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Sean Penn is a well-known actor but also has additional experience as both a director and writer. He’s created a tremendous career within Hollywood and continues to play a prominent presence within the industry even now. 

Early years of Sean Penn

Penn was born August 17th, 1960, in Santa Monica California. It seems acting and directing are in his blood as his parents were actress Eileen Ryan, and actor and director Leo Penn. His older brother, Michael, is a musician, and his younger brother, Chris, who was also an actor, sadly passed away in 2006.

Sean was raised in Malibu California, attending Malibu Park Junior High School and Santa Monica High School. Much like many budding actors in their childhood, he began making short films with childhood friends, including the notorious Charlie Sheen!

Sean Penn’s career over the years

Penn first appeared in a 1974 episode of Little House on the Prairie, a popular television show, as an extra. Of course, it helped that his father Leo also directed some of the episodes.

His film career launched with the action-drama Taps in 1981 and a year later, in the hit comedy Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Interestingly, it was this role that helped contribute and coin the word ‘dude’ within popular culture at the time.

A role that launched his career further would be in the drama Bad Boys in 1983, though he had a brief stint where he stopped acting in the early 1990s and focused instead on directing.

His directorial debut came in The Indian Runner in 1991. Since then he’s directed three more films, all well-received by critics within the film industry. During this time though, his acting career grew too with many more roles acquired over the years.

In 2018, Penn took penn and paper and wrote a satirical novel called Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff. He’s since said that being a writer will dominate his creative energies for the foreseeable future.

Lifetime and notable achievements

Penn has appeared in more than fifty films and has won many awards during his career, both as an actor and director. During his career, he has won two Acadamy Awards, for Best Actor in Mystic River in 2003 and for Milk in 2008.

He’s been nominated three more times within the same category for other films; Dead Man Walking, Sweet and Lowdown, and I Am Sam, and for directing, he received a Directors Guild of America nomination