In partnership with

Meet Iain Thomas, the 36-year-old South African poet who is famous all over the world except in SA

Trevor Noah has pulled out at the last minute from hosting the MAMAs 2016, due to 'a severe upper respiratory infection'

Johnny Depp: 24 Facts

2009-09-08 15:22

1. "Heeeeeere's Johnny!" That's what his mom said on June 9, 1963, in Florida, USA, when he popped his head out. Or that's what she meant. What she actually said was something like "Aaaaaaaargh!" We're guessing.

2. Johnny made mama proud when he dropped out of school after his parents' divorce, to front a rock band called The Kids.

3. But after Depp met Nicolas Cage on a trip to LA with his first wife Lori, his passion for acting was awakened. Before that happened, he was working as a ballpoint pen salesman.

4. Although the 80s TV series 21 Jump Street was where Depp made his fame, his first movie debut was in Nightmare on Elm Street in 1984.

5. Seeking to escape 21 Jump Street and Teen Magazine cover status, Depp took on some interesting film roles, and dated some interesting women.

6. His good taste in odd women "pre-dated" his good taste in odd films. He dated the mysterious Twin Peaks star, the beautiful Sherilyn Fenn, from 1983-86, before Winona Ryder stole his heart in '89.  In a rare diversion from Lead Singer Syndrome, Kate Moss was next to run him over, followed by Jennifer Grey of Dirty Dancing fame. He was engaged to each of them!

7. Johnny had a tattoo on his arm that said "Winona Forever". When they broke up, he had the "na" removed so it now reads "Wino Forever". Let's hope they laugh about it over a glass or two at parties.

8. Depp's a big tattoo fan, and has the head of Cherokee Indian chief representing his ancestry, his first-born child Lily-Rose's name over his heart, his mother's name (Betty Sue), and a sparrow flying over water with son Jack's name below it. He recently added one reading "Silence Exile Cunning" – presumably his recipe for Hollywood survival.

9. Johnny's baby mama is French singer/actress Vanessa Paradis (who became a star at teen star at 14 years, so she understands showbiz pretty well too.)

10. Johnny features on one of Vanessa's songs, the "Ballad of Lily Rose", a lullaby for their daughter Lily Rose. It's very sweet, and oui, very French.

11. So is JD. He learned French to impress Vanessa's parents.

12. One of his favourite ways to relax is by watching cartoons with his kids.

13. His current band, P, is named for a guitar given to him by Oasis' Noel Gallagher.

14. Depp has a mystical appeal for songwriters (well he's one of them, right?) and famed schizophrenic Chicago street artist Wesley Willis, as well as Beck, wrote songs about him.

15. Depp's first big movie role as the lead was in director Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands, a role that impressed critics and did well at the box office too.

16. Michael Jackson - who probably identified with the main character - bought a  pair of Edward Scissorhands prop scissors Johnny used in the film. They were recently auctioned to help pay off MJ's massive debts.

17. Well at least he keeps his excuses entertaining and creative. When he was arrested for trashing his hotel room in New York in '94, Depp claimed that an armadillo was responsible. He said he'd found the animal hiding in a closet and it had gone nuts when disturbed, wrecking the hotel room, and then jumped out of the hotel room window.

18. He's always had a reputation as the party man. He owned the infamous Viper Room, where River Phoenix died, and now owns a club in Paris.

19. He suffers from coulrophobia – a fear of clowns.

20. He has a sometimes difficult reaction to being photographed. In 1999 he as arrested for being in a fight with paparazzi photographers in front of a London restaurant. He won't let fans take pictures if they include his kids.

21. He's not crazy about American culture, and has been quoted as saying: "America is dumb. It's like a dumb puppy that has big teeth that can bite and hurt you, aggressive." He got into a lot of trouble with the US media for this, and later explained that he only meant that America was an immature country.

22. A highly respected character actor, Depp has starred (to date: September 2009) in seven feature films whose titles contain the names of the main character – starting with Edward Scissorhands. Two of them contain variations on the name Ed, and two contain variations on the name Don. Ja, look it up. Although he plays mostly quite serious roles, Depp doesn't take himself too seriously, and once said: "The term 'serious actor' is kind of an oxymoron, isn't it? [Like] 'Republican party' [or] 'airplane food'."

23. Depp was buddies with gun-mad Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas writer Hunter S. Thompson until his death by suicide. Our hero organised to have Thompson's remains shot out of a 150-foot long canon, as the crazy writer had requested.

24. He stars in the upcoming feature Public Enemies, has four films in production, and is involved with 15 in development. Next up on the screen? His role as the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland, in which he again teams up with his favourite director, Tim Burton. Should be a trip to remember!

Like our facts? Add your own on the message board. Or write your own 24 Facts for publication on MyChannel24 and email it to

From Scissorhands to Winona Ryder... get the essential facts on this hot, oddball Hollywood A-lister.

Suave Swede

2009-09-02 14:45 publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Recent News

24 Facts: Patricia Lewis

2010-05-05 14:39

She's David Hasselhoff's ex, a singer, TV star and socialite. Find out what's beneath her bright, busty, blonde exterior. Read More »

Interview: Chris Forrest

2010-04-19 15:00

From SABC to BBC, Chris knows how to do funny TV. That's why he's hosting BBC Entertainment's Comedy Fest. Meet the baaaad sheep. Read More »

inside channel 24

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.