage through her work as a make-up artist, and Cage suggested that Depp try his hand at Hollywood. Cage also introduced Depp to an agent, who landed him a supporting role in horror director Wes Craven's phenomenally popular thriller "A Nightmare on Elm Street" (1985). Subsequent roles in "Platoon" (1986) and other features led to his star-making turn in Fox's "21 Jump Street" (1987-1991) as a youthful-looking police officer who worked undercover at high schools. The show was a huge success for the network, and minted Depp as a teen idol-a status he disliked enough to depart the series when his contract ran out in 1989. Eager to break out of the mainstream, Depp sought out directors and projects that piqued his creative interests, despite their box office potential, and to that end, forged a long working relationship with director Tim Burton, beginning in 1990 with "Edward Scissorhands." The comedy-fantasy, which cast Depp as a fragile creature with blades for fingers, was a box office hit, and was followed in 1994 by "Ed Wood," with Depp earning a Golden Globe nomination as the real-life titular filmmaker, long billed as the "world's worst," and Martin Landau in an Oscar-winning turn as the faded horror star Bela Lugosi. Depp soon settled into a string of eclectic roles with iconoclastic filmmakers: he spoofed his heartthrob image in John Waters' juvenile delinquent musical "Cry-Baby" (1990), played a young man dealing with family issues in Lasse Hallstrom's "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" (1993), a tenderfoot lost in a phantasmagoric Old West in Jim Jarmusch's "Dead Man" (1995), and Hunter S. Thompson's literary alter ego in "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" (1995) for Terry Gilliam. For much of the 1990s, Depp appeared to be capable of any role: he held his own against such powerhouses as Marlon Brandon in "Don Juan DeMarco" (1995) and Al Pacino in Mike Newell's crime drama "Donnie Brasco" (1997), and could pivot from roles like the fragile Ichabod Crane in Burton's "Sleepy Hollow" (1999) and a transvestite inmate in Julian Schnabel's "Before Night Falls" (2000) to roguish, romantic turns in Hallstrom's "Chocolat" (1999) and a fast-talking killer in Robert Rodriguez's "Once Upon a Time in Mexico" (2003). But his career and fame would reach stratospheric levels in 2003 when he was cast as the addled pirate captain Jack Sparrow in Disney Pictures' "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl." Audiences were delighted by Depp's comic performance-which reportedly drew on the Rolling Stones' Keith Richards and the Warner Bros. cartoon character Pepe Le Pew-which earned an Oscar nomination in 2004. He garnered a second Oscar nod as "Peter Pan" author J.M. Barrie in Marc Forster's "Finding Neverland" (2004) before tackling a dizzying array of roles for much of the new millennium, including two reprises as Jack Sparrow in "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" (2006) and "At World's End" (2007); turns for Burton as a childlike Willy Wonka in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (2005) the murderous "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" (2007), which netted him a third Oscar nomination and his first Golden Globe, and the Mad Hatter in "Alice in Wonderland" (2010); and bank robber John Dillinger in "Public Enemies" (2010). He launched the new decade with a string of hits, including the fourth "Pirates" movie, "On Stranger Tides" (2012) and a charming vocal performance as a jittery chameleon in the animated feature "Rango" (2011). But "The Rum Diary" (2012), an adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson's novel of the same name which marked the debut of Depp's production company, Infinitum Nihil, and "Dark Shadows" (2012), Burton's adaptation of the popular Gothic daytime drama, failed to connect with moviegoers, and Depp's performance as Tonto in "The Lone Ranger" (2013) was criticized over perceptions of whitewashing and questions of Depp's own alleged Native American heritage. These setbacks, combined with the end of his longtime relationship to actress/singer Vanessa Paradis in 2012, and a new relationship with his "Rum Diary" co-star Amber Heard, whom he married in 2015, would help to cast a pall over Depp's star status, and he would struggle over the next decade to maintain his foothold on the world box office. He earned a Screen Actors Guild nomination as the malevolent Boston mobster "Whitey" Bulger in "Black Mass" (2016) and critical praise for his transformation into Donald Trump for the Funny or Die" parody "Donald Trump's The Art of the Deal: The Movie" (2016), and Depp enjoyed a brief but memorable appearance as Gellert Grindelwald, the primary villain in "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" (2016). But collaborations with Kevin Smith on "Tusk" (2014) and "Yoga Hosers" (2016) were roundly panned, and reprises of Jack Sparrow and the Mad Hatter in "Dead Men Tell No Tales" and "Alice Through the Looking Glass" received tepid responses, as did his turn as a surly gangster turned victim in Kenneth Branagh's "Murder on the Orient Express" (2017). Depp's personal life during this period also appeared to be in disarray: his divorce from Heard in 2016 after a year of marriage was dogged by allegations of verbal and physical violence from both parties, and he spent 2017 and 2018 locked in a string of legal battles with Heard, who had penned a op-ed piece about domestic violence, his former managers, who had allegedly mismanaged his earnings, and a production manager on the 2017 film "City of Lies" who claimed that Depp had assaulted him during its production. It, along with "The Professor" (2018), were box office flops, and a reprise of Grindelwald in "The Crimes of Grindelwald" (2018), as well as "Sherlock Gnomes" (2018), a sequel to the animated "Gnomeo and Juliet," appeared to doom both franchises. Depp continued to act at a seemingly relentless clip while also touring and recording with the Hollywood Vampires, a rock band featuring veterans Alice Cooper and Aerosmith's Joe Perry.