Happy Birthday, Johnny Depp! At the age of 50, you’re still at the top of your game.
There was a joke going around that when Johnny Depp was young, his father told him he could be anything he wanted to be. From the look of his film career, he’s been more than almost anyone in the world. He’s been a disturbed writer, a robot with scissors for hands, the most famous pirate this side of Captain Hook and Blackbeard, and the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland. He was Willy Wonka, a rookie undercover cop, a bad horror film director, and one of the original actors from A Nightmare on Elm Street.
How many actors these days can claim to have had so many varied roles? Jack Nicholson comes close, but Johnny Depp just seems to have played every role. And yet he’s still slated to be the Lone Ranger’s Native American sidekick Tonto, and he’s never played the President of the United States or a super hero. Johnny Depp never seems to age, as if his role as the vampire Barnabas Collins in Dark Shadows was more realistic than we thought.
John Christopher Depp II celebrated his first birthday 50 years ago on June 9, 1963 in Owensboro, Kentucky. He was raised in Florida, where at the age of 15, young Johnny Depp dropped out of school to be in a rock band called The Kids, and once opened for rock legend Iggy Pop. His first wife introduced him to Nicolas Cage after they moved to California and he decided to get into acting. His film debut was in 1984 as Heather Langenkamp’s boyfriend in A Nightmare on Elm Street, and his career took off when he replaced Jeff Yagher in 21 Jump Street.
After several years playing teen roles, Johnny Depp worked with Tim Burton for the first time in the title role of Edward Scissorhands, opposite Winona Ryder. He has had many films under Tim Burton, and really came into his own as the pirate Captain Jack Sparrow in the film series based on the Disney theme park ride Pirates of the Caribbean.
Happy 50th Birthday to one of the most versatile actors in Hollywood. What are your favorite Johnny Depp films?
[image via Shutterstock]