Character actor Chris Penn worked tirelessly to escape out from under the shadows of his older brothers, actor Sean Penn and musician Michael Penn, by carving a respectable onscreen résum&eacut...
Produced, wrote, directed, and apppeared in his own film, "Nobody's Hero", at age 13 (date approximate)
Cast in the comedy "Rush Hour"
Appeared in the drama, "Holly" about child trafficking in Cambodia; film released after his death
First starring role, "The Wild Life"
Featured in the drama "Mulholland Falls"
Starred with Tom Cruise and Craig T. Nelson in "All the Right Moves"
Feature acting debut in Coppola's "Rumble Fish"
Featured in the big screen adaption of the 70's cop series "Starsky & Hutch"
Cast in the film "To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar"
Read for a part in Francis Ford Coppola's "The Outsiders"
Worked with brother Sean Penn in James Foley's "At Close Range"
Co-starred with Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette in "True Romance"; written by Quentin Tarantino
Cast in the Robert Altman film "Short Cuts"; which follows 22 Los Angeles residents whose lives intersect over the course of a few days.
Starting acting at age 12, mostly at The Loft Studio (date approximate)
Competed as a heavyweight wrestler in high school
Cast as regular Waylon Shaw on the CBS drama "The Brotherhood of Poland, New Hampshire"
Had a supporting role as Willard in "Footloose," about a city boy, played by Kevin Bacon, who comes to a small town where rock music and dancing have been banned
Starred in the comedy "Corky Romano"
Played Nice Guy Eddie Cabot in Quentin Tarantino's "Reservoir Dogs"
Character actor Chris Penn worked tirelessly to escape out from under the shadows of his older brothers, actor Sean Penn and musician Michael Penn, by carving a respectable onscreen résumé playing angry, deeply wounded men in films like "Reservoir Dogs" (1991), "Short Cuts" (1993) and "The Funeral" (1996). Like his brother Sean, Chris Penn started acting at a young age, offering solid support as impulsive young men in "Footloose" (1984), "Pale Rider" (1985) and in his brother's "At Close Range" (1986). "Reservoir Dogs" gave him entry into major features as a character player with enormous potential, as evidenced by his turn in "Short Cuts" as a pool cleaner driven mad by his wife's pornographic job and disinterest in sex. His career appeared to plateau in the late 1990s, though he continued to work steadily until his death in 2006 from health issues. His untimely departure robbed the entertainment industry of a talented player who had yet to find the proper vehicle for his abilities.
Born on Aug. 17, 1960; Acted together in "At Close Range" (1986)
born on August 1, 1958; married to singer-songwriter Aimee Mann
appeared in "At Close Range" with Penn and brother Sean and as a grieving mother in Sean Penn's "The Indian Runner"
Santa Monica High School
"It's very difficult to establish yourself when you have a brother who's a great actor. But I'm my own artist--always have been and always will be."--Penn quoted in PREMIERE, October 1993
Chris Penn, the younger brother of Oscar-winner Sean Penn, was found dead on January 24, 2006 at his condominium near the beach in Santa Monica. Valium, morphine, marijuana and an elevated level of codeine were all found in Chris Penn's body when he died. The official cause of death was an enlarged heart, the coroner's office claims the drugs in his system added to the problems associated with his already enlarged heart.