John Christopher Depp II is born on June 9th in Owensboro, Kentucky to parents John Christopher Depp Sr and Betty Sue Wells. Cleopatra, starring Elizabeth Taylor, Rex Harrison and Richard Burton hits theatres, as well as It’s a Mad, Mad

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A Chronology of Johnny Depp’s Life, Times and Achievements





1963: John Christopher Depp II is born on June 9th in Owensboro, Kentucky to parents John Christopher Depp Sr. and Betty Sue Wells. Cleopatra, starring Elizabeth Taylor, Rex Harrison and Richard Burton hits theatres, as well as It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World a comedy directed by Stanley Kramer comes out.
1968: Allen Ginsberg publishes his poem collection, Planet News.
1970: Depp’s family settles in Miramar, Florida where his mother works as a waitress and his father works as a civil engineer. “M*A*S*H” starring Donald Sutherland and Robert Duvall releases in the U.S.
1975: Johnny Depp is rebellious and does not enjoy school. He begins smoking and later moves on to drugs, shoplifting and vandalism. His mother gets him a guitar and he begins practicing in his garage. This year, Led Zeppelin releases their album, Physical Graffiti.

1976: He joins a band at 13 called Flame and loses his virginity to a female fan while still living in Florida. Though he has no interest in school, thanks to his brother, Dan, he develops an appreciation for non-conformist writers such as Alan Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac. Elton John and Kiki Dee release their song, “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”.

1978: His parents, John Christopher Depp Sr. and Betty Sue Wells divorce. Their divorce upsets Depp a great deal and he stuggles even more to express himself. The Deer Hunter, starring Robert DeNiro, Christopher Walken and Meryl Streep, comes out in theatres.
1979: Distraught over his home life, Depp drops out of school to pursue rock music. He plays with over 15 rock bands, one of which, “The Kids”, opens for Iggy Pop as well as the B-52s.
1983: He marries Lori Anne Allison on December 20th. The band and his wife decide to move to California in the hopes of pursuing a successful music career. While his wife works as a makeup artist he gets a job as a telemarketer selling pens. The band he’s with, The Kids change their name to 6 Gun Method. His wife introduces him to actor Nicholas Cage who advises him to try acting. Actor Lou Gosset Jr. wins an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in An Officer and a Gentleman.
1984: Depp and Lori Anne’s relationship is over, but the split is amicable. He plays a role as a teenager, Glen Lantz, doomed to die in Wes Craven’s horror film, A Nightmare on Elm Street. Director Laurie Frank casts Depp in Dummies, a short student film, where he meets actress Sherilyn Fenn. He also continues playing with the band, 6 Gun Method. The film, The Terminator, starring Michael Biehn, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton enters theatres in the U.S.

1985: Depp and Lori Anne Allison divorce. He also acts in the film, Private Resort, as Jack. He begins a relationship with Sherilyn Fenn. They move in together and later are engaged. The film, The Color Purple, starring Danny Glover and Oprah Winfrey, comes out in the U.S.

1986: Depp lands a secondary role as a Vietnamese private translator, Private Gator Lerner, in Oliver Stone’s war drama, Platoon. Before shooting they go to the Philippines for training and they time away causing a rift in his relationship with Sherilyn because they never see each other and no one is allowed to visit the set, and they break up. He also plays a role in the film Slow Burn. He quits 6 Gun Method. The space shuttle, Challenger, explodes during launch, killing all seven crew members. It airs live on t.v.


1987: He signs a five-year contract to play the lead role on the new t.v. series, 21 Jump Street. He later forms a relationship with actress Jennifer Grey, the star of Dirty Dancing and they are engaged. Unfortunately, within a short amount of time, due to the stress of being a teen heartthrob and being constantly harangued by Paparazzi, Jennifer Grey and Depp’s relationship ends.

1989: He’s already fed up with being a teen heartthrob and playing Hanson on 21 Jump Street and hopes the show is cancelled so that he can pursue movies. In March Depp is visiting a friend in a hotel in Vancouver. An argument erupts between him and the desk clerk, security is called and he is arrested for assault and mischief. In June he goes to the NY premiere of Great Balls of Fire and sees 17-year-old actress Winona Ryder. He feels she is one of the most beautiful women he has ever seen. A few months later they are introduced by a mutual friend, begin a relationship and, after five months, Depp proposes.

