From tipsy pirate to Mad Hatter, the impressive range of Johnny Depp's roles -- and eccentric get-ups -- consistently serve up entertainment for the masses. He shows off the face paint yet again as co-star Armie Hammer's superhero sidekick in The Lone Ranger. Take a quick look back with us at some of Johnny's best roles to date.
By Lizerne Guiting
Depp + director Tim Burton + undead character = a recurring theme we can count on seeing every few years or so. The duo give a darkly comic take on the late '60s TV show adapted for the big screen.
The Rum Diary
Depp adored Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson and chose to star in the adaptation of his first novel as Jack Kemp, a young, struggling American journalist trying to find his voice in Puerto Rico.
Pirates of the Caribbean
Arguably his most significant role to date, Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow earned him his first Oscar nomination and brought his career to a whole new level. Who better to represent the intoxicating swagger, trademark dreads, and comical narcissism of Jack Sparrow than Johnny Depp?
When you think of Johnny Depp, you don't normally think of an insecure lizard, but that's just what Depp played as the voice of Rango in the animated 2011 picture, which reunited him with Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski.
Alice in Wonderland
Bringing the classic character of the Mad Hatter to life in a new and interesting way could only be done with a Depp/Tim Burton collaboration. The 2010 Walt Disney movie went on to make over $1 billion worldwide!
He's one of Hollywood's most in-demand leading men for good reason. Johnny Depp's versatility to play eccentric, tender-hearted, rogue, or murderous characters alike proves just how talented he is. He's the notorious, gun-slinging John Dillinger in Public Enemies. Move over, Christian Bale!
Saying farewell to his teen idol image, Johnny took on his first role under Tim Burton's direction as Edward, a Frankenstein-esque young man who has scissors for hands. He never quite fit into society with his stringy hair, gothic attire, and scarred face, let alone the scissor hands, but Depp's portrayal of the well-meaning misfit made this melancholy fairytale a Burton classic, and began a special collaboration.
In his second Oscar-nominated role, Depp plays M.J. Barrie, a playwright who finds his "Peter Pan" muse in the widowed Sylvia Davies (Kate Winslet) and her four boys. He's thoroughly believable in the role of a man who never let go of his boyish imagination and charm. His superb, nuanced performance makes the film a bittersweet tearjerker.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Johnny honors his friend Hunter S. Thompson by playing his alter-ego, Raoul Duke, in the adaptation of Thompson's 1971 novel. The writer drives to Vegas to cover a motorcycle race, but spends most of his time on a drug-addled high. The result is a stripped-down dissection of the American way of life. Although the film flopped, its over-the-top attitude spawned a cult following. Wait till you see those goddamn bats.
Johnny Depp plays real-life FBI agent Joseph Pistone, who went deep undercover to infiltrate the New York mafia. Under the alias Donnie Brasco, he became "friends" with Lefty Ruggiero and soon became a made man. Depp brilliantly taps into the conflicted feelings of his character; to turn in Lefty meant putting the bullet in his friend's head himself. It's one of the best undercover cop movies you'll likely see.
What's Eating Gilbert Grape
Gilbert's got a problem: his younger brother. Arnie (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his obese mom need caring for. He's stuck at his low-paying job at a local convenience store. And on top of that, he falls for a girl who's just passing through town. Depp embodies Gilbert, drawing up a palpable sense of emotional loneliness and inner turmoil.
"You're not going to like me," says Depp as John Wilmot in the film's prologue, and fittingly, he brings to screen all sides of the Earl of Rochester -- his honesty in writing, his excessive drinking, and his passionate lust. No, this is not a happy film, but Depp charges full force ahead, depicting even the most wretched aspects of Wilmot's life, despite his brilliant mind.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Depp re-teams with director Tim Burton for a new take on the famous Roald Dahl book that was made in 1971 with Gene Wilder playing Willy Wonka.
Once Upon a Time in Mexico
Director Robert Rodriguez's final installment in the El Mariachi trilogy includes Johnny Depp as rogue CIA agent Sands. Johnny delivers a whirlwind combination of thrills, laughs and action. With all the double crossings and twisty plot turns, the film demands multiple viewings...and it just gets better every time.
Memorable Quote: "Are you a Mexi-CAN or a Mexi-CAN'T?"
Depp portrays Washington Irving's Ichabod Crane, who travels to Sleepy Hollow to solve a murder mystery. Violence and gore abound as the Headless Horseman lops off his victims' heads, but this isn't just a scream fest. Depp's performance--and feathered hair--is the perfect complement to Tim Burton's artful, visually eerie take on the timeless legend.
Tackling playing the worst film director of all time -- who also just happened to be a transvestite -- didn't seem like a challenge to Depp as he inhabited the lead character of Ed Wood with such passion and flourish that you wanted him to succeed in filmmaking even though he was terrible at it.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
The guitarist from The Kids proves he's still got musical talent. Johnny croons and slashes throats, fully inhabiting Sweeney Todd from the acclaimed Broadway musical. With direction from Tim Burton, Depp earns his third Oscar nom for portraying the murderous barber.
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Johnny Depp Filmography