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Johnny Depp is an award-nominated actor known for his portrayal of odd-ball characters including Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean.
Johnny Depp - Mini Biography (5:22)
A short biography of Johnny Depp who started out as a TV heartthrob on "21 Jump Street" and moved onto eccentric, big screen roles in "Edward Scissorhands," "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and "Pirates of the Caribbean."
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The full biography of Hunter S. Thompson.
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After their break-up, Depp then met and proposed to actress Jennifer Grey; their romance was also short-lived.
Depp started to study acting in earnest, first in classes at the Loft Studio in Los Angeles and then with a private coach. The lessons paid off in 1987,
when he replaced actor Jeff Yagher in the role of undercover cop Tommy Hanson in the popular Canadian-filmed television series 21 Jump Street. The role thrust Depp into almost immediate stardom. He became a teen idol overnight; a title that he greatly resented. When his contract on Jump Street expired in 1989, he leapt at the opportunity to pursue weightier roles.
In 1990, Depp starred in the John Waters '50s-kitsch musical Cry-Baby (1990), which became a cult hit and succeeded in changing his image. That same year, he received an opportunity to exhibit his versatility as an actor in the titular role of Tim Burton's fantasy film, Edward Scissorhands. The movie not only established Depp as an A-list actor, but it also grossed more than $54 million at the box office. Following the film's success, Depp carved a niche for himself as a serious, somewhat dark, idiosyncratic performer, consistently selecting roles that surprise critics and audiences alike.
It was during shooting for Edward Scissorhands that Depp finally met co-star Winona Ryder, whom he'd been eyeing since a brief meeting at the premier for her film Great Ball of Fire (1989). The two began dating on the set, and soon became a Hollywood power couple. Five months after their first date, Depp and Ryder became engaged. To solidify their love, Depp even had "Winona Forever" tattooed on his right arm. The couple split, however, in 1993 after Ryder's parents forbade their daughter to marry.
Outside of his personal life, Depp continued to flourish, gaining critical acclaim and increasing popularity for his work. Several of his most notable roles included his role as the social misanthrope Sam in Benny & Joon (1993), which earned him a Golden Globe nod, and Gilbert in What's Eating Gilbert Grape? (1993), which cast him as a young man dissatisfied with the confines of his small-town life.
In August of that 1993, he and two business partners bought The Viper Club in L.A., which instantly became the hippest spot on the Sunset Strip. Depp began using the club as an opportunity to introduce patrons to music from his newly formed band P, which offered popular shows at the venue. But tragedy hit the club on October 31 of that same year, when teen heartthrob and critically acclaimed actor River Phoenix suffered a drug overdose outside the club. Phoenix died later that evening.
Depp's life began losing control as the star dabbled with drugs and spiraled into a deep depression. Around this time he also started a very public, destructive relationship with the waifish supermodel Kate Moss. Depp and Moss constantly made headlines for their passionate and unpredictable behavior; in 1994, Depp famously trashed a New York hotel room after one of the couple's many fights.
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