Penn, Sean 1960–

views updated May 18 2018

PENN, Sean 1960


Full name, Sean Justin Penn; born August 17, 1960, in Santa Monica (some sources cite Burbank or Los Angeles), CA; son of Leo Penn (an actor and director) and Eileen Ryan (an actress); brother of Christopher Penn (an actor) and Michael Penn (a musician, singer, and songwriter); married Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone (a singer and actress; known as Madonna), August 16, 1985 (divorced, 1989); married Robin Wright (an actress), April 27, 1996; children: (second marriage) Dylan Frances, Hopper Jack. Education: Attended Santa Monica College, 1978; studied acting at Loft Studio and with Peggy Feury.

Addresses: Agent Bryan Lourd, Creative Artists Agency, 9830 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90212. Manager Brian Gersh, Blue Train Entertainment, 9100 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 340 West, Beverly Hills, CA 90212. Publicist I/D Public Relations, 8409 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069.

Career: Actor, director, producer, and writer. Clyde Is Hungry Productions, founder and producer. Los Angeles Group Repertory Theatre, Los Angeles, production assistant, 197880; Actors Studio, member, beginning 1998; also worked as an assistant to actor and director Pat Hingle; directed and appeared in Super 8 mm films as a high school student.

Awards, Honors: New Generation Award, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, 1983; named one of the "promising new actors of 1984," John Willis' Screen World, 1984; nomination for Golden Leopard, Locarno International Film Festival, 1991, for The Indian Runner; Golden Globe Award nomination, best supporting actor, 1994, for Carlito's Way; nomination for Golden Lion, Venice International Film Festival, 1995, for The Crossing Guard; Independent Spirit Award, Independent Features Project, Silver Berlin Bear, Berlin International Film Festival Award, and Academy Award nomination, all best actor, Golden Globe Award nomination, best actor in a dramatic motion picture, and Screen Actors Guild Award nomination, outstanding performance by a male actor in a leading role, all 1996, for Dead Man Walking; Best Actor Award, Cannes International Film Festival, 1997, for She's So Lovely; named one of "the top 100 movie stars of all time," Empire, 1997; Volpi Cup, Venice International Film Festival, best actor, 1998, and Independent Spirit Award nomination, best male lead, 1999, both for Hurlyburly; Peter J. Owens Award, San Francisco International Film Festival, 1999; Academy Award nomination, best actor, Golden Globe Award nomination, best actor in a comedy or musical motion picture, and Golden Satellite Award nomination, International Press Academy, best actor in a comedy or musical motion picture, all 2000, for Sweet and Lowdown; John Cassavetes Award, Denver International Film Festival, 2000; nomination for Golden Berlin Bear, Berlin International Film Festival, 2001, nomination for Golden Palm, Cannes International Film Festival, 2001, and nomination for Bodil Award, Denmark, best American film, 2002, all for The Pledge; Critics Choice Award, Broadcast Film Critics Association, and Academy Award nomination, both best actor, Screen Actors Guild Award nomination, outstanding performance by a male actor in a leading role, and Golden Satellite Award nomination, best actor in a comedy or musical motion picture, all 2002, for IAm Sam; UNESCO Award (with others), Venice International Film Festival, 2002, and Cesar Award nomination (with others), Academie des Arts et Techniques du Cinema, best European Union film, 2003, both for 11'09 "01September 11; Donostia Lifetime Achievement Award, San Sebastian International Film Festival, 2003; National Board of Review Award, best actor, 2003, Sierra Award, Las Vegas Film Critics Society, and Florida Film Critics Circle Award, both best actor, 2004, and Golden Satellite Award, best actor in a motion picture drama, 2004, all for Mystic River and 21 Grams; Volpi Cup, best actor, 2003, and Special Distinction Award (with others), Independent Spirit Awards, 2004, and Film Award nomination, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, best actor, 2004, all for 21 Grams; Academy Award, Critics Choice Award, Broadcast Film Critics Association, Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award, DallasFort Worth Film Critics Association Award, Vancouver Film Critics Circle Award, Film Award nomination, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and Online Film Critics Society Award nomination, all best actor, Golden Globe Award, best actor in a motion picture drama, London Critics Circle Film Award, actor of the year, Screen Actors Guild Award nomination, outstanding performance by a male actor in a leading role, Boston Society of Film Critics Award (with others), best ensemble cast, and Screen Actors Guild Award nomination (with others), outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture, all 2004, for Mystic River.


