|Sean Penn Quick Info|
|Height||5 ft 8 in|
|Date of Birth||August 17, 1960|
Sean Penn is an American actor and filmmaker whose on-screen career has spanned around 4 decades. Known as one of the most gifted actors in Hollywood, the two-time Oscar winner has given nuanced performances in films like Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Mystic River, and Milk. He has also worked behind the camera and has many critically-acclaimed films to his credit as a director. Penn has successfully used his public image to draw attention to various social and political issues at hand. Furthermore, he has equally been in the news for his string of romantic endeavors.
Sean Justin Penn
Santa Monica, California, United States
Sean studied at Santa Monica High School in California.
Actor, Filmmaker, Writer, Director
- Father – Leo Penn (Actor, Director)
- Mother – Eileen Ryan (née Annucci) (Actress) (Died in 2022)
- Siblings – Michael Penn (Older Brother) (Musician), Chris Penn (Younger Brother) (Actor) (Died from heart disease in 2006)
- Others – Moische /Maurice Daniel Penn (Paternal Grandfather), Elizabeth M. Melincoff (Paternal Grandmother), Americus William Annucci (Maternal Grandfather), Rose Isabel Ryan (Maternal Grandmother), Aimee Mann (Sister-In-Law) (Singer, Songwriter) (Wife of Michael Penn)
He is represented by ID Public Relations.
5 ft 8 in or 173 cm
70 kg or 154 lbs
Girlfriend / Spouse
Sean Penn has dated –
- Elizabeth McGovern (1983-1984) – Sean and actress Elizabeth McGovern got romantically involved while shooting the film, Racing with the Moon (1984). They were reportedly engaged and were headed to walk down the aisle but it was McGovern’s decision to leave for New York to pursue her theater career that brought an end to their relationship.
- Barbara Hershey (1984) – Sean was allegedly dating actress Barbara Hershey, who is older to him by 12 years, in 1984.
- Susan Sarandon (1984) – Penn was romantically involved with actress Susan Sarandon briefly in 1984.
- Madonna (1985-1989) – Penn began a highly-publicized affair with pop sensation Madonna in February 1985. The couple was smitten with each other and after dating for a few months, they made things official by getting married on August 16, 1985, on her birthday. His director in the film At Close Range (1986), James Foley, was his best man and famous artist Andy Warhol was among the wedding guests. Madonna even dedicated her studio album, True Blue, to Penn in 1986. Their marriage was rocky from the start and Madonna filed for separation in December 1987. However, the duo reconciled soon after. She had filed assault charges against him for hitting her in Malibu, California but withdrew the charges later. It was alleged that Sean had smacked her on more than one occasion. She eventually filed for divorce in January 1989. In 2015, Madonna refuted claims that her estranged husband was physically violent with her.
- Sandra Bernhard
- Pamela Springsteen – Penn was briefly engaged to actress Pamela Springsteen, sister of Bruce Springsteen, in the early 1990s.
- Robin Wright (1990-1995, 1996-2009) – Actress Robin Wright and Penn began dating towards the end of his marriage to Madonna. She gave birth to their first child, daughter Dylan Frances, on April 13, 1991, and the duo welcomed their son, Hopper Jack on August 6, 1993. The couple separated briefly in 1995, but got back together and married on April 27, 1996. In December 2007, they filed for divorce and again in April 2009, Penn filed for separation but they reconciled soon after on both occasions. In August 2009, Wright filed for divorce for good which was finalized in July 2010. They reached a mutual settlement on the custody of their children, division of assets, and spousal as well as child support.
- Jewel Kilcher (1995) – During his brief separation from Robin Wright in 1995, Penn struck a relationship with singer and songwriter, Jewel Kilcher. He reportedly saw her perform on Late Night With Conan O’Brien and was instantly drawn to her. He asked her to compose a song for The Crossing Guard, a film he was directing in 1995, and also accompanied her on tour.
- Emily Lloyd (1995) – Sean reportedly hooked up with British actress Emily Lloyd in 1995.
- Elle Macpherson (1996) – The Australian supermodel and Penn were spotted getting cozy in 1996. As per the New York Post, the duo arrived at a swanky restaurant in New York and was seen kissing.
