Biographical information


Eye color


Hair color

Dark Brown


June 9, 1963, Owensboro, Kentucky, USA


John Christopher Depp II

Behind the scenes
First appearance

The Curse of the Black Pearl

Latest appearance

Dead Men Tell No Tales

Character(s) portrayed

Jack Sparrow

"By the time Captain Jack Sparrow was brought to life by a certain actor named Johnny Depp, the character had also emerged as a multi-gold-toothed, bead-bearded, bauble-bedecked, dreadlocked knave—much to the wobbly-kneed consternation of some nervous studio executives, who had something, or someone, more conventional in mind. In such acts of rebelliousness are myths made, and Johnny ultimately imbued Captain Jack with such humor, humanity, derring-do, and occasional signs of bravery—even selflessness—that an icon was born. Johnny and his alter ego, Captain Jack, took their place among the pantheon of movie immortals, with one noted film magazine in the United Kingdom putting Captain Jack right on top of their list of the hundred most popular screen characters of all-time."
Jerry Bruckheimer[src]

John Christopher "Johnny" Depp II (born June 9, 1963) is an American actor, film producer, and musician. He had won the Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild award for Best Actor. Depp began his career as a musician with the rock group The Kids until the band broke up, in which Depp turned to acting and earned his first major acting job in A Nightmare on Elm Street. Johnny 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. It was Depp's compelling performance in the title role of Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands that established him as one of Hollywood's most sought-after talents and earned him his first Golden Globe Award nomination as Best Actor. He later found box office success in films such as Sleepy Hollow, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Alice in Wonderland, and Rango. Among the many film projects he was involved in, Depp had collaborated with director and friend Tim Burton in eight films.

Johnny Depp portrayed Captain Jack Sparrow in various Pirates of the Caribbean media, including the films and The Legend of Jack Sparrow video game, as well as the Disneyland ride and The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow attraction. Depp enjoyed portraying the character of Jack Sparrow, whether it was for fan events or public places like hospitals or schools.


Early life and careerEdit

Johnny 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 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. 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.

Depp began his career as a musician with the rock group The Kids, which took him to Los Angeles. When the band broke up, Depp turned to an acting career, taking the advice of actor Nicolas Cage, and earned his first major acting job in A Nightmare on Elm Street.

Film careerEdit


Depp followed A Nightmare on Elm Street with roles in several films, including Oliver Stone's Academy Award–winning Platoon before landing the role that would prove to be his breakthrough, as undercover detective Tom Hanson on the popular TV show 21 Jump Street. He starred on the series for four seasons before starring as the title role in John Waters' Cry-Baby.

It was Depp's compelling performance in the title role of Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands that established him as one of Hollywood's most sought-after talents and earned him his first Golden Globe Award nomination as Best Actor. He was honored with another Golden Globe® nomination for his work in the offbeat love story Benny & Joon, directed by Jeremiah S. Chechik. Depp reunited with Burton for the critically acclaimed Ed Wood, and his performance garnered him yet another Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actor. Depp starred and made his feature directorial debut opposite Marlon Brando in The Brave, a film based on the novel by Gregory McDonald. He co-wrote the screenplay with his brother D. P. Depp.

Career 2003 and onwardEdit

Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp at the premiere of Dead Man's Chest.

As Captain Jack Sparrow, Depp received his first Academy Award nomination, as well as a Golden Globe Award nomination, a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Award nomination and a Screen Actors Guild Award for his portrayal of Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Depp received his second Academy Award nomination, as well as a Golden Globe Award nomination, Screen Actors Guild nomination and BAFTA nomination for his role as J.M. Barrie in Marc Forster's Finding Neverland, in which he starred opposite Kate Winslet and Freddie Highmore. In 2004, Depp starred in The Libertine as 17th-century womanizing poet John Wilmot, the Earl of Rochester.

In 2005, Depp collaborated with Tim Burton on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, for which he received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical, and Corpse Bride, which received an Academy Award® nomination for Best Animated Film in 2006. In 2008, Depp received his third Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, winning a Golden Globe Award for the role.