Film Appearances:

Alex Dwyer, Taps, Twentieth CenturyFox, 1981.

Jeff Spicoli, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Universal, 1982.

Buddy, Summerspell, 1983.

Mick O'Brien, Bad Boys, Universal, 1983.

Dillard, Crackers, Universal, 1984.

Henry "Hopper" Nash/Lou, Racing with the Moon, Paramount, 1984.

Daulton Lee, The Falcon and the Snowman, Orion, 1985.

Brad Whitewood, Jr., At Close Range, Orion, 1986.

Glendon Wasey, Shanghai Surprise, MetroGoldwynMayer, 1986.

Guenther X, Judgment in Berlin (also known as Escape to Freedom and Ein Richter fuer Berlin ), New Line Cinema, 1988.

Officer Danny McGavin, Colors, Orion, 1988.

(Uncredited) Phil the plumber, Cool Blue, 1988.

Jim, We're No Angels, Paramount, 1989.

Meserve, Casualties of War, Columbia, 1989.

Himself, Schneeweissrosenrot (also known as Snow-white Rosered ), 1991.

Terry Noonan, State of Grace, Orion, 1991.

David Kleinfeld, Carlito's Way, Universal, 1993.

Himself, The Last Party (also known as Youth for Truth ), Triton Pictures, 1993.

Matthew Poncelet, Dead Man Walking (also known as After Midnight, Dead Men, Death Wish, and Sister Prejean ), Gramercy, 1995.

Bobby Cooper, UTurn (also known as Stray Dogs and U TurnIci commence l'enfer ), TriStar, 1997.

Conrad Van Orton, The Game, Panorama Entertainment/Ascot Elite Entertainment, 1997.

Eddie, Hurlyburly, Storm Entertainment, 1997.

Eddie Quinn, She's So Lovely (also known as Call It Love and She's De Lovely ), Miramax, 1997.

Michael, Loved, MDP Worldwide, 1997.

Mysterious hitchhiker, Hugo Pool (also known as Pool Girl and Quirky Gate ), BMG Independents/Nomadic Pictures, 1997.

First sergeant Welsh, The Thin Red Line, Twentieth CenturyFox, 1998.

Rowley Flint, Up at the Villa, October Films, 1998.

Emmet Ray, Sweet and Lowdown, Sony Pictures Classics, 1999.

(Uncredited) Himself, Being John Malkovich, USA Films, 1999.

Cuco Sanchez, Before Night Falls (also known as Antes que anochezca ), Fine Line, 2000.

Groovin' Larry, "Beaver Kid 2," The Beaver Trilogy, Strand Releasing, 2001.

Narrator, Dogtown and ZBoys, Sony Pictures Classics, 2001.

Sam Dawson, I Am Sam, New Line Cinema, 2001.

Himself, Scene Smoking: Cigarettes, Cinema, and the Myth of Cool, 2001.

Himself, RosyFingered Dawn: A Film on Terrence Malick, Campinella Productions/Citrullo International/Misami Film, 2002.

Thomas Janes, The Weight of Water (also known as Le poids de l'eau ), Lions Gate Films, 2002.

Jimmy Markum, Mystic River, Warner Bros., 2003.

Marciello, It's All about Love, Focus Features, 2003.

Paul Rivers, 21 Grams, Focus Features, 2003.

Himself, Dennis Hopper: Create (or Die), Easy Rider Productions, 2003.

Narrator, Riding Giants, Sony Pictures Classics, 2004.

Samuel "Sam" Byck, The Assassination of Richard Nixon, Arn Productions, 2004.

Himself, A Constant Forge (also known as A Constant Forge: The Life and Art of John Cassavetes ), Criterion Collection, 2004.

Himself, You'll Never Wiez in This Town Again (also known as Pauly Shore Is Dead ), Regent Releasing, 2004.

Himself and Ray, This SoCalled Disaster, IFC Films, 2004.

Film Director:

The Indian Runner, MetroGoldwynMayer/Pathe, 1991.

The Crossing Guard (also known as Three Days for the Truth ), Miramax, 1995.