- Petra Nemcova (2008, 2012) – During his brief separation from his then-wife Robin Wright in 2008, Penn brought model Petra Nemcova as his date to the Oscars. But, soon after, Penn patched things up with his wife. But, the former lovers rekindled their romance in 2012 after his divorce to Wright was finalized. They were seen together again attending U2 frontman Bono’s birthday bash in 2012.
- Jessica White (2009-2010) – As soon as his wife Robin filed for divorce in 2009, he was quick to move on with another beauty. Model Jessica White caught the fancy of the leading actor and the two were first pictured together in 2009. They made their last appearance as a couple in September 2010.
- Valeria Golino (2011) – Italian actress Valeria Golino was seen enjoying a romantic dinner with Penn in January 2011. Penn had worked with Golino previously in his directorial debut film, The Indian Runner (1991).
- Scarlett Johansson (2011) – To everyone’s surprise, Sean began dating actress Scarlett Johansson in early 2011. Their every move was followed by the media but the romance was short-lived and the pair went their separate ways in June 2011 after dating for nearly 5 months. The reason for the split was thought to be Sean’s reluctance to commit as he had recently come out of a long-term relationship.
- Garcelle Beauvais (2011) – Sean and actress Garcelle Beauvais reportedly got together in June 2011.
- Shannon Costello (2011-2013) – Sean and producer Shannon Costello started off as friends in 2009 and soon after made their relationship public in July 2011. She had worked as the communications director of Penn’s foundation J/P Haitian Relief Organisation in 2010.
- Calu Rivero (2012) – Penn reportedly got involved with Argentine actress Calu Rivero in April 2012.
- Charlize Theron (2013-2015) – Penn fell for actress Charlize Theron next and the two began a romantic relationship in December 2013. He described her as the love of his life and the much-in-love couple got engaged in November 2014. However, their impending nuptials never took place as Theron broke off the engagement in June 2015.
- Minka Kelly (2015) – Just 2 weeks after his split from fiancée Charlize Theron, Sean was seen dining with actress Minka Kelly on her 35th birthday in June 2015. Apparently, the two met at a benefit for J/P HRO and Sean flew to Napa, California with his friend, a day before her birthday to be with her.
- Leila George D’Onofrio (2016-2021) – Sean made headlines in October 2016 when he was seen frolicking on the Hawaiian beach with a much younger woman. The lady-in-question was Australian actress Leila George. Despite having an age difference of around 32 years, they had been together. On July 30, 2020, they got married. In October 2021, it was revealed that Leila had filed for divorce from Sean after almost 1 year of marriage. Their divorce was finalized in April 2022.
- Brigitte Nielsen – Danish actress Brigitte Nielsen reportedly had a one-night stand with Penn. She described their encounter in her autobiography You Only Get One Life in 2011.
- Stacey Nelkin – Penn was rumored to have hooked up with actress Stacey Nelkin.
- Peggy Trentini – Sean and actress Peggy Trentini allegedly had an encounter in the past.
Race / Ethnicity
He has Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry on his father’s side and is of Irish and Italian descent on his mother’s side.
However, his hair has turned gray due to his advancing age.
Often sports a mustache or a goatee
Sean has done endorsement work for the World Food Programme.
Best Known For
- His successful career an actor and director during which he has given many memorable performances and directed critically-acclaimed films like Into the Wild (2007)
- Being an outspoken and often controversial political and social activist
In 1981, Sean made his theatrical film debut as Cadet Capt. Alex Dwyer in the drama film, Taps.
First TV Show
He made his first TV show appearance in an episode of the western drama series, Little House on the Prairie, as a young kid in 1974. However, his role was uncredited.
His first credited TV show appearance came in the detective series, Barnaby Jones, in 1979.
Sean Penn Favorite Things
- Food – Steak
- Musical – The Lion King
- Authors – James Thurber, Salman Rushdie, Christopher Hitchens, Douglas Brinkley, Richard Ford, Philip Roth, Cormac McCarthy, Charles Bukowski
- Books – You Can’t Win by Jack Black, The Knockout Artist by Harry Crews, Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer, Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace by D.T. Max, Recital of the Dog by David Rabe, Ghost Wars by Steve Coll, The Lost Steps by Alejo Carpentier
Sean Penn Facts
- Penn released his first novel, Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff, in March 2018.
- His marriage to Madonna generated huge media frenzy and he became violent against the press during this time. He was charged with assault against a photographer on the set of a film in mid-1987. He served 33 days in prison from his original 60-days sentence for the said assault.