1990: He receives the lead role in John Waters’ quirky, oddball film, Cry-Baby as bad boy Wade “Cry Baby” Walker. He plays the title role in Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands also starring, his now fiancé, Winona Ryder. He gets a tattoo showing his devotion to Winona. The tattoo says, “Winona Forever”. Author Kurt Vonnegut publishes his novel, Hocus Pocus.
1991: Depp plays the teen on television in Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare.
1992: During interviews with the media, Winona Ryder and Johnny Depp are constantly asked about their relationship with each other, rather than their work, as well as continually being followed by the Paparazzi and it takes its toll on their relationship and they break up. He gets the “na” on his tattoo removed so that it reads “Wino Forever”.
1993: He acts in Arizona Dream as Axel, plays illiterate Sam in the romance, Benny & Joon, and plays the role of Gilbert Grape, a young man dissatisfied with the small town he lives in, in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. On October 31 while Depp is jamming on his guitar with Flea, guitarist from The Red Hot Chili Peppers, actor River Phoenix collapses in front of Depp’s club, The Viper Room. Phoenix dies of a drug overdose before making it to the hospital. Depp shuts the club down for two weeks and allow River Phoenix’s fans to create a shrine in front of the club.

1994: Depp teams up with Tim Burton once again in the title role of Ed Wood, a biopic about the cross-dressing 1950’s exploitation director of the same name. Though he does not care for awards, he is overjoyed when actor, Martin Landau, wins an Academy Award for his depiction of Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood. In September he and his girlfriend, model Kate Moss, check into The Mark Hotel in Manhattan, New York. After a heated argument Depp angrily trashes the furniture and Roger Daltry, singer of The Who, calls security. Depp spends the night in jail and pays close to ten thousand dollars in fines to the hotel. Kate Moss and Johnny Depp later break up. The film Eat Drink, Man Woman, directed by Ang Lee releases in Taiwan.



1995: He portrays William Blake in the film Dead Man, plays Gene Watson, a working father who is pulled into a murder conspiracy in Nick of Time and also appears in Don Juan DeMarco in the role of Don Juan.
1996: He plays a starring role in Cannes Man.
1997: He makes his directorial debut and also stars in The Brave. The film airs at Cannes and is not well received so it never makes it to the U.S. He also portrays the true story of Joseph P. ‘Joe’ Pistone, an agent who goes undercover in the mafia as Donnie Brasco in the film, Donnie Brasco.


1998: Depp plays a version of writer Hunter S. Thompson in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. The film is based on Thompson’s novel of the same name. Titanic, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslett, wins Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Director, Steven Spielberg.



1999: He plays Constable Ichabod Crane in Tim Burton’s, Sleepy Hollow. He also play astronaut Commander Spencer Armacost in The Astronaut’s Wife, Dean Corso in The Ninth Gate and a role in The Source. He meets Vanessa Paradis and they become a couple. In May their daughter, Lily-Rose Melody Depp, is born. They live in a villa in Southern France.

2000: He plays Roux in Chocolat, and Lt. Victor in Before Night Falls.

2001: He plays George Jung in the film Blow, Cesar in The Man Who Cried, and Inspector Frederick Abberline in the film From Hell.
2002: Johnny Depp’s son, John Christopher “Jack” Depp III, is born on April 9th. He plays himself in the documentary Lost in La Mancha.



2003: He plays Sands in Once Upon A Time In Mexico and plays the comedic, oddball pirate, Captain Jack Sparrow, in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Depp uses the Rollling Stones guitarist, Keith Richards, as a model for his character. He also plays himself in the documentary on Charlie Chaplin called, Charlie: The Life and Aristophanes of Charles Chaplin and another documentary about the gonzo journalist, Hunter S. Thompson, in Breakfast with Hunter. He receives some backlash for an interview in the German magazine Stern, where he comments on the war in Iraq saying, “America is dumb. It’s like a dumb puppy.” He says his words are taken out of context. NASA satellite completes a cosmic microwave background radiation map, showing that the universe is around 13.7 billion years old.
2004: He plays the Mort Rainey, a novelist on the verge of insanity in Secret Window and Sir James Matthew Barrie in the touching Finding Neverland. Depp is nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.


2005: He lends his vocal skills to the lead character in Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride, as well as taking on the role of Willy Wonka in Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and he plays John Wilmot, the 2nd Earl of Rochester, in The Libertine. He is nominated for Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of author J.M. Barrie in Finding Neverland.

2006: Depp dons the swashbuckling garb again to play Captain Jack Sparrow in the sequel Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. In its first three days of release it grosses $135.5 million, smashing box office records. Johnny Depp works with Kate Winslet again, this time in the IMAX Deep Sea 3D.

More Than A Face

Johnny Depp’s name brings to mind someone who is talented, creative and serious about his quality of work. There are many actors and actresses who play interesting roles, but Johnny Depp is one of the few who dares to be different. His choice of roles does not stem from whether the film will become a hit, but rather with the quality of the work itself; whether or not the character is interesting and different, whether the plot is unique, and whether it’s going to be a challenge to play. His career can be categorized into three stages. The first, or rather the beginning, where he did not have much control over his work, and then began struggling to break out of the Hollywood stereotype; the middle, where he favored the dark, sometimes scary roles and found his niche; and the last, a decision to play roles that were more family-oriented.

