Yo ho ho! Arr-guably one of Johnny Depp's most popular roles is swaggering swashbuckler Captain Jack Sparrow, whom he first portrayed in 2003's Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. The blockbuster film, based on Disney's theme park ride, captured a box office booty of $654 million worldwide, spawning four sequels, and, more importantly, turning quirky cult fave Depp into a bona fide leading man and superstar. It even earned him his very first Academy Award nomination!
Watch some of Johnny's iconic film roles.
Depp and director Tim Burton have worked together on eight films, beginning with 1990's Edward Scissorhands. "There are partnerships where one person is good at one thing and the other is good at another. That's true in our case. But we're very connected in terms of taste," Burton told Esquire in 2010. Added Depp, who is godfather to Burton's son, Billy, "Even when we first met, we connected on all these super-absurd levels. I don't think we've ever had an argument."
As American Indian Tonto in the Lone Ranger reboot, Depp is bringing a small part of himself to the character. "I guess I have Native American somewhere down the line," the actor, whose right arm sports a tattoo of a man in a traditional headdress, told EW.com in 2011. "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."
Get the scoop on Johnny's other tattoos.
Depp is father to two children with ex-partner Vanessa Paradis: daughter Lily-Rose, 14, and son Jack, 11. "Johnny is the perfect father," Paradis told French Elle in 2002. And the actor agrees. "It's the one thing that I will sort of step out of the box and say that I'm very good at," he told AOL in 2010. "I think I'm very good at being a dad, and I'm proud to say it. Because as parents do, I worship my kids, and I learn from my kids, and it's the only thing I want to be good at. Everything else pales."
The actor has put a ring on it several times since his early 20s. His first engagement — and only marriage — was to makeup artist Lori Allison in 1983. They split two years later, and not long after that, Depp found himself betrothed to actress Jennifer Grey, then Twin Peaks star Sherilyn Fenn. His most high-profile engagement was to Winona Ryder, just five months after he met her at a 1989 movie premiere. Depp also had an on-off relationship with model Kate Moss in the 1990s, though rumors of their engagement were never confirmed.
See what Johnny's leading ladies love about him.
Shortly after welcoming daughter Lily-Rose in 1999, Depp and Vanessa Paradis retreated to southern France in search of a quieter life. "I have the impression of being in paradise," he told French magazine VSD of living in Plan-de-la-Tour in 2010. "You know what I do there? Absolutely nothing. There are times when I don't leave the property for three months at a time." Calling it a "truly simple existence," Depp likened it to "being on another planet. When I wake up I go look at my garden. I go see if my vegetables are growing, if certain flowers have started to bloom."
Despite the critical acclaim he's received for so many of his roles, Depp only has one Golden Globe to his name, a best actor trophy for 2007's Sweeney Todd. "It is a humbling experience," Depp, who wasn't on hand to accept his award, said in a statement. "While this is indeed a happy day for me, I am overjoyed at the recognition the film as a whole is receiving." He went on to acknowledge director Tim Burton and the rest of the film's cast and crew. "Overall, I believe it to be a proud achievement for everyone involved and on behalf of us all, I thank you."
It's rare to see Depp without a trendy topper, and fans aren't the only ones who've noticed. In 2011, he was recognized as the Headwear Association's Hat Person of the Year and was inducted into its Headwear Hall of Fame. Many of his characters, including Pirates's Captain Jack Sparrow, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory's Willy Wonka and, of course, Alice in Wonderland's Mad Hatter, have sported iconic headpieces too.
Find out what Johnny's kids thought of Alice in Wonderland.
How's this for luxury: Depp owns a private island in the Caribbean — Little Hall's Pond Cay — which boasts six beaches, flowering plants, coconut trees and total privacy. "I can come down here and disappear," he told Vanity Fair in 2009, five years after purchasing the isolated land for $3.6 million. "You can feed hot dogs to the nurse sharks in the Exumas — but it's best to not swim when doing it."
