Photo of Sean Penn Sean Penn

The son of director Leo Penn and actress Eileen Ryan and brother of actor Chris, Sean Penn was born Aug. 17, 1960, in Santa Monica, Calif. Acting since his teens, Penn apprenticed at L.A.'s Group Repertory Theater.

He made memorable dramatic and comedic impressions with his first film appearances in Taps and Fast Times at Ridgemont High. After a string of "troubled youth" roles in the 1980s (Racing with the Moon, The Falcon and the Snowman) and a failed marriage to Madonna, Penn took some time off to pursue directing, starting with The Indian Runner (1991).

He went back before the camera a few years later, with a new maturity in his range that earned him Oscar nominations for Dead Man Walking (1995) and Sweet and Lowdown (1999). As a blue-collar Boston father tormented by his daughter's murder in Mystic River (2003) and California's first openly gay elected official in Milk (2008), Penn received Best Actor Oscar statuettes.

Sean Penn in Fair Game

Fair Game

2010 PG-13

After her husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson, writes op-ed columns accusing the Bush administration of misleading the public to justify invading Iraq, Valerie Plame Wilson's status as a covert CIA agent is leaked by administration officials.

  • Sean Penn in Mystic River Mystic River
  • Sean Penn in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
  • Sean Penn in Gangster Squad Gangster Squad
  • Sean Penn in Into the Wild Into the Wild
  • Sean Penn in Fast Times at Ridgemont High Fast Times at Ridgemont High
  • Sean Penn in I Am Sam I Am Sam
  • Sean Penn in The Tree of Life The Tree of Life
  • Sean Penn in Carlito's Way Carlito's Way
  • Sean Penn in The Game The Game
  • Sean Penn in The Gunman The Gunman
  • Sean Penn in The Falcon and the Snowman The Falcon and the Snowman
  • Sean Penn in All the King's Men All the King's Men
  • Sean Penn in Dead Man Walking Dead Man Walking
  • Sean Penn in Milk Milk
  • Sean Penn in War Made Easy War Made Easy
  • Sean Penn in Taps Taps
  • Sean Penn in The Angry Birds Movie The Angry Birds Movie
  • Sean Penn in Bad Boys Bad Boys
  • Sean Penn in The Thin Red Line The Thin Red Line
  • Sean Penn in Before Night Falls Before Night Falls
  • Sean Penn in The Assassination of Richard Nixon The Assassination of Richard Nixon
  • Sean Penn in The People Speak The People Speak
  • Sean Penn in Phil Ochs: There But for Fortune Phil Ochs: There But for Fortune
  • Sean Penn in The Pledge The Pledge
  • Sean Penn in 21 Grams 21 Grams
  • Sean Penn in What Just Happened? What Just Happened?
  • Sean Penn in Woody Allen: A Documentary Woody Allen: A Documentary
  • Sean Penn in Shanghai Surprise Shanghai Surprise
  • Sean Penn in Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam
  • Sean Penn in We're No Angels We're No Angels
  • Sean Penn in Casualties of War Casualties of War
  • Sean Penn in The Weight of Water The Weight of Water
  • Sean Penn in Dogtown and Z-Boys Dogtown and Z-Boys
  • Sean Penn in The Human Experiment The Human Experiment
  • Sean Penn in Colors Colors
  • Sean Penn in Hurlyburly Hurlyburly
  • Sean Penn in Bukowski: Born into This Bukowski: Born into This
  • Sean Penn in It's All About Love It's All About Love
  • Sean Penn in The Interpreter The Interpreter
  • Sean Penn in Witch Hunt Witch Hunt
  • Sean Penn in Deflating the Elephant Deflating the Elephant
  • Sean Penn in This Must Be the Place This Must Be the Place
  • Sean Penn in Racing with the Moon Racing with the Moon
  • Sean Penn in The Life and Art of John Cassavetes The Life and Art of John Cassavetes
  • Sean Penn in September 11 September 11
  • Sean Penn in See How They Run See How They Run
  • Sean Penn in Pauly Shore is Dead Pauly Shore is Dead
  • Sean Penn in This So-Called Disaster This So-Called Disaster
  • Sean Penn in The Cutting Edge: Magic of Movie Editing The Cutting Edge: Magic of Movie Editing
  • Sean Penn in Rated R: Republican in Hollywood Rated R: Republican in Hollywood
  • Sean Penn in Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride