Aug. 17th, 1960
Santa Monica, California, USA
5' 9 1/2"
Sean Penn's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles2015 - The Gunman
2009 - The People Speak
2008 - What Just Happened
2008 - Milk
2007 - Persepolis
2005 - The Interpreter
2004 - The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing
2003 - 21 Grams
2003 - Mystic River
2001 - Dogtown and Z-Boys
2000 - The Beaver Trilogy
2000 - Before Night Falls
2000 - Up at the Villa
1999 - Being John Malkovich
1999 - Sweet and Lowdown
1998 - The Thin Red Line
1998 - Hurlyburly
1997 - The Game
1997 - Hugo Pool
1995 - Dead Man Walking
1990 - State of Grace
1989 - Casualties of War
1988 - Colors
1986 - At Close Range
1985 - The Falcon and the Snowman
1984 - Racing with the Moon
1983 - Bad Boys
1983 - Risky Business
1981 - Taps
Guest TV Roles
Himself - Winner Male Actor in a Leading Role
Powerhouse film performer capable of intensely moving work who has gone from strength to strength during a colourful film career, and who has drawn much media attention for his stormy private life and political viewpoints, California-born Sean Penn is the second son of actress Eileen Ryan & director Leo Penn, also brother of Chris Penn (I). He first appeared in roles as strong-headed or unruly youths such as the military cadet defending his academy against closure in Taps (1981), then as fast-talking surfer stoner Jeff Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982).
Fans and critics were enthused about his obvious talent and he next contributed a stellar performance alongside Timothy Hutton in the Cold War spy thriller The Falcon and the Snowman (1985), followed by a teaming with icy Christopher Walken in the chilling At Close Range (1986). The youthful Sean then paired up with his then wife, pop diva Madonna in the woeful, and painful, Shanghai Surprise (1986), which was savaged by the critics, but Sean bounced back with a great job as a hot-headed young cop in Colors (1988), gave another searing performance as a US soldier in Vietnam committing atrocities in Casualties of War (1989) and appeared alongside Robert De Niro in the uneven comedy We're No Angels (1989). However, the 1990s was the decade in which Sean really got noticed by critics as a mature, versatile and accomplished actor, with a string of dynamic performances in first-class films.
Almost unrecognisable with frizzy hair and thin rimmed glasses, Penn was simply brilliant as corrupt lawyer David Kleinfeld in the Brian De Palma gangster movie Carlito's Way (1993) and he was still in trouble with authority as a Death Row inmate pleading with a caring nun to save his life in Dead Man Walking (1995), for which he received his first Oscar nomination. Sean then played the brother of wealthy Michael Douglas (I), involving him in a mind-snapping scheme in The Game (1997) and also landed the lead role of Sgt. Eddie Walsh in the star-studded anti-war film The Thin Red Line (1998), before finishing the 1990s playing an offbeat jazz musician (and scoring another Oscar nomination) in Sweet and Lowdown (1999).
The gifted and versatile Sean had also moved into directing, with the quirky but interesting The Indian Runner (1991), about two brothers with vastly opposing views on life, and in 1995 he directed Jack Nicholson in The Crossing Guard (1995). Both films received overall positive reviews from critics. Moving into the new century, Sean remained busy in front of the cameras with even more outstanding work: a mentally disabled father fighting for custody of his seven-year-old daughter (and receiving a third Oscar nomination) for I Am Sam (2001); an anguished father seeking revenge for his daughter's murder in the gut-wrenching Clint Eastwood-directed Mystic River (2003) (for which he won the Oscar as Best Actor); a mortally ill college professor in 21 Grams (2003) and a possessed businessman in The Assassination of Richard Nixon (2004).
Certainly Sean Penn is one of Hollywood's most controversial, progressive and gifted actors.
- On September 11, 2004, he received the 'John Steinbeck' (qv) award at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. The award is given out by the San Francisco Chronicle and benefits San Jose State University. The evening included film clips and discussion with 'Peter Coyote' (qv). The biggest surprise of the night was that 'Bruce Springsteen' (qv) (a longtime friend of Sean's and the first recipient of the award) presented it to him.
- Appeared with his brother 'Chris Penn (I)' (qv) in _At Close Range (1986)_ (qv), in which their actress mother, 'Eileen Ryan' (qv), played their grandmother.
- He and 'Robin Wright Penn' (qv) lived together from 1991 until their marriage in 1996. They had two children before their marriage.
- He is the 9th person to win 2 Academy Awards for Best Actor.
- Was in attendance at 'Chris Penn (I)' (qv)'s funeral.
- Former brother-in-law of 'Christopher Ciccone' (qv), 'Martin Ciccone' (qv), and 'Paula Ciccone (I)' (qv).
- Refuses to talk about his ex-wife 'Madonna' (qv) in interviews. On her 1989 "Like A Prayer" album, she wrote a song about their failed marriage called "Till Death Do Us Part".
- He toured Caracas, Venezuela, in August 2007 with President 'Hugo Chávez' (qv),.