The Pledge, Warner Bros., 2001.

"USA," 11'09 "01September 11 (also known as September 11, 11 minutes 9 secondes 1 image, 11'09 "01: Onze minutes, neuf secondes, un cadre, and Onze minutes, neuf secondes, un cadre ), Empire Pictures, 2003.

Film Producer:

(With David S. Hamburger) The Crossing Guard (also known as Three Days for the Truth ), Miramax, 1995.

Loved, MDP Worldwide, 1997.

She's So Lovely (also known as Call It Love and She's De Lovely ), Miramax, 1997.

The Pledge, Warner Bros., 2001.

Television Appearances; Movies:

Concrete Cowboys, CBS, 1979.

Don Fremont, The Killing of Randy Webster, CBS, 1981.

Hellinger's Law, 1981.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Narrator, Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam (also known as Dear America ), HBO, 1987.

The MTV Interview, MTV, 1995.

Robbie Robertson: Going Home, The Disney Channel, 1995.

Himself, Sean Penn Talking with David Frost, PBS, 1996.

The Art of Dennis Hopper, 2002.

Narrator, MTV Icon: Metallica, MTV, 2003.

Television Appearances; Awards Presentations:

(Uncredited) Himself, The 1993 Billboard Music Awards, 1993.

The American Film Institute Salute to Jack Nicholson, CBS, 1994.

Presenter, 2003 AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Robert de Niro, USA Network, 2003.

Presenter, The Ninth Annual Critics Choice Awards, E! Entertainment Television, 2004.

Himself, The 76th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 2004.

Himself, The 10th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, TNT, 2004.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

(Uncredited) Kid, "The Voice of Tinker Jones," Little House on the Prairie, NBC, 1974.

Sam, "School of Terror," Barnaby Jones, CBS, 1979.

Guest host, Saturday Night Live (also known as NBC's Saturday Night, Saturday Night, and SNL ), NBC, 1987.

Himself, Late Night with David Letterman, NBC, 1991.

Himself, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, NBC, 1991.

Himself, The Late Show with David Letterman, CBS, 1995, 2001.

(Uncredited) Himself, "Emma," Ellen, ABC, 1997.

Himself, "Flip," The Larry Sanders Show, HBO, 1998.

"The Best of Dana Carvey," Saturday Night Live (also known as NBC's Saturday Night, Saturday Night, and SNL ), NBC, 1999.

Eric, "The One with the Halloween Party," Friends, NBC, 2001.

Eric, "The One with the Stain," Friends, NBC, 2001.

(In archive footage) Himself, Celebrities Uncensored, E! Entertainment Television, 2003, 2004.

Appeared in Inside the Actors Studio, Bravo; and The Rosie O'Donnell Show, syndicated.

Stage Appearances:

Earthworms, Los Angeles Group Repertory Theatre, Los Angeles, 1980.

James, Heartland, Century Theatre, New York City, 1981.

George "Spanky" Farrell, Slab Boys, Playhouse Theatre, New York City, 1983.

Eddie, Hurlyburly, Westwood Playhouse, Los Angeles, 1988.

The Late Henry Moss, Theatre on the Square, San Francisco, CA, 2000.

Also appeared in The Girl on the Via Flaminia, Gene Dynarski Theatre, Hollywood, CA.

Stage Work:

Executive producer, Remembrance, Helicon Theatre Company, Los Angeles, 1997.

Director of Terrible Jim Fitch (oneact), Los Angeles Group Repertory Theatre, Los Angeles.


Music Videos:

(In archive footage) "Live to Tell," by Madonna, c. 1986.

"Eardrum Buzz," by Wire, 1989.

Music Videos; Director:

"Dance with the One That Brought You," by Shania Twain, 1993.

"You Were Meant for Me," by Jewel, 1996.

"Highway Patrolman," by Bruce Springsteen, 2000.

"The Barry Williams Show," by Peter Gabriel, 2002.



The Indian Runner, MetroGoldwynMayer/Pathe, 1991.

The Crossing Guard (also known as Three Days for the Truth ), Miramax, 1995.

(Uncredited) The Pledge, Warner Bros., 2001.

