John Christopher "Johnny" Depp II (born June 9, 1963) is an American actor, film producer, and musician. He has won the Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild award for Best Actor. Depp rose to prominence on the 1980s television series 21 Jump Street, becoming a teen idol. Dissatisfied with that status, Depp turned to film for more challenging roles; he played the title character of the acclaimed Edward Scissorhands (1990) and later found box office success in films such as Sleepy Hollow (1999), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), Alice in Wonderland (2010), Rango (2011) and the Pirates of the Caribbean film series (2003"present). He has collaborated with director and friend Tim Burton in eight films; the most recent being Dark Shadows (2012).
Depp has gained acclaim for his portrayals of such people as Ed Wood in Ed Wood, Joseph D. Pistone in Donnie Brasco, Hunter S. Thompson in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, George Jung in Blow, and the bank robber John Dillinger in Michael Mann's Public Enemies. Films featuring Depp have grossed over $3.1 billion at the United States box office and over $7.6 billion worldwide. He has been nominated for top awards many times, winning the Best Actor Awards from the Golden Globes for Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and from the Screen Actors Guild for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. He also has garnered a sex symbol status in American cinema, being twice named as the "Sexiest Man Alive" by People magazine in 2003 and 2009. He has been listed in the 2012 Guinness Book of World Records as the highest paid actor, with $75 million.
Depp was born in Owensboro, Kentucky, and raised in Florida, as the youngest of four children of Betty Sue Palmer (née Wells), a waitress, and John Christopher Depp, a civil engineer. In a 2002 interview, Depp stated that he believed he has Native American ancestry; in 2011, he specified, "I guess I have some Native American [in me] somewhere down the line. My great-grandmother was quite a bit of Native American, she grew up Cherokee or maybe Creek Indian. Makes sense in terms of coming from Kentucky, which is rife with Cherokee and Creek." The family moved frequently during Depp's childhood, and he and his siblings lived in more than 20 different locations, settling in Miramar, Florida, in 1970. In 1978, when he was 15, Depp's parents divorced. His mother married, as her second husband, Robert Palmer (died 2000), whom Depp called "an inspiration to me". Depp engaged in self-harm when he was young, due to the stress of dealing with family problems, which resulted in several self-inflicted scars. In a 1993 interview, he reflected on his self-injury by saying "My body is a journal in a way. It's like what sailors used to do, where every tattoo meant something, a specific time in your life when you make a mark on yourself, whether you do it yourself with a knife or with a professional tattoo artist".
With the gift of a guitar from his mother when he was 12, Depp began playing in various garage bands. A year after his parents' divorce, Depp dropped out of high school to become a rock musician. He attempted to go back to school two weeks later, but the principal told him to follow his dream of being a musician. He played with The Kids, a band that enjoyed modest local success. The Kids set out together for Los Angeles in pursuit of a record deal, changing their name to Six Gun Method, but the group split up before signing a record deal. Depp subsequently collaborated with the band Rock City Angels and co-wrote their song "Mary", which appeared on Rock City Angels' debut for Geffen Records titled Young Man's Blues.
On December 24, 1983, Depp married Lori Anne Allison, the sister of his band's bass player and singer. During Depp's marriage, his wife worked as a makeup artist, while he worked a variety of odd jobs, including a telemarketer for pens. His wife introduced him to actor Nicolas Cage, who advised Depp to pursue an acting career. Depp and his wife divorced in 1985. Both Depp and his subsequent fiancé Sherilyn Fenn auditioned for the 1986 film Thrashin' and they were both cast, with Depp being chosen by the film's director to star as the lead, which would have been Depp's second major role. Depp was later turned down by the film's producer, who rejected the director's decision.
Depp starred in a lead role on the Fox television series, 21 Jump Street, which premiered in 1987. Depp accepted this role to work with actor Frederic Forrest, who inspired him. Depp's long-time friend Sal Jenco joined the cast as a semi-co-star as the janitor named Blowfish. The series' success turned Depp into a popular teen idol during the late 1980s. Despite this success, Depp felt "forced into the role of product." Depp subsequently decided to appear only in films that he felt were right for him. Depp and his co-stars, Peter DeLuise and Holly Robinson, briefly reprised their roles in cameo appearances in the series' 2012 feature film adaptation, which featured a much more comedic tone than the series.
Depp's first major role was in the 1984 classic horror film A Nightmare on Elm Street, playing the boyfriend of the heroine, Nancy Thompson (played by Heather Langenkamp) and one of Freddy Krueger's victims. Depp was the first choice and was cast to star in the 1986 American skater drama film Thrashin', chosen and cast by the director but ultimately rejected by the film's producer. In 1986, he appeared in a secondary role as a Vietnamese-speaking private in Oliver Stone's Platoon. In 1990, he undertook the quirky title role of the Tim Burton film, Edward Scissorhands. The film's success began his long association with Burton.Source: Wikipedia