Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Jake Frost
Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: Stanton Daily. Posted by Jake Frost
June 9, 1963
Currently Known For:
Actor, Producer, and Musician
Pirates of the Caribbean, Edward Scissorhands, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Alice in Wonderland, and The Tourist
“I think the thing to do is enjoy the ride while you’re on it.” Johnny Depp is one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood today with a net worth hovering around $200 million despite his extravagant lifestyle. For over three decades, Depp has entertained both television and film audiences with dozens of unique performances beginning in the 1980s when he earned “teen idol” status thanks to his role on the popular television series, 21 Jump Street. From there, he transitioned to the silver screen and formed a longtime collaboration with his friend, director and producer Tim Burton. As a result, the 55-year-old Depp is known for blockbusters like Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Alice in Wonderland and the highly successful Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, all of which have grossed over $8 billion at box offices around the globe.
“There is nothing on earth that could ever make me want to relive certain years of my life when I was young.” The youngest of four children born to a waitress and civil engineer, John Christopher Depp was born on June 9, 1963 in Owensboro, Kentucky. Because of his father’s career, the family moved over 20 times before they finally settled down in Miramar, Florida in 1970. Although Depp finally had a permanent home, his childhood was forever tarnished by his mother’s excessive mood swings. “Yeah, there were irrational beatings,” he told Rolling Stone magazine. “Maybe it’s an ashtray coming your way. Maybe you’re going to get clunked with the phone… Betty Sue, I worshiped her. She could be a real b—ch on wheels. My mom was maybe the meanest human being I have ever met in my life.”
Although his mother was exceptionally cruel, Betty Sue inspired Depp’s love of music and gave him his first guitar when he was 12 years old. He started his garage band shortly after and used his passion for music to get him through his parent’s divorce in 1978. The following year, he dropped out of Miramar High School to pursue his rock and roll dreams only to return to school two weeks later. However, the principal stopped him from reenrolling and encouraged him to follow his musical dreams.
Taking the principal’s advice, Depp joined up with The Kids and enjoyed minor success locally before the group set out for Los Angeles in the hopes of signing a record deal. When they failed to get a contract, they split up leaving Depp to join Rock City Angels and lend his talents as a songwriter for tunes like “Mary.” Coincidentally, he also fell in love with the bass player’s sister, Lori Anne Allison, and tied the knot in December 1983. With Lori working as a makeup artist and telemarketer, she had plenty of connections in Hollywood and introduced her new husband to a young actor named Nicolas Cage.
Cage encouraged Depp to pursue a career in acting, which led Depp to audition for a part in the 1984 horror flick, A Nightmare on Elm Street. The film’s unexpected success showcased Depp’s natural on-screen talent and earned him a handful of roles in Private Resort, Thrashin’, and Platoon. Even bigger things were on the horizon for Depp in 1987 when he auditioned for and won the starring role of an undercover police officer in Fox’s newest series, 21 Jump Street. “When I auditioned for 21 Jump Street, it was a last minute thing,” Depp said. “I had one of the worst flus that I’ve ever experienced in my life, and I was forced to go to the audition, the screen test.”
From Teen Idol to Hollywood’s Leading Man
Winning the part was huge for Depp’s career as 21 Jump Street transformed him into a teen idol over the next four seasons. However, Depp had other plans for building his reputation in Hollywood and set out to prove his talents as a serious actor by collaborating with the talented producer and director, Tim Burton, in Edward Scissorhands in 1990. The film’s success paved the way for Depp’s future film career and established him as a leading actor. “I always wanted to be a character actor rather than the poster boy that they tried to make me 100 years ago,” Depp later said of his transition from teen idol to leading man. “An actor has a degree of responsibility to change for the audience, to give them something new each time, to surprise and not bore them.”
Determined to expand his talents on the silver screen, Depp auditioned for and won some of the biggest roles of his early career in 1990s hits like Ed Wood, Nick of Time, Donnie Brasco, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Sleepy Hollow. Even bigger things were on the horizon in the new millennium when Depp landed the role of Captain Jack Sparrow in the Disney adventure film, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. The film earned Depp an Academy Award nomination for best actor and sealed his fate as a Hollywood star as audiences fell in love with his portrayal of pirate Captain Jack Sparrow, a character Depp modeled after The Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards and the famous cartoon skunk, Pepé Le Pew.
After the huge success of Pirates of the Caribbean, Depp went on to star in Finding Neverland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Corpse Bride before reprising his role as Captain Jack in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest in 2006 and At World’s End in 2007. His longtime friendship with Burton continued to pay off as he starred as the murderous barber in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and earned a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor. From there, the sky was the limit as he chose only the most unique projects with credits in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Alice in Wonderland, and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. “People say I make strange choices, but they’re not strange for me,” Depp said of selecting his roles. “My sickness is that I’m fascinated by human behavior, by what’s underneath the surface, by the worlds inside people.”
Life Today: Recent Projects and His Personal Life
Challenging himself with each new role, Depp starred in Dark Shadows, The Lone Ranger, Into the Woods, Black Mass and Alice Through the Looking Glass. In 2017, he reprised his role as Captain Jack in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and went on to star in Murder on the Orient Express. Most recently, he launched into 2018 with projects like City of Lies, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindewald, and Richard Says Goodbye.
Apart from his massive success on the silver screen, Depp has also built his reputation as one of Hollywood’s bad boys after dating actresses Jennifer Grey, Sherilyn Fenn, Winona Ryder and Kate Moss. After ending his four-year relationship with Moss in 1998, he dated French actress and singer Vanessa Paradis after meeting on the set of The Ninth Gate. For the first time, Depp seemed to settle down as he and Paradis welcomed their daughter, Lily-Rose Melody Depp, into the world in 1999 followed by their son, John “Jack” Christopher Depp III in 2002. “Fatherhood has given me a real foundation, a strong place to stand in life, in work, in everything,” Depp said. “You cannot plan the kind of deep love that results in children. Fatherhood was not a conscious decision. It was part of the wonderful ride I was on. It was destiny. All the math finally worked.”
Depp and Paradis ended their relationship in 2012 after Depp fell in love with his costar, Amber Heard, on the set of The Rum Diary in 2011. After dating for three years, the couple married privately in February 2015 despite many objections from their family and friends. A year later, Heard filed for divorce in May 2016 and filed a restraining order against Depp stating, “During the entirety of our relationship, Johnny has been verbally and physically abusive to me.” The divorce ignited a media frenzy only worsened by the fact that neither Depp nor Heard signed a prenuptial agreement. Finally, the pair reached a divorce settlement that awarded Heard $7 million in January 2017.
With the divorce finalized and Heard taking a small chunk of Depp’s net worth, all eyes have been on Depp especially after he recently admitted to his extravagant spending and lavish lifestyle. In fact, Depp argues that he spends over $30,000 each month on wine, which doesn’t account for his notorious drug use or anything else! In fact, his 2012 Guinness World Record as the highest paid actor in the world at $75 million doesn’t mean much since Depp tends to spend his fortune long before it hits the bank!