Other creditsEdit

Other screen credits include Florian Henckel Von Donnersmarck's The Tourist, David Koepp's Secret Window, Robert Rodriguez's Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Albert and Allen Hughes' From Hell, Ted Demme's Blow, Lasse Hallstrom's Chocolat, Julian Schnabel's Before Night Falls, Sally Potter's The Man Who Cried, Burton's Sleepy Hollow, Roman Polanski's The Ninth Gate, Terry Gilliam's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Mike Newell's Donnie Brasco with Al Pacino, Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man and Jeremy Leven's Don Juan DeMarco, in which he starred opposite Marlon Brando and Faye Dunaway, as well as Lasse Hallstrom's What's Eating Gilbert Grape, Emir Kusturica's Arizona Dream and John Badham's Nick of Time.

His other successful roles include starring as real-life criminal John Dillinger opposite Christian Bale and Academy Award winner Marion Cotillard in Michael Mann's Public Enemies, as the Mad Hatter in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, for which he received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy or Musical, and voicing the title role of Gore Verbinski's critically acclaimed Rango.

After the completion of Rob Marshall's Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Johnny Depp was seen in Tim Burton's Dark Shadows and Bruce Robinson's The Rum Diary, both of which were produced by his company, Infinitum Nihil. In 2012, Depp reunited with original Pirates director Gore Verbinski, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, and screenwriters Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio in the 2013 film The Lone Ranger.

Pirates of the CaribbeanEdit

"The sort of connection I made when first thinking about Captain Jack, was the idea that pirates were the rock and roll stars of that era. Their myths or legends would arrive months before they would ever make port, much like rock stars."
―Johnny Depp[src]

Johnny Depp's best known role was his Academy Award and Golden Globe-nominated role of Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean films. Depp received his first Academy Award nomination, as well as a Golden Globe Award nomination, a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Award nomination and a Screen Actors Guild Award for his portrayal of Sparrow in the first film The Curse of the Black Pearl.

Depp, who developed his ideas for the character, had strong ideas about Jack's attitude and appearance. Pepé Le Pew from Looney Tunes and the swashbuckling characters portrayed by Errol Flynn were inspirations; on the DVD commentary, the film's screenwriters compared the character with Bugs Bunny and Groucho Marx. However, Depp had stated that he modeled a large part of Jack Sparrow after Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, saying that "Pirates were the rock stars of their day."[1] Captain Jack Sparrow's famous look was a collaboration in the first film between costume designer Penny Rose, key makeup artist Ve Neill, key hairstylist Martin Samuel, and Johnny Depp himself. "Having spent some time with Keith Richards was certainly a huge part of the inspiration for the character," said the actor. "I spent a little time with Keith here and there, and each time I'd see him he'd have a new thing tied into his hair. 'What is that hanging?' I'd ask, and Keith would say, 'Ah yeah, I got that in Bermuda,' or wherever. So it felt to me like Jack, on his travels and adventures, would see something and go, 'Oh yeah, I'll keep that,' tie it in his hair or have someone else do it. Each little trinket would have a story. For example, the bone that hangs just above the bandana is a shinbone from a reindeer. Then Jack has the dangly bits, beads, a chicken foot, a fertility symbol, weird animal tails. There's no telling where he got those, and it might have been lunch!"[2]

Jack Sparrow would take parts in Depp's further roles. When talking about the fight at the end of Alice in Wonderland, Depp mentioned that it was interesting to find out how the Mad Hatter would swordfight, since he's done a lot of swordfights as Jack Sparrow. Aside from taking challenging roles, he often reprised his role as Captain Jack in several Pirates media.


The Curse of the Black PearlEdit

Johnny Depp (Jack Sparrow) with producer Jerry Bruckheimer.

