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Johnny Depp Turns 50

posted 7 Jun 2013, 16:35 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 7 Jun 2013, 16:36 ]

Johnny Depp will celebrate his 50th birthday on June 9.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIAUNITED STATES (REUTERS) -  Captain Jack Sparrow has a birthday. Johnny Depp, who rocketed to international superstardom as the slightly delirious star of the "Pirates of theCaribbean" franchise, will turn 50 on June 9.

Depp was born in Kentucky in 1963 and grew up in Florida. He landed in Hollywood in the early 1980s with a rock band, Six Gun Method, which fell apart before signing a record deal. A guitarist, he dabbled in bands including Rock City Angels, but was increasingly drawn to movies and television.

After minor roles in "A Nightmare on Elm Street" (1984) and "Platoon" (1986), Depp's big break came when he was given a leading role on the Fox TV series, "21 Jump Street." The hip crime series' success turned Depp into a pop idol in the late 1980s.

His first title role in a motion picture was in Tim Burton's "Edward Scissorhands," a gothic tale transposed over the backdrop of a mind-numbingly boring American suburb.

The film's success encouraged Depp to seek out other off-beat roles, including the title role in "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" (1992). That was followed by "Benny & Joon," an eccentric romantic comedy where Depp played the devoted brother of schizophrenic Juniper/Joon, played by Mary Stuart Masterson.

While most of Depp's early film roles were as eccentric loners, he departed from that mold to play Captain Jack Sparrow in the smash 2003 Walt Disney Pictures film, "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl."

Depp's skill on the guitar dovetailed nicely with his role as a vagabond in ruralFrance in "Chocolat," opposite Juliette Binoche, for which he was nominated for aScreen Actors Guild award for supporting actor.

Depp won his first Golden Globe for best actor in 2007, for "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street." The role, which he played opposite Burton's wife,Helena Bonham Carter, also netted him a National Movie Award and the Tim Burton film won the Golden Globe for Best Movie -- Musical or Comedy.

Depp has been tied to several celebrity partners. He dated Winona Ryder from 1989 to 1993 and Kate Moss from 1994 to 1998. His longest relationship, with French actress Vanessa Paradis ended last summer. The pair had been together since 1998, appearing together in Roman Polanski's 1999 film "The Ninth Gate." They have two children, Lily-Rose and Jack, and had set up homes in France, Los Angeles and on a private island in the Caribbean.

Depp's latest film project has him channeling his supposed Native American heritage - he has previously said he believes his great-grandmother was part Cherokee or Creek Indian - playing Tonto in the Disney update of "The Lone Ranger." The film, co-starring Armie Hammer, will hit theaters on July 3.