- In November 1993, Penn lost his home, which he was sharing with his then-partner Robin Wright, to the infamous Malibu fires.
- In October 1997, he was included in Empire (UK) magazine’s list of ”Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time” at the 76th spot.
- Sean named his son, Hopper Jack Penn, after 2 of his closest friends – actors Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson.
- He had been a chain smoker for many years before finally kicking the habit when he turned 40 due to health concerns. At the height of his addiction, he would smoke around 4 packs of cigarettes in a day and was known as one of the heaviest smokers in Hollywood.
- In October 2002, he purchased an ad in the Washington Post worth $56,000 to pen an open letter to then-President George W. Bush. In the letter, he asked Bush to stop the attack on Iraq and put an end to the cycle of violence. His move was motivated by his role as a father to his 2 children and as a son of a World War II veteran.
- His father, Leo Penn, was one of the Hollywood celebrities to be blacklisted in the 1950s for his political stance.
- In 2004, Premiere magazine ranked his role as Jeff Spicoli in the 1982 film, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, on the 9th spot in the list of 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.
- Penn is an ardent surf enthusiast.
- He is one of the few actors who has won an acting prize at the top 3 film festivals. He achieved the rare feat of bagging the 3 awards in consecutive years from 1996 to 1998 for his roles in Dead Man Walking at the Berlin Film Festival, She’s So Lovely at the Cannes Film Festival, and Hurlyburly at the Venice Film Festival. The other actors to win an award at these major film festivals are Julianne Moore, Jack Lemmon, and Juliette Binoche.
- He has won the Academy Award for Best Actor twice for Mystic River (2003) and Milk (2008). Apart from these, until 2018, he has been nominated in the same category 3 times for Dead Man Walking (1995), Sweet and Lowdown (1999), and I Am Sam (2001).
- He is a keen follower of the martial art technique, Jeet Kune Do, popularized by Bruce Lee.
- On his visit to Cuba in October 2008, Penn met with President Raúl Castro and also interviewed him.
- In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, he visited New Orleans, Louisiana to aid the rescue of victims. Although he was physically involved in the mission, his efforts drew criticism as his entourage also included a photographer which led many to conclude that it was a PR stunt.
- He was appointed as the Ambassador-at-Large for Haiti on January 31, 2012, by President Michel Martelly for his rescue efforts following the 2010 Haiti earthquake. He became the first non-Haitian citizen to hold that designation in the country’s history. Penn set up the J/P Haitian Relief Organization which managed the successful rehabilitation of people left homeless by the earthquake.
- He was involved in getting American entrepreneur Jacob Ostreicher released from his imprisonment in Bolivia in 2013.
- Penn landed himself in controversy again when he came to present the award for Best Picture during the 87th Academy Awards in 2015. Before revealing the winning picture to be of Birdman, he joked about its Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu, stating, ‘Who gave this son of a b*tch his green card?’ His off-handed comment was deemed racist and offensive but Alejandro, who has worked with Penn in 21 Grams (2003), himself brushed it aside as a joke between 2 friends.
- In September 2015, director Lee Daniels supported Terrence Howard against his domestic violence allegations by stating that actors like Sean Penn have also behaved in a similar way. In response, Penn filed a $10 million defamation lawsuit against Daniels stating that he had never been arrested with charges of domestic violence. However, in May 2016, Penn dropped the lawsuit after Daniels apologized and retracted his statement.
- When drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán was finally arrested in January 2016, Rolling Stone published his secret interview conducted by Sean Penn and Mexican actress Kate del Castillo while he was on the run. The Obama administration criticized Penn for failing to help authorities recapture Guzmán after his escape in 2015.
- In 2010, he started a non-profit organization named, Community Organized Relief Effort (CORE). In 2020, CORE provided free COVID-19 test kits to the people of the U.S.
- In January 2021, he had received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
- In July 2021, while filming Starz limited series Gaslit, Sean gave an ultimatum that he would return to work only when all the people on the set would get vaccinated.
- In March 2022, during the 2022 Directors Guild of America Awards, it was revealed that Sean had been tested positive for COVID-19. However, later, it was reported that it was a false positive test as he had tested negative after almost 48 hours.
- In September 2022, Sean was banned by the Russian government after the US imposed sanctions on Russians amid the Russia-Ukraine war. A total of 25 Americans were banned by Russia.
Featured Image by Sachyn Mital / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 3.0