John Christopher Depp II (born June 9, 1963) is an American actor, producer, and musician. He has been nominated for 3 Academy Awards and won the Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actor. He rose to prominence on the 1980s television series 21 Jump Street, becoming a teen idol.

Depp has taken on the task of challenging himself to portray "larger-than-life" roles, starting with a supporting role in Oliver Stone's Vietnam War film Platoon in 1986, then playing the title character in the romantic dark fantasy Edward Scissorhands (1990). He later found box office success in the fantasy adventure film Sleepy Hollow (1999), the fantasy swashbuckler film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) and its sequels, the fantasy film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), the fantasy film Alice in Wonderland (2010) and voicing the title character in the animated action comedy western Rango (2011). He has collaborated on nine films with director, producer and friend Tim Burton.

Depp is regarded as one of the world's biggest film stars. He has gained praise from reviewers for his portrayals including screenwriter-director Ed Wood in Ed Wood, undercover FBI agent Joseph D. Pistone in Donnie Brasco, author J. M. Barrie in Finding Neverland, and the Boston gangster Whitey Bulger in Black Mass. Films featuring Depp have grossed over $3.2 billion at the United States box office and over $8 billion worldwide. His most commercially successful films are the Pirates of the Caribbean films, which have grossed $3 billion, Alice in Wonderland, which grossed $1 billion, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which grossed $474 million, and The Tourist, which grossed $278 million.

Depp has been nominated for major acting awards, including three nominations for Academy Award for Best Actor.Depp won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role for The Curse of the Black Pearl. He has been listed in the 2012 Guinness World Records as the highest paid actor, with earnings of $75 million. Depp was inducted as a Disney Legend in 2015

Depp was born in Owensboro, Kentucky, the youngest of four children of Betty Sue Palmer (née Wells),a waitress, and John Christopher Depp, a civil engineer.Depp is of mostly English ancestry, with some ancestors from elsewhere in Europe. He is descended from a French Huguenot immigrant, Pierre Deppe or Dieppe, who settled in Virginia around 1700. He is also of 3/2048 African descent, as he descends twice over from an African slave whose biracial daughter, Elizabeth Key Grinstead, was the first woman of Sub-Saharan African ancestry in North America to sue for her freedom from slavery and win (in 1655).

Depp moved frequently during his childhood. He and his siblings lived in more than 20 different places, eventually settling in Miramar, Florida in 1970. Depp's parents divorced in 1978 when he was 15. His mother married Robert Palmer, whom Depp has called "an inspiration to me".

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, he 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 Geffen Records album Young Man's Blues.

On December 20, 1983, Depp married Lori Anne Allison, the sister of his band's bass player and singer. During their marriage she 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 him to pursue an acting career. Depp and his wife divorced in 1985.

Early film roles and 21 Jump Street (1984–1993)
Depp's first film role was in the horror film A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), in which he played the boyfriend of heroine Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp) and one of Freddy Krueger's victims.After a starring role in the comedy Private Resort (1985), Depp was cast in the lead role of the skating drama Thrashin' (1986) by the film's director, but the decision was later overridden by its producer. Instead, Depp appeared in a minor supporting role as a Vietnamese-speaking private in Oliver Stone's Vietnam War drama Platoon (1986).

Depp became a popular teen idol during the late 1980s, when he starred as a police officer who goes on an undercover operation in a high school in the Fox television series 21 Jump Street, which premiered in 1987.He accepted this role to work with actor Frederic Forrest, who inspired him. Despite his success, Depp felt that the series "forced [him] into the role of product. He subsequently decided to appear only in films that he felt were right for him.

Depp at the 1992 Cannes Film Festival
Depp's first film release in 1990 was John Waters' Cry-Baby, a musical comedy set in the 1950s. Although it was not a box office success upon its initial release, over the years it has gained a cult classic status. Depp's second 1990 film was Tim Burton's film Edward Scissorhands, in which he played the title character opposite Dianne Wiest and Winona Ryder. It was a critical and commercial success that established him as a leading Hollywood actor[citation needed] and began his long association with Burton. Producer Scott Rudin has stated that "basically Johnny Depp is playing Tim Burton in all his movies"; although Burton disapproved of the comment, Depp agrees with it. In his introduction to Burton on Burton, a book of interviews with the director, Depp called Burton "... a brother, a friend, ... and [a] brave soul".

Depp had no film releases in the following two years, with the exception of a brief cameo in Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991), the sixth installment in the A Nightmare of Elm Street franchise. He appeared in three films in 1993. In the romantic comedy Benny and Joon, he played an eccentric and illiterate silent film fan who befriends a mentally ill woman and her brother; it became a sleeper hit. He then starred alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Juliette Lewis in Lasse Hallström's What's Eating Gilbert Grape, a drama about a dysfunctional family. In his review of the film, Todd McCarthy of Variety said that "Depp manages to command center screen with a greatly affable, appealing characterization."Depp's final 1993 release was Emir Kusturica's surrealist comedy-drama Arizona Dream, which opened to positive reviews.

1994–2002
In 1994, Depp reunited with director Tim Burton, playing the title role in Ed Wood, a biographical film about one of history's most inept film directors. Depp later stated that he was at the time depressed about films and filmmaking, but that "within 10 minutes of hearing about the project, I was committed." He found that the role gave him a "chance to stretch out and have some fun" and that working with Martin Landau, who played Bela Lugosi, "rejuvenated my love for acting".Ed Wood received critical acclaim, with Janet Maslin of The New York Times writing that Depp had "proved himself as an established, certified great actor" and "captured all the can-do optimism that kept Ed Wood going, thanks to an extremely funny ability to look at the silver lining of any cloud."Depp was nominated for Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for his performance.

Depp with director-screenwriter Jim Jarmusch at the Cannes Film Festival in 1995
The following year, Depp starred in three films. He played opposite Marlon Brando in the box-office hit Don Juan DeMarco, as a man who believes he is Don Juan, the world's greatest lover. He then starred in Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man, a Western shot entirely in black-and-white; it was not a commercial success and had mixed critical reviews. Depp's final film of the year was in the financial and critical failure Nick of Time, a thriller in which he played an accountant who is told to kill a politician to save his kidnapped daughter.

In 1997, Depp starred alongside Al Pacino in the crime drama Donnie Brasco, directed by Mike Newell. He portrayed Joseph D. Pistone, an undercover FBI Agent who assumes the name 'Donnie Brasco' in order to infiltrate the mafia in New York City. To prepare for the role, Depp spent time with the real-life Joe Pistone, on whose memoirs the film was based. Donnie Brasco was a commercial and critical success, and is considered to contain one of Depp's finest performances.[citation needed] In 1997, Depp also debuted as a director and screenwriter with The Brave. He starred in it as a poor Native American man, who accepts a proposal from a wealthy man, played by Marlon Brando, to appear in a snuff film in exchange for money for his family.

Depp was a fan and friend of writer Hunter S. Thompson, and played his alter ego Raoul Duke in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), Terry Gilliam's film adaptation of Thompson's pseudobiographical novel of the same name.

Depp's next venture with Burton was the period film Sleepy Hollow (1999), in which he played Ichabod Crane opposite Christina Ricci and Christopher Walken. For his performance, Depp took inspiration from Angela Lansbury, Roddy McDowall and Basil Rathbone. He stated that he "always thought of Ichabod as a very delicate, fragile person who was maybe a little too in touch with his feminine side, like a frightened little girl."