Unknown to the world, an award-winning star was born on August 17, 1960, in Santa Monica, California. Born of parents who both had a passion and experience in theatre and acting, it is no surprise that Sean Penn found his life’s path in acting and directing films. Penn’s older brother was a musician, and his younger brother was an actor.
Penn’s career in acting was sparked when he started making short films as a child with his friends, including Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez, who lived near his home. His first on-screen appearance was on an episode of a television series called the Little House on the Prairie as an extra and was directed by his father.
Sean debuted his career in film on an action drama production called Taps in 1981. The following year he appeared in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, a hit comedy that helped popularize the term ‘dude’ in pop culture.
Penn went on to feature in movies and gradually transitioned to directing them. He has received nominations for the Academic Awards for his roles in Dead Man Walking, which premiered in 1995, Sweet and Lowdown in 1999, and I am Sam in 2001. Finally, he won an award for his role in Mystic River, a Boston crime drama produced in 2003. Sean Penn was later recognized and won his second award for producing Milk in 2008, which portrayed real-life gay rights icon Harvey Milk.
Besides his outstanding film career, Penn has always been outspoken in supporting various social and political causes. He went ahead to receive the Christopher Reeve First Amendment Award in December 2006 for his commitment to free speech.