"It's like a childhood dream, isn't it? To be able to be a pirate."
―Johnny Depp[src]

As the first Pirates film went into production, Johnny Depp's initial performance as Captain Jack Sparrow proved controversial among Disney studio executives, who believed they were taking a risk by letting Depp create such an oddball performance for the film. However, with the support of director Gore Verbinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer, Depp got to continue portraying Jack his way. Bruckheimer stressed that this wasn't going to be a conventional pirate movie, especially if Depp took the role; Bruckheimer wanted to reinvent the pirate genre. Verbinski noted that there was another "straight" part, the romantic hero, which meant the Sparrow character could be as eccentric as Depp wanted. Images started popping into Depp's mind: Lee Marvin in Cat Ballou; Rock stars; Keith Richards prancing around the stage as lead guitarist for the Rolling Stones.[3] Depp's creative decisions was justified by the massive positive reaction from both critics and fans to the film in general, and his performance in particular. Among the few supporters, it was Jerry Bruckheimer who had guarded the actor's wholly original vision of Captain Jack Sparrow when the first film began to shoot.

"We wouldn't have been able to get away with a third of what we got away with on 'Pirates 1' without Jerry Bruckheimer. Without Jerry's support, and his understanding of the material, saying, 'Okay, I know that some people are scared but this sure seems funny to me, why don't we go with it,' the first film would have been much more generic, not much fun, and I would have been fired!"[4]

His swashbuckling sword talents, as developed for the character of Sparrow, were highlighted in the documentary film Reclaiming the Blade. Within the film, swordmaster Bob Anderson shared his experiences working with Depp on the choreography for The Curse of the Black Pearl. Anderson described Depp's ability as an actor to pick up the sword to be "about as good as you can get." One of Depp's most intriguing contribution was that he had written the film's final line on the day the scene was shooting, which ended up being a personal favorite to screenwriters Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio: "Bring me that horizon."[5][6][7]

Dead Man's Chest and At World's EndEdit

Depp had said that Captain Jack was "definitely a big part of me," and reprised his role in the back-to-back production of Pirates sequels, Dead Man's Chest and At World's End. This marked the first time the actor played the same character in more than one film. Both Dead Man's Chest and At World's End were commercially successful and broke box office records, but also turned off critics and tested devoted audiences' patience with bloated running times and convoluted subplots.

Even Johnny Depp admitted to being ambivalent about the sequels. "They had to invent a trilogy out of nowhere," he says of the back-to-back films. "It was plot driven and complicated." Depp said in interviews that he tend not to watch his own movies. But when asked about Dead Man's Chest and At World's End, Depp said, "To be perfectly honest, I didn't see them. I did see the first one. I have not seen the second one or the third one."[8]

While filming for At World's End, Johnny Depp got to film scenes with Keith Richards, who portrayed Jack Sparrow's father Captain Teague. In 2009, while promoting Public Enemies, Johnny Depp made a visit to Great Ormond Street Hospital, the same hospital that his daughter Lily-Rose was treated for kidney failure, to entertain some young patients dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow.

On Stranger TidesEdit
"Johnny was instrumental in creating a lot of stories on the movie. From lines of dialogue to the inclusion and development of the new characters. He was working really for the movie, not just for his own character."
Jerry Bruckheimer[src]

Ever since before the release of the third film, At World's End, there had been talk of a possible fourth Pirates film. Johnny Depp stated that he felt there was "a lot more territory to explore with Captain Jack."[9] It wasn't until September 2008, during a Disney event at the Kodak Theater, was it announced that a fourth Pirates movie was in development. Walt Disney Studios chairman Dick Cook and Johnny Depp, in full Captain Jack Sparrow costume while wearing The Lone Ranger's mask, made this announcement while revealing Depp's future Disney projects.[10][11]


Johnny Depp at the D23 Expo.

Almost a year later, on September 11, 2009, to the surprise of thousands of die-hard Disney fans were sitting at the D23 Expo, Johnny Depp—in full Captain Jack Sparrow regalia—emerged onto the stage. After greeting Disney chairman Dick Cook, in swaggering character, Depp asked about a "talking frog".[12] Together, with a logo banner above them, Depp and Cook officially announced Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and that it was going to be released in Summer 2011.[13] The announcement was the first the public had officially heard of a fourth Pirates film. However, despite producer Jerry Bruckheimer and fellow Pirates veterans Geoffrey Rush and Kevin McNally reprising their roles, Gore Verbinski would not be returning to the director's chair; instead Depp and Bruckheimer had chosen Rob Marshall to direct the fourth installment. For On Stranger Tides, Depp would also reunite with Blow co-star Penélope Cruz, who would portray Jack Sparrow's love interest Angelica.

