John Christopher "Johnny" Depp II was born on June 9, 1963 in Owensboro, Kentucky, to Betty Sue Palmer (née Wells), a waitress, and John Christopher Depp, a civil engineer. He was raised in Florida. He dropped out of school when he was 15, and fronted a series of music-garage bands, including one named 'The Kids'. When he married Lori A. Depp, he took a job as a ballpoint-pen salesman to support himself and his wife. A visit to Los Angeles, California, with his wife, however, happened to be a blessing in disguise, when he met up with actor Nicolas Cage, who advised him to turn to acting, which culminated in Depp's film debut in the low-budget horror film, A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), where he played a teenager who falls prey to dream-stalking demon Freddy Krueger.
In 1987 he shot to stardom when he replaced Jeff Yagher in the role of undercover cop Tommy Hanson in the popular TV series 21 Jump Street (1987). In 1990, after numerous roles in teen-oriented films, his first of a han