actor, producer, director
Birthplace: Burbank, California
The son of actor Leo Penn and actress Eileen Ryan, Sean Penn comes by his thespian tendencies honestly. Instead of attending college, Penn entered the Los Angeles Repertory Theater, which helped him secure a television part. He made his feature-film debut in Taps (1981) and was then cast in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), Racing With the Moon (1984) and Colors (1987). Penn was put on probation and served jail time after assaulting photographers on several occasions. Penn appeared in Carlito's Way (1993), The Crossing Guard (1995), Dead Man Walking (1995), The Thin Red Line (1998), Sweet and Lowdown (1999). He was both the executive-producer and star of She's So Lovely (1997), which earned him a best actor prize at the Cannes Film Festival. He directed The Pledge (2001). Penn is married to actress Robin Wright and was once married to Madonna.