Johnny Depp was deeply involved in the writing and development of On Stranger Tides "Johnny was instrumental in creating a lot of stories on the movie," says producer Jerry Bruckheimer. "From lines of dialogue to the inclusion and development of the new characters. He was working really for the movie, not just for his own character." Among Depp's ideas were bringing in an official Spanish contingent to follow the heroes so this would not be just a tale of "pirates following pirates", recalled screenwriter Terry Rossio. The star also urged the writers to turn the character Philip Swift, who was originally a swashbuckling character, into a missionary.[14][15]

Geoffrey Rush was quick to credit Johnny Depp with Barbossa's role in the film. "Johnny is supposedly the one - while they were developing for the script for this sequel - who insisted that Barbossa play a big part in 'On Stranger Tides' proceedings," Rush explained. "He loves those scenes where Barbossa and Sparrow are going back and forth, bickering like an old married couple. And I have to admit that I find those scenes fun to play too."[16] "Even when Captain Jack and Barbossa are on the same side," notes Depp, "they're always on opposite sides somehow. I always felt like these two characters bicker like a couple of old housewives at a bridge club, just picking each other apart by the tiniest little morsel and detail. That's how Geoffrey and I have approached it from day one, and he's most definitely a worthy opponent. Geoffrey is a fantastic actor, who's constantly investigating the possibilities of a scene. It's always fresh, always new, always interesting with Geoffrey."[4]

On September 2010, while filming for On Stranger Tides took place on location in London, England[17], Johnny Depp portrayed Captain Jack Sparrow for acclaimed photographer Annie Leibovitz's Disney Dream Portrait Series for Disney Parks, a first for the series as Depp was one of the actors stepping into a Disney fantasy portrait while playing a character he already portrayed on the big screen. Depp was joined by his friend, the legendary performer, writer and artist, Patti Smith as the Second Pirate in Command. The caption for this pair of portraits starring Depp reads, "Where magic sets sail and adventures become legendary."[18]

In October, while filming at the Old Naval College, Johnny Depp paid a surprise visit to a Greenwich Primary School dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow after a 9-year-old girl named Beatrice Delap wrote to his character asking for help in a "mutiny against her teachers". Depp read the girl's letter in front of the other students, then sang pirate songs with his other dressed up castmates and performed some dead-man’s jig dances. Ultimately, "Captain Jack" told the girl that he shouldn't be involved in the mutiny because there were police outside the building.[19]

Dead Men Tell No TalesEdit

Near the release of On Stranger Tides, Johnny Depp said that he would be happy to return as Captain Jack Sparrow saying "As long as we can put all the puzzle pieces together, I would most definitely consider it".[20] Speaking at the fourth film's press launch in Cannes, Depp said he would play the role for as long as it is popular with the public.[21]

On April 2014, Johnny Depp said in an interview that Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney had invited him in to collaborate with screenwriter Jeff Nathanson to bring a "fresh and very different" Pirates film, implying that it might be the last one in the series.[22] Depp was quoted in saying:[23]

Everyone involved wants the script to be right and perfect. So we have gone on to do other things (in the meantime). We are still going to do the film together. I enjoy them immensely. They are super talented. They have a great sense of humor. I think they have a really fun approach to what we are going to do with the next 'Pirates.' Very happily and proudly, I have welcomed taking part in the story and working directly with the screenwriter (Jeff Nathanson)—he and I. It's working out really well that way. So I have high hopes for that 'Pirates 5' because if that's really the last one, which it probably is, I feel that we owe it to the audience who went and saw the films so many times. We’ll do it right and end it on a high note.

The making of the fifth film, titled Dead Men Tell No Tales, commenced on February 17, 2015, and ended on July 21.