"USA," 11'09 "01September 11 (also known as September 11, 11 minutes 9 secondes 1 image, 11'09 "01: Onze minutes, neuf secondes, un cadre, and Onze minutes, neuf secondes, un cadre ), Empire Pictures, 2003.


Author of foreword, Women before Ten A.M., photographs by Veronique Vial, Power House Books, 1998.



International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, Volume 3: Actors and Actresses, St. James Press, 1996.


American Film, August, 1991, p. 18.

Boston Globe, December 20, 1998.

Cosmopolitan, January, 1996, p. 24.

Details, November, 1995.

Empire, October, 1997, pp. 104, 199.

Entertainment Weekly, August 8, 1997, p. 24; February 22, 2002, p. 28; November 28, 2003, pp. 3240; February 6, 2004, pp. 3435.

Film Comment, September, 1991.

Interview, September, 1991, p. 94; October, 1991, p. 38; October, 1995, p. 116.

Newsweek, December 21, 1998, p. 62.

New York Times, September 15, 1991, p. H13; November 12, 1995.

New York Times Magazine, December 27, 1998, pp. 2025, 5255.

People Weekly, February 11, 1985, p. 137; September 24, 1990, p 53; January 25, 1999, p. 107.

Playboy, November, 1991, pp. 6176.

Premiere, October, 1991, pp. 6066.

Rolling Stone, April 4, 1996, p. 44.

Time, August 25, 1997, p. 68.

Time Out New York, July 10, 2003, pp. 1011.

USA Today, January 22, 1999.

Vanity Fair, March, 1986.

Venice, February, 2002, pp. 4853.

Vogue, May, 1988.

Penn, Sean

views updated Jun 08 2018

PENN, Sean

Nationality: American. Born: Burbank, California, 17 August 1960; son of the actor and television director Leo Penn and the actress Eileen Ryan; brother of the actor Christopher Penn. Family: Married 1) the singer-actress Madonna, 1985 (divorced 1989); 2) the actress Robin Wright, 1996, two children: Dylan and Hopper. Education: Attended Santa Monica High School. Career: In high school directed and acted in Super-8 movies; two years as backstage technician and assistant to actor/director Pat Hingle with the Los Angeles Group Repertory theater; directed play Terrible Jim Fitch, acted in Earthworms and The Girl on the Via Flaminia; studied acting with Peggy Feury; 1979—guest appearances on TV series Barnaby Jones; made Broadway debut in Heartland, which had a brief run but led to his movie debut in Taps; returned to Broadway in Slab Boys; 1982—breakthrough performance in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Awards: New Generation Award, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, 1983; Silver Bear Award, Berlin Film Festival, Independent Spirit Award, for Dead Man Walking, 1996; Best Actor Award, Cannes Film Festival, for She's So Lovely, 1997; Volpi Cup, Venice Film Festival, for Hurlyburly, 1998. Agent: c/o Brian Gersh, William Morris Agency, 151 El Camino Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90212, U.S.A.

Films as Actor:


The Concrete Cowboys (Burt Kennedy—for TV)


Hellinger's Law (Leo Penn—for TV); The Killing of Randy Webster (Wanamaker—for TV); Taps (Harold Becker) (as Alex Dwyer)


Fast Times at Ridgemont High (Heckerling) (as Jeff Spicoli)


Bad Boys (Rosenthal) (as Mick O'Brien); Summerspell (Shanklin) (as Buddy)


Crackers (Malle) (as Dillard); Racing with the Moon (Richard Benjamin) (as Henry "Hopper" Nash)


The Falcon and the Snowman (Schlesinger) (as Andrew Daulton Lee)


At Close Range (Foley) (as Bradford Whitewood Jr.); Shanghai Surprise (Goddard) (as Glendon Wasey)


Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam (Couturie—doc) (as voice only)


Colors (Dennis Hopper) (as Danny McGavin); Judgment in Berlin (Leo Penn) (as Gunther X); Cool Blue (Mullin and Shepard) (as Phil the plumber, uncredited)


Casualties of War (De Palma) (as Sergeant Meserve); We're No Angels (Neil Jordan) (as Jimmy)


State of Grace (Joanou) (as Terry Noonan)


Schneeweissrosenrot (SnowwhiteRosered) (Langhans and Ritter)


Carlito's Way (De Palma) (as David Kleinfeld); The Last Party (Mark Benjamin and Marc Levin—doc) (as himself)