His beginning years in the Hollywood engine were not the best for Johnny Depp, at least in his opinion. His major break, after getting a part in the Wes Craven horror, A Nightmare on Elm Street, was getting cast as Tommy Hanson, an undercover cop, on the Fox t.v. series 21 Jump Street. Although the show was a hit, Johnny Depp felt boxed in, and decided to break out of the image Hollywood and the tabloids had given him. This governed his choice of the role Wade “Crybaby” Walker in the movie Crybaby. He models this character from his stepfather who was a “greaser”, using both his behavior and experience. This movie is one-of-a-kind in this day and age. The classic misunderstood bad boy has not been this blatantly obvious in recent years. In an interview he confessed he needed to “make fun of that image” that had been leveled on because of 21 Jump Street (Johnny Depp: Biography). The movie was comically ridiculous and helped him get noticed by director Tim Burton, who cast him in the title role of the film Edward Scissorhands. Reviews of the movie give credit to Johnny Depp’s performance in the role saying, “as embodied by Johnny Depp, Edward himself is a stunning creation”(Maslin), and “Depp is perfectly cast” (Howe). His innocence as Edward and his pure love of the heroine in the film are what drive the movie and you easily look past his deformity of having scissors for hands. His creative talents, his ability to bring characters to life, as well as his being awarded a Best Actor Golden Globe nomination now has him taken seriously as an actor with talent and not just a pretty face.

With Edward Scissorhands begins a long relationship with director Tim Burton, and some of Depp’s most creative, comic work is done with him. He teams up with Burton again to play another title role in Burton’s film Ed Wood. His portrayal of the inept, cross-dressing director Ed Wood, gives him “a perpetually sunny indifference to the plain facts of real life” (Hinson). Depp expresses Wood’s wide-eyed optimism (Travers). This film gives him another Best Actor Golden Globe nomination, and he is soon cemented as a serious actor. Depp’s courage in selecting roles that most people would not even glance at is what gives him credit as a creative and talented actor. He selected roles in such movies as Benny & Joon, Rear Window and From Hell, none of which were box office hits, but the characters meant something to him. In Benny & Joon he had an opportunity to emulate Charlie Chaplin, and he thoroughly enjoyed the role. He also collaborates with Burton in the Hammer horror film, Sleepy Hollow. Johnny Depp’s comedic performance in this film as Ichabod Crane makes it one of his best works. His depiction of Ichabod Crane is funny and dark. You wonder about the Ichabod’s frame of mind and how he comes up with some of those weird, scientific contraptions.

After the birth of his children, Depp decided to create movies that his children can watch. This being the case he does more movies oriented towards children and family, such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Depp as Willy Wonka is amazing. This is one of the few films whose remake is as good or even better than the original. His creative ability to show so much through his facial expressions and eyes is not likely to be rivaled any time soon. He can show pain, horror, disgust, and wit without you having to see anything but his face. In this film the amount of disgust and fear that appears on his face when Violet Beauregarde hugs him is hilarious, as well as his horror and dread when the Oompa-Loompas give him green beetle goop to eat and he takes a finger full and it sticks like phlegm hanging off his finger. His expression is priceless. He brings this talent out again, along with very dramatic body language, in his character Captain Jack Sparrow in the film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl whom he modeled on legendary guitarist Keith Richards from the The Rolling Stones, since he felt that pirates were basically the rock stars of their time. He is constantly taking chances with the roles he plays. Not many people were sure whether or not Pirates of the Caribbean would be a hit or not since it was based off of a Disney ride, and he took that chance. That’s why many believe he’s the only actor out there willing to take huge risks (Johnny Depp: Biography).

Johnny Depp’s creative abilities are evident in his ability to play many diverse roles, and play them well. His gift for showing so much about a character through expression alone is a rare talent. His abilities go back to the timeless black and white films where expressions were all that was used to convey emotion. He doesn’t need to make exaggerated gesticulations just portray simple honest emotion. When Johnny Depp acts, we view a piece of his soul and he allows us to judge for ourselves if we like what we see. Although he was given his break based mostly on his classic bad-boy good looks, Johnny Depp has proven that he has staying power. He has shown that he is definitely more than a pretty face.


Works Cited
Johnny Depp: Biography. Narr. Dave Hoffman. Writer. Carolyn Townsend. A&E. DVD. 20th Century Fox Film Corporation, 2004.
Hinson, Hal. “Ed Wood”. WashingtonPost.com 07 Oct 1994. 26 Nov 2006. .
Howe, Desson. “Edward Scissorhands”. WashingtonPost.com 14 Dec 1990. 26 Nov 2006. .
Maslin, Janet. “Review/Film: And So Handy Around The Garden”. New York Times on the Web 7 Dec 1990. 26 Nov 2006 .

Travers, Peter. “Ed Wood”. RollingStone.com RS603. 8 Dec 2000. 26 Nov 2006. .
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