Video gameEdit

Along with his role in the films, Johnny Depp reprised his role as Captain Jack Sparrow by lending his voice in the 2006 video game, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow, which was released prior to Dead Man's Chest. In all other Pirates video games, the character was voiced by James Arnold Taylor (Kingdom Hearts II) and Jared Butler (At World's End video game, Pirates Online).

Johnny POTCride

Johnny Depp with a Captain Jack animatronic.

Disney AttractionsEdit

The RideEdit

To coincide with the release of Dead Man's Chest, enhancements were made to the Pirates of the Caribbean attractions at the Disney Parks unveiled on July 7, 2006. Among the enhancements was Johnny Depp reprising his role as Captain Jack Sparrow by lending his voice to Audio-Animatronics with Depp's likeness installed. Realistic animatronic figures of Captain Jack was appear in three scenes: one where Jack's hiding from invading pirates, another where he's hiding from the Pooped Pirate in a barrel, and the third, and last, being that Jack's singing A Pirate's Life for Me after finding the town's treasure. Johnny Depp himself had rode the attraction and also had a look at the animatronic.

The Legend of Captain Jack SparrowEdit

Depp on set of The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow.

"I think the reason the casting of Johnny Depp was so important is because if you're going to build an attraction and call it 'The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow,' you had better deliver on one thing, and that's Captain Jack Sparrow. And there is only one Captain Jack, and that's Johnny Depp."
Jason Surrell[src]

In 2012, a new Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow, was announced. Although the grand opening was on December 6, the attraction was revealed from a soft opening in November, in which Johnny Depp once again reprised his famous role as Captain Jack Sparrow. Depp as Sparrow appeared in a most realistic way, believably standing up on the ship's bow for the remainder of the show; though in reality, it was through the use of projections.[24] It was in this attraction that Depp worked with voice actor James Arnold Taylor, who voiced the Talking Skull.[25][26]


Disney AttractionsEdit


Video gamesEdit

External linksEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. POTC1 presskit, accessed Dec 9, 2006
  2. POTC2 Presskit
  3. DisneyWar
  4. 4.0 4.1 POTC4 Presskit
  5. WORDPLAY/Archives/"On Location" by Terry Rossio
  6. Twitter / BRUCKHEIMERJB: Cool #PiratesoftheCaribbean ...
  7. Twitter / BRUCKHEIMERJB: One of mine: "Now... bring ...
  8. Johnny Depp in 'Pirates of the Caribbean 4': This Week's Cover | PopWatch |
  9. Depp's Not Ready to Retire Jack Sparrow Yet - Rotten Tomatoes
  10. Disney, Depp return to 'Caribbean' | Variety
  11. In Disney Future with Johnny Depp -
  12. Stars and Surprises « Disney D23
  13. D23 Expo: Walt Disney Studios announces Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides due out in 2011 - Orlando Attractions Magazine
  14. The Making of 'Pirates of the Caribbean' - The Hollywood Reporter
  15. Disney Second Screen: Pirates Of The Caribbean On Stranger Tides
  16. JHM: Geoffrey Rush isn't rushing to exit Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean" film franchise
  17. Video: Behind the Scenes with Patti Smith at Disney Dream Portrait Shoot << Disney Parks Blog
  18. Exclusive: Johnny Depp and Patti Smith in Latest Disney Dream Portraits By Annie Leibovitz for Disney Parks << Disney Parks Blog
  19. Johnny Depp's surprise visit to London primary school as Captain Jack Sparrow | Mail Online
  20. Johnny Depp Game for Fifth Pirates of the Caribbean -
  21. Johnny Depp pledges future to 'Pirates Of The Caribbean' | Film & TV News | NME.COM
  22. Interview with Johnny Depp, "Pirates of the Caribbean 5" or will be the last one - Movie Network -
  23. Depp has high hopes for 'Pirates 5' - Inquirer Entertainment
  24. Imagineers Talk Working with Johnny Depp on The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow at Disney's Hollywood Studios << Disney Parks Blog
  25. James Arnold Taylor (JATactor) on Twitter
  26. James Arnold Taylor | Facebook
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