Dead Man Walking (Tim Robbins) (as Matthew Poncelet)


U Turn (Stone) (as Bobby Cooper); She's So Lovely (Cassavetes) (as Eddie Quinn + exec pr); Loved (Dignam) (as Man on theHill +pr); The Game (Fincher) (as Conrad); Hugo Pool (Robert Downey Sr.) (as Strange Hitchhiker)


The Thin Red Line (Malick) (as First Sgt. Edward Welsh); Hurlyburly (Drazan) (as Eddie)


Sweet and Lowdown (Allen) (as Emmett Ray); Being John Malkovich (Jonze) (as himself)


Up at the Villa (Haas) (as Rowley Flint); The Weight of Water

Films as Writer and Director:


The Indian Runner


The Crossing Guard


The Pledge


By PENN: articles—

". . . But Not Too Close," interview with Martha Frankel, in American Film (Los Angeles), August 1991.

Interview with Julian Schnabel and Dennis Hopper, in Interview (New York), September 1991.

"Sean Penn at Close Range," interview with Gavin Smith, in Film Comment (New York), September 1991.

"Sean Penn," interview with Graham Fuller, in Interview (New York), October 1995.

"Penn Is From Heaven," interview with Tom Charity, in Time Out (London), 27 March 1996.

"Cool Jerk," interview with C. Mundy, in Rolling Stone (New York), 4 April 1996.

On PENN: articles—

Haller, Scot, "Who Is Sean Penn—and Why Doesn't He Want Anyone to Find Out?," in People (New York), 11 February 1985.

Wolcott, James, "Tough Act," in Vanity Fair (New York), March 1986.

Carter, Graydon, "Sean Penn Pulls No Punches," in Vogue, May 1988.

Connelly, Christopher, "Sean Penn Bites Back," in Premiere (New York), October 1991.

Current Biography 1993, New York, 1993.

Weinraub, Bernard, "Ex-Bad Boy as Sensitive Director," in New York Times, 12 November 1995.

Rebello, S. and others, "Who's the Best Actor in Hollywood?" in Movieline (Escondido), October 1996.

* * *

Sean Penn stood out in his first big-screen appearance as the calm eye of the melodramatic Taps, and raced on to create a notable gallery of outsiders and rebels, both violently delinquent as in Bad Boys and humorous as in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. It was as Spicoli, the stoned high-school student-cum-surfer in the latter that he revealed the nerve to play a character in a stylized manner, and it was this performance that brought him notice as well as popularity: it was clear that here was an off-beat young actor of considerable skill, something of a prodigy as both straight performer and character cartoonist. This was recognized by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association which voted him winner of the 1983 New Generation Award. His self-conscious style, however, got the better of him in his overly mannered performance as Daulton Lee in The Falcon and the Snowman, betraying all too obviously his debt to Dustin Hoffman (Midnight Cowboy) and Robert De Niro (The King of Comedy), and substituting imitation for experience. However, in his next film, At Close Range, he evidenced the maturing of his approach, giving a complex and sympathetic portrayal of an aimless, damaged youth coming to terms with his betrayal by a psychopathically criminal father (Christopher Walken).

Over the next four years, although Penn appeared in a few films—a mixed bag that included the fairly disastrous Shanghai Surprise with his then wife Madonna, and Dennis Hopper's Colors—he was more in the public eye as Madonna's consort, brawling in the glare of tabloid flashbulbs, than as an actor of stature. That changed with his towering performance in Brian De Palma's controversial Casualties of War. As Sergeant Meserve, the American soldier in Vietnam who avenges the death of a buddy by kidnapping and raping a forlorn Vietnamese girl, Penn gives a considered and uncompromising portrayal of confusion, rage and brutality, evoking an elemental man caught in a war where only individual temperament and character separate courage (as represented by Michael J. Fox) from sadism. The actor is fearsome to behold, employing his full armory—body, face, and voice—to express the full range of organized male aggression, both that which protects and that which violates. Arguably, he had become the first in his generation of actors to absorb and reveal the influence of De Niro, and, if you like, by that osmosis, Marlon Brando.

Penn subsequently claimed that he did not like acting and accepted roles only in order to pay bills unless tempted to work with certain directors on exceptional scripts. One such was De Palma's Carlito's Way with Al Pacino, in which Penn gives a masterly character performance as Kleinfeld, the corrupt, self-serving, amoral, drug-taking lawyer who sells Pacino down the river. Combining whining villainy with a rancid smack of his comic style, comedy, he makes of Kleinfeld a sleazy creature, at once caricatural and sinister, snickering at his own fibs and stunts under De Palma's super-sophisticated direction of the material. The actor, meanwhile, had become preoccupied with the idea of writing and directing his own films, beginning with The Indian Runner, straightforwardly reflecting the era of his own experience in its somewhat overheated treatment of a blue-collar misfit wreaking havoc on his family. His next, The Crossing Guard four years later, was an altogether more ambitious and opaque, but less entertaining affair, but both are steeped in lugubrious visuals, a "workshop" approach and a too-studied search for effect. Nevertheless, both were impressively committed and intense demonstrations of his talent, which made all the more pointed and lamentable the loss to movies of the performances he was not giving.

Then, as if he had worked something out of his system he returned to acting with more apparent relish and lean confidence, sliding smoothly into difficult, confused characters such as the weaselly condemned killer Matthew Poncelet in Dead Man Walking, the errant, disturbed husband in She's So Lovely (for which he received the best actor award at the 1997 Cannes Film festival) and the heartsick Eddie in Hurlyburly. In smaller character roles—the sophisticated prankster in The Game, a tough sergeant in The Thin Red Line—his effortless presence left a dominant memory of the picture. His choice tragicomic performance for Woody Allen as Sweet and Lowdown's Emmet Ray, a fictitious but classically self-destructive jazz musician of monstrousness and pathos, rang with understanding and truth, compelling in his recklessness but invested with vulnerable and comedic undertones which elicit sympathy and make Emmet unexpectedly endearing. By now Penn was an established actors' actor, essaying a pre-World War II comedy of manners as a rich idler in Italy in Up at the Villa, and embarking as producer, writer and director, on The Pledge with a distinguished cast headed by Jack Nicholson and including Vanessa Redgrave. But, with the maturity and focus to realize his ambitions, it seemed unlikely that an actor as inventive as Sean Penn, equally good whether serious or funny, would ever abandon what he does so well.

—Alan Dale, updated by Robyn Karney

Penn, Sean

views updated May 21 2018


PENN, SEAN (1960– ), U.S. actor. Born in Burbank, California, Penn is the middle son of Catholic actress Eileen Ryan and Jewish actor/director Leo Penn, who was blacklisted during the McCarthy era for refusing to testify and later established himself as a director on shows such as Columbo and Diagnosis: Murder. A Santa Monica native, he spent his leisure time surfing, playing tennis, and watching movies. At 16, he began directing and starring in Super-8 films with his brother Chris. He graduated from Santa Monica High School in 1978 and worked as a technician and assistant to Pat Hingle at the Los Angeles Group Repertory Theater, studied acting with Peggy Feury at the Loft Studio, and had a few minor television roles. Leo Penn asked director Kenneth C. Gilbert to cast his son in a Barnaby Jones episode in 1979, which led to a part in the Broadway show Heartland (1981), another favor from a family friend. While the play only lasted three weeks, the experience convinced Penn to try out for Taps (1981), which in turn led to his break-out performance as Jeff Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982). Penn married the pop star Madonna in 1985. They starred together in Shanghai Surprise (1986), a film that was critically panned. A drunken driving conviction while filming Colors (1988) led to a 60-day sentence in the Los Angeles County Jail, which he served out on weekends so as to not interfere with the production schedule. Penn divorced Madonna in 1989, the same year he earned praise for his portrayal of a conflicted and angry gi in the film Casualties of War. In 1991, Penn wrote and directed his first feature film, The Indian Runner, which was followed by The Crossing Guard (1995) and 11'09'01September 11 (2002). Highly praised performances in Carlito's Way (1993) and Dead Man Walking (1995) helped pave the way for his best actor win at the Cannes Film Festival for She's So Lovely (1997). Penn won both an Oscar and another Golden Globe for his role in Mystic River (2003). In 2005, Penn went on assignment to Iran to report for the San Francisco Chronicle.

[Adam Wills (2nd ed.)]