Johnny Depp is an American actor, producer and musician who has a net worth of around $150 million as of 2023. Known for his versatility and unconventional film choices, Depp has been one of Hollywood’s most popular actors since the late 1980s.
He has appeared in a number of highly successful films that have grossed over $3.4 billion at the box office worldwide.
Early Life and Career Beginnings
Born in Owensboro, Kentucky in 1963, Depp had a troubled childhood and turned to drugs and music at a young age. He and his family frequently moved around the country before settling in Miramar, Florida.
Depp dropped out of high school against his parents’ wishes to become a rock musician. He played guitar in various local bands before moving to Los Angeles in pursuit of an acting career.
Depp landed his first legitimate movie role in the 1984 horror film A Nightmare on Elm Street. His performance caught the eye of director Oliver Stone, who cast him in a minor role in his Vietnam War film Platoon.
In 1987, Depp took on the lead role of Officer Tom Hanson in the Canadian-filmed TV series 21 Jump Street. The show proved popular and turned Depp into a teen idol overnight.
Rise to Stardom in the 1990s
Tired of his pretty-boy image, Depp actively pursued more challenging roles in independent and art-house films.
He collaborated with acclaimed director Tim Burton on multiple occasions, starring in Edward Scissorhands (1990), Ed Wood (1994) and Sleepy Hollow (1999).
Other notable films from the 1990s include What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993), Don Juan DeMarco (1994), Donnie Brasco (1997) and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998).
In 2003, Depp cemented his A-list status by playing the swashbuckling role of Captain Jack Sparrow in the global blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. He would reprise the iconic role in four more Pirates sequels over the next decade.
Later Career and Legal Issues
In the 2000s and 2010s, Depp continued taking on eclectic roles in films like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), Sweeney Todd (2007), Alice in Wonderland (2010) and Into the Woods (2014). He also reprised the role of the Mad Hatter in Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016).
Outside of acting, Depp involved himself in multiple legal issues. In 2016, he went through a highly publicized divorce from actress Amber Heard. In 2018, Depp sued The Sun newspaper for libel after they labeled him a “wife beater” in an article.
However, his libel lawsuit failed in November 2020 when a UK judge ruled that The Sun’s claim was “substantially true.”
In early 2022, Depp sued Heard for defamation over an op-ed she wrote about domestic abuse. After a long and tumultuous trial, Depp ultimately won the case and was awarded over $10 million in damages. While the legal issues damaged his reputation, Depp’s popularity with audiences remained high.
Major Sources of Wealth
The majority of Depp’s net worth comes from his long and lucrative acting career spanning over three decades. According to Forbes, Depp earned $650 million from his film work between 2003 and 2016 alone.
While his more recent movies have not matched the box office success of the Pirates franchise, Depp still commands a hefty paycheck, with salary highs like the $55 million he received for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
In addition to acting, Depp has earned extra income from film production. His production company Infinitum Nihil has backed a number of Depp’s own starring vehicles over the past 15 years. Depp is also a member of the supergroup Hollywood Vampires with Alice Cooper and Joe Perry.
Real Estate Portfolio
With his Hollywood paychecks, Depp has amassed an impressive portfolio of real estate around the world. He once owned a 45-acre estate in the Hollywood Hills that he listed for $55 million in 2016.
Some of his other lavish homes have included a 37-acre estate in Kentucky, a mansion in the French village of Plan-de-la-Tour, and multiple penthouses in downtown LA.
Depp also previously owned a number of islands in the Bahamas. He purchased Little Halls Pond Cay for $3.6 million in 2004 and spent over $10 million building a private village on the island. He listed it for sale in 2017 for $39 million before taking it off the market.
Personal Life and Legal Troubles
Johnny Depp has been married twice, first to makeup artist Lori Anne Allison from 1983 to 1985, and then to actress Amber Heard from 2015 to 2017. He was in several high-profile relationships in between those marriages, dating actresses Jennifer Grey, Sherilyn Fenn, Kate Moss and Winona Ryder. He and longtime partner Vanessa Paradis split in 2012 after 14 years together.
Depp and Heard’s divorce in 2016 was highly public and tumultuous. Heard accused Depp of verbal and physical abuse over the course of their relationship. Depp denied the claims and pointed to Heard’s arrest in 2009 for allegedly abusing her then-girlfriend. Their divorce was finalized with Heard receiving a $7 million settlement.
In 2018, Depp filed a libel lawsuit against British newspaper The Sun for branding him a “wife beater.” The court ruled against Depp in November 2020, stating that The Sun’s article was “substantially true.” The court proceedings revealed Depp’s issues with drugs, alcohol and violence during his marriage.
Depp sued Heard for defamation again in early 2022 after she wrote a Washington Post op-ed about domestic violence. After a long trial that gained worldwide media attention, a jury ruled in Depp’s favor in June 2022. Heard was ordered to pay Depp over $10 million in damages for defaming Depp in her op-ed.
While Depp prevailed legally, the successive lawsuits have likely damaged his reputation in Hollywood. However, he still retains a loyal fanbase, as evidenced by the positive reception toward him on social media during and after the defamation trial.
Despite crossing age 60 in 2023, Johnny Depp shows no signs of slowing down his acting career. He is slated to appear as King Louis XV in the upcoming historical drama Jeanne du Barry. Depp is also continuing his lucrative deal with Dior Sauvage to be the face of their cologne brand.
While his personal legal issues have occupied headlines, Johnny Depp’s immense talent and longtime bankability as a leading Hollywood star are undisputed. As of 2023, his net worth stands at an impressive $150 million and counting.
While more selective in his roles today, Depp’s name alone can help projects get greenlit thanks to his passionate fanbase around the world.