Sean Penn Net Worth & Biography

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Introduction

Sean Penn is an American actor, director, screenwriter, and producer. He has won two Academy Awards, for his roles in the mystery drama Mystic River (2003) and the biopic Milk (2008). Penn began his acting career in television, with a brief appearance in episode 112 of Little House on the Prairie on December 4, 1974, and directed by his father Leo Penn.

Following his film debut in the drama Taps (1981), and a diverse range of film roles in the 1980s, including Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), Penn garnered critical attention for his roles in the crime dramas At Close Range (1986), State of Grace (1990), and Carlito's Way (1993).

He became known as a prominent leading actor with the drama Dead Man Walking (1995), for which he earned his first Academy Award nomination and the Best Actor Award at the Berlin Film Festival. As of , Sean Penn has an estimated net worth of about $80M.

At a Glance

Full name: Sean Justin Penn

Other names: Sean Penn

Birthday: August 17, 1960

Age:

Net worth: $80M

Occupation: Actor, Director, Writer, Producer

Nationality: United States of America

Net Worth

$80M

Penn received another two Oscar nominations for Woody Allen's comedy-drama Sweet and Lowdown (1999) and the drama I Am Sam (2001), before winning his first Academy Award for Best Actor in 2003 for Mystic River and a second one in 2008 for Milk. He has also won a Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival for the Nick Cassavetes-directed She's So Lovely (1997), and two Best Actor Awards at the Venice Film Festival for the indie film Hurlyburly (1998) and the drama 21 Grams (2003).

Penn made his feature film directorial debut with The Indian Runner (1991), followed by the drama film The Crossing Guard (1995) and the mystery film The Pledge (2001); all three were critically well-received. Penn directed one of the 11 segments of 11'09"01 September 11 (2002), a compilation film made in response to the September 11 attacks. His fourth feature film, the biographical drama survival movie Into the Wild (2007), garnered critical acclaim and two Academy Award nominations. As of , Sean Penn has an estimated net worth of about $80M.

Early Life

Penn was born in Santa Monica, California, to actor and director Leo Penn, and actress Eileen Ryan (née Annucci). His older brother is musician Michael Penn. His younger brother, actor Chris Penn, died in 2006. His father was Jewish, the son of emigrants from the Russian Empire; while his mother is a Catholic of Irish and Italian descent.

Penn was raised in a secular home in Malibu, California, and attended Malibu Park Junior High School and Santa Monica High School, as Malibu had no high school at that time. He began making short films with some of his childhood friends, including actors Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen, who lived near his home.

Favorite Quotes from Sean Penn

“The major studios are by and large banks and they give you what is by and large a loan to make a movie. Like banks, they want their money back plus.” – Sean Penn
“When you get divorced, all the truths that come out, you sit there and go, ‘What the f**k was I doing? What was I doing believing that this person was invested in this way?’ Which is a fantastically strong humiliation in the best sense. It can make somebody very bitter and very hard and closed off, but I find it does the opposite to me.” – Sean Penn
“Whatever one considers art to be, there is in many people hunger to express themselves creatively and to feel authentic in doing that.” – Sean Penn
“A clearer and more conventional narrative would have helped the film without, in my opinion, lessening its beauty and its impact. Frankly, I’m still trying to figure out what I’m doing there and what I was supposed to add in that context! What’s more, Terry himself never managed to explain it to me clearly.” – Sean Penn
“One of the reasons people sell out so quickly is because even the talented think they’re frauds. It’s a culture that doesn’t encourage people to believe in the work they do. You’re told to second-guess yourself all the time. That’s where I think a little hostility and arrogance can save you. And I’ve never been lacking for either.” – Sean Penn

Career

Acting

Penn appeared in a 1974 episode of the Little House on the Prairie television series as an extra when his father, Leo, directed some of the episodes. Penn launched his film career with the action-drama Taps (1981), where he played a military high school cadet.

A year later, he appeared in the hit comedy Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), in the role of surfer-stoner Jeff Spicoli; his character helped popularize the word "dude" in popular culture. Next, Penn appeared as Mick O'Brien, a troubled youth, in the drama Bad Boys (1983). The role earned Penn favorable reviews and jump-started his career as a serious actor.

Penn played Andrew Daulton Lee in the film The Falcon and the Snowman (1985), which closely followed an actual criminal case. Lee was a former drug dealer by trade, convicted of espionage for the Soviet Union and originally sentenced to life in prison, but was paroled in 1998.

Penn later hired Lee as his personal assistant, partly because he wanted to reward Lee for allowing him to play Lee in the film; Penn was also a firm believer in rehabilitation and thought Lee should be successfully reintegrated into society, since he was a free man again.

Penn starred in the drama At Close Range (1986) which received critical acclaim. He stopped acting for a few years in the early 1990s, having been dissatisfied with the industry, and focused on making his directing debut.

The Academy Awards first recognized his work in nominating him for playing a racist murderer on death row in the drama film Dead Man Walking (1995). He was nominated again for his comedic performance as an egotistical jazz guitarist in the film Sweet and Lowdown (1999). He received his third nomination after portraying a mentally handicapped father in I am Sam (2001).

Penn finally won for his role in the Boston crime-drama Mystic River (2003). In 2004, Penn played Samuel Bicke, a character based on Samuel Byck, who in 1974 attempted and failed to assassinate President Richard Nixon, in The Assassination of Richard Nixon (2004). The same year, he was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Next, Penn portrayed governor Willie Stark (based on Huey Long) in an adaptation of Robert Penn Warren's classic 1946 American novel All the King's Men (2006). The film was a critical and commercial failure, named by a 2010 Forbes article as the biggest flop in the last five years.

In November 2008, Penn earned positive reviews for his portrayal of real-life gay-rights icon and politician Harvey Milk in the biopic Milk (2008), and was nominated for best actor for the 2008 Independent Spirit Awards. The film also earned Penn his fifth nomination and second win for the Academy Award for Best Actor.

Penn starred as Joseph C. Wilson in Fair Game (2010), a film adaptation of Valerie Plame's 2007 memoir. He co-starred in the drama The Tree of Life (2011), which won the Palme d'Or at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. In 2015, Penn starred in The Gunman, a French-American action thriller based on the novel The Prone Gunman, by Jean-Patrick Manchette.

Jasmine Trinca, Idris Elba, Ray Winstone, Mark Rylance, and fellow Oscar-winner Javier Bardem appear in supporting roles. Penn plays Jim Terrier, a sniper on a mercenary assassination team who kills the minister of mines of the Congo.

Directing

Penn made his directorial debut with The Indian Runner (1991), a crime drama film based on Bruce Springsteen's song "Highway Patrolman", from the album Nebraska (1982). He also directed music videos, such as Shania Twain's "Dance with the One That Brought You" (1993), Lyle Lovett's "North Dakota" (1993), and Peter Gabriel's "The Barry Williams Show" (2002).

He has since directed three more films, all well received by critics: the indie thriller The Crossing Guard (1995), the mystery film The Pledge (2001), and the biographical drama survival film Into the Wild (2007). Penn's fifth directorial feature The Last Face (2016) premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.

Writing

In March 2018, Atria Books published Penn's novel Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff. After the book's release, Penn went on a highly publicized press tour. He claimed that he no longer had "a generic interest in making films", and being a writer will "dominate my creative energies for the foreseeable future."