Sean Penn

BATD ON Feb 20, 2009 AT 2:15 pm

Sean Penn

Sean Penn

Sean Penn, who stars in the new Harvey Milk biopic titled “Milk”, has been on the Hollywood scene for an astounding 35 years.  In this time, we’ve seen him play everything from a surf-loving stoner to a prisoner on death row.  While his career achievements have been truly remarkable, it’s also his tumultuous and outspoken personal life that keep people like me even more intrigued.  

Penn, a California native, followed the footsteps of his showbiz parents and became an actor at the young age of 14.  His first gig was a small role on the 1970s hit American TV series “Little House on the Prairie”.  After a few more minor TV roles, Penn dazzled us in his first feature film as military cadet Alex Dwyer in 1981’s “Taps”.  Throughout the 80s, Penn mastered the role of the ‘unruly youth’ in films like “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” (1982), “Bad Boys” (1983), “At Close Range” (1986), and “We’re No Angels” (1989).  Hmm, I wonder if his bad boy film persona had anything to do with luring in ex-wife Madonna during this time.  The two were married for four years, during which they co-starred in the 1986 film, “Shanghai Surprise”.  The film received horrible reviews which could very well have been foreshadowing to the couple’s split in 1989.  Since their divorce, Penn has refused to talk about Madonna and their relationship in any interviews. (Reminds me of a recent ex-husband of hers!)

Sean and Madonna

Sean and Madonna

With the 1990′s came more success for Penn.  He starred in such Hollywood blockbusters as “State of Grace” (1990), “Carlito’s Way” (1993), “Dead Man Walking” (1995), “The Game” (1997), and “Sweet and Lowdown” (1999).  It was during this time that Penn met his current wife, Robin Wright Penn, and had two children whom are said to be named after family friends Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson.  During the couple’s brief separation in the mid-1990′s, Penn was linked to singer Jewel and even directed a music video for her. 

Sean and Robin Wright Penn

Sean and Robin Wright Penn

Ten years later, in 2007, Penn and Wright split again, during which time Penn was spotted with model Petra Nemcova.  The couple has since reconciled, but I think it’s only a matter of time before they separate once more.  In which case, who’s going to be his next lady friend?  In addition to his erratic love life, Penn has also attracted a lot of media attention due to his open and blunt political views.  In October 2002, Penn purchased a $56,000 ad in the Washington Post in order to protest against the Iraq War  and the Bush administration.  If only we could all afford to do that! 

It’s apparent that Penn is not only passionate about his personal life and current affairs, but also perfecting his craft.  In recent years, he won an Oscar for his role in “Mystic River” (2003) and is currently nominated in the Best Actor category for “Milk.”  If you haven’t already, check out one of Hollywood’s most rebellious actors and see his critically acclaimed portrayal of gay politician Harvey Milk in “Milk.”

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