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Heeere's Johnny Depp: Meet TV's Most Popular Cop Star

By Sonia Black
Issue No. 149, 1989

Johnny Depp—TV’s Top Cop Star!

So you know that Johnny Depp is handsome and talented. You know that he plays undercover police officer Tommy Hanson on Fox Television’s hit drama series 21 Jump Street. And you know he’s got hundreds of thousands of fans who just adore him—because you’re one of them. But there’s lots more to know about this super star that you probably don’t know. So you know what? We did some Dynamite undercover work of our own and uncovered lots of interesting stats on TV’s top cop star. Here’s our report.

John Christopher Depp II was born in Owensboro, Kentucky, on June 9, 1963, to Betty Sue and John Depp. Gemini Johnny calls himself “an above average slob.” But you can call him J.D. He loves that nickname.

To the Depp family, Johnny’s just a big baby. He’s the youngest in the family. His older siblings are Christi, Debbie, and Danny. The family moved to Miramar, Florida when “baby” Johnny was six years old.

The boy in the band . . . Influenced by his gospel-preaching uncle, Johnny developed a love for music at a very early age. He taught himself to play the guitar. And at 13 he satisfied a burning desire—he joined his first band. The Flames.

One sour note in Johnny’s teenage years is the fact that age 17 he became a high school dropout. It’s one act he still regrets. He left school and pursued his first love, music. After joining various bands such as The Kids, Johnny got a lot of musical experience by playing in nightclubs around the Miami, Florida, area.

Johnny’s done a few “odd” things in his life. While he may be making big bucks now, when he first started out on his own he had a difficult time financially. So to make ends meet, he worked a few odd jobs. Once he was a gas station attendant. He even did telephone sales—selling ballpoint pens, of all things—over the phone.

Johnny arrived in Los Angeles, California, in 1983 with a heavenly dream. He came seeking fame and fortune with his aspiring rock band, Rock City Angels. But once in Los Angeles, Johnny took a detour in his musical path. His good friend Nicolas Cage (Moonstruck star) steered him on the road to a career in the movies.

The first movie Johnny ever performed in was a real horror! It was Nightmare on Elm Street! His second feature was the public flop Private Resort. But his role in the box-office smash Platoon won him an army of praise. Plus he got to form lasting friendships with fellow cast members, including Kevin Dillon and Charlie Sheen.

Let’s see your ID! . . . A fairly accurate description of this 25-year-old star is that he’s 5’10”, has brown hair and brown eyes, and weighs approximately 145 pounds. But his most incredible identifying feature is a tattoo of a Cherokee Indian on his right arm! It’s a symbol of his Cherokee Indian heritage.

Make no mistake about it. Johnny doesn’t cop out when it comes to work. He works long 14-hour days, 7 days a week when he’s filming the series. For relaxation away from the set, these are a few of his favorite things: riding his 1940 Harley-Davidson motorcycle; reading (author Ernest Hemingway is a favorite of his); walking; listening to all kinds of music (swing, folk, rock, country—you name it!); visiting art galleries to view paintings by such masters as Picasso, Chagall, and Vincent Van Gogh; participating in fundraisers for the homeless, or in Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign against drugs, or in alcohol programs for teens; and of course, playing guitar, usually with his ex-band, the Rock City Angels.

Attention! Attention! Johnny Depp’s least favorite thing is being the center of attention. He happens to be a very very shy guy.

Life is really smooth sailing nowadays for J.D. And someday when he has a really big break, his plan is to sail around the world or maybe just around the island he hopes to own.

-- donated by DeepinDepp