See more of Depp's pricey assets.
As Tom Hanson, an undercover cop investigating high school crimes, Depp shot to fame in the 1980s series 21 Jump Street. While he recognized the show for "putting me on the map," he wasn't a fan of the work or his teen idol status. "If you're stuck in one place and you're not allowed to grow, then what's the point?" Depp told The Insider. Still, in 2012, Depp reprised his role — alongside costars Holly Robinson Peete and Peter DeLuise — in the Channing Tatum-Jonah Hill-helmed 21 Jump Street movie.
See which now-famous celebs guest-starred on 21 Jump Street.
"Music will always be my first love," Depp told Rolling Stone. "I pick up the guitar and space out and drool." So as a teen, Depp joined the band The Kids, opening for acts like Iggy Pop and the Pretenders after leaving high school in Florida for California. When The Kids broke up, Depp's pal Nicolas Cage urged him to pursue acting. That led to an audition with director Wes Craven and Depp landing a role in 1984's A Nightmare on Elm Street.
It's no secret that the star has many, many admirers, but one stands out from the rest: Ken Shimizu, who greeted Depp at Tokyo's Narita airport in 2012 when the actor arrived to promote Dark Shadows. Shimizu was styled just like Depp, from his hat and round glasses to his jewelry and sculpted facial hair, and reportedly scored an autograph from his idol.
See how Johnny's look has changed over the years.
Pals for over 20 years, Depp and Marilyn Manson's connection became quite public in 2012, when they recorded a cover of Carly Simon's "You're So Vain" and performed together at L.A.'s Club Nokia. But that wasn't their craziest encounter: As Manson told Noisey, "On Y2K … I thought the world was going to come to an end. I went to [Depp's home in] the South of France and we bought every case of absinthe they had in Prague. It was just the burgeoning of our bromance, of our brotherly love for each other."
Watch Marilyn and Johnny perform Sweet Dreams.
The 1984 slasher flick A Nightmare on Elm Street marked Depp's feature film debut. But the handsome 21-year-old, who played Freddy Krueger's victim Glen Lantz, didn't last long in the movie — he was killed quite gruesomely, swallowed up by his bed. Seven years later, Depp returned to the franchise, making a cameo in 1991's Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare.
PEOPLE's movie critic reveals her Top 5 Depp film scenes.
Depp was born June 9, 1963, in Owensboro, Ky., a small town on the Ohio River, just across the Indiana border. By age 15, he had lived in about 20 houses, before his family settled in Miramar, Fla. "We were like gypsies," he said on Inside the Actors Studio. When he was 15, his parents — civil engineer dad John and waitress mom Betty Sue — divorced, and Depp chose to live with his mom. "She's just one of the smartest, funniest, greatest people I've ever been lucky enough to know," he said on the show. "She is truly one of my best friends."
Test your knowledge with our Johnny Depp Predict-a-Quote.
Depp not only owns a vineyard north of Saint-Tropez, France — a gift to ex Vanessa Paradis — but also fancies himself a wine connoisseur. In an interview with Madame Figaro magazine, he spilled on his favorite brands, including the ritzy Pétrus and Château Cheval-Blanc. "With those wines," he shared, "you reach nirvana." He's toyed with the idea of making his own vino, as well.
It's been said that Depp collects bugs, fake mustaches and pigeon skeletons. But two other quirky collectibles almost got him busted when he flew to Miami from Lima, Peru. A customs agent told the actor to open his bag, and asked, "What is in there?" The actor replied, "Stuffed piranhas." "Sorry?" the agent asked. "Stuffed piranhas … and some vampire bats," Depp said while recounting the tale on The Graham Norton Show in 2011. His reason for carrying the cryptic creatures? "It was important to have them," he joked. "I had to bring them home!"
Yes, Keith Richards inspired Pirates of the Caribbean's Jack Sparrow, but Depp's friendship with the Rolling Stones rocker runs much deeper now that Richards has played Sparrow's dad in two of the films. In fact, Depp is directing a documentary about the guitarist. "He was one of the people I admired for what he's done and how he's handled it," the actor told Rolling Stone. "Forty-whatever years of being this god. And he's just cool."
Depp has earned PEOPLE's esteemed title twice: In 2003, he was the mysterious actor and new dad who'd just gone mainstream with Pirates of the Caribbean. "He's always been a bit of a rebel and done whatever he wants to," Sleepy Hollow costar Christina Ricci told PEOPLE. "That's very sexy." By 2009, he was certified box office gold and certifiably sexier. "He knows exactly who he is and doesn't try to be anything he isn't," The Rum Diary director Bruce Robinson said of his appeal. "Plus, the fantastic face."
Get 8 FREE issues of PEOPLE magazine.
As Tonto in 2013's The Lone Ranger, Depp wears face paint and a headdress — a look some have criticized as being stereotypical. But the star insists his intentions are honorable. "The whole reason I wanted to play Tonto is to try to [mess] around with the stereotype of the American Indian that has been laid out through history, or the history of cinema at the very least — especially Tonto as the sidekick, The Lone Ranger's assistant," he told EW. "As you'll see, it's most definitely not that."
Watch a preview of The Lone Ranger.
Depp's breakout movie character, 1990's artificial man Edward Scissorhands, was deemed "unfinished" because the inventor who created him quite literally didn't finish building him. That characteristic in part drove Depp to the film. "I read the screenplay and was devastated. It was one of the most beautiful things I'd ever read," he said. "I knew Edward when I read that — I just knew him. And it was just such a universal feeling, that feeling of not feeling quite like you fit in. There's quite a lot of Edward in me, and a lot of me in him."
Read about a creature named after Johnny.
Depp's first animated feature came in 2005, when he gave life to reluctant hero Victor Van Dort in Corpse Bride. He then went on to voice clever chameleon Rango in the 2011 children's movie of the same name. But Depp has lent his voice to a few small-screen animated characters as well, including Edward Scissorhands on a 2012 episode of Family Guy, surfer Jack Kahuna Laguna on a 2009 episode of SpongeBob SquarePants and Captain Jack Sparrow for a 2006 Pirates of the Caribbean video game.
Sure, Depp is a big wine fan, but that's not why he originally got this tattoo! As legend has it, the actor had "Winona Forever" tattooed on his right biceps after falling for actress (and Edward Scissorhands costar) Winona Ryder in 1989. The two became engaged five months after their first date — but spilt three years later. So what's an inked man to do? Alter his tat to "Wino Forever," of course!
X marks the spot … on Captain Jack Sparrow's right cheek! For 2011's Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Depp gave his character a little X-tra something in the form of an X-shaped scar. Why? Why not, the star decided. "I kept waiting for someone to ask me, 'Where did it come from?' But no one did," he told reporters. "I reckon that [Captain Jack] probably just woke up with it and had no idea."
Another of Depp's indulgences is the Vajoliroja, a 156-ft. yacht whose moniker incorporates the first few letters of his own name, as well as those of ex Vanessa Paradis and their kids Lily-Rose and Jack. The ship, whose interior features red velvet and gold trimming, houses speedboats, kayaks and more, and can sleep around 11 guests and eight crew members. It's available for charter in the Bahamas, Caribbean or Mediterranean, too … if you have the reported $130,000-per-week rental fee to spare.
Depp wears many (many) rings, necklaces and bracelets, but one sterling silver and leather piece has particular significance: his $45 Zia ID bracelet, which benefits California's Children's Hospice and Palliative Care Coalition, an organization close to his heart. The bracelet features a quote from a boy named Dustin, who died at age 11: "Today Is a Gift, Have Fun." Amazingly, Depp's most dedicated fans ("Johnny's Angels") have raised $40,000 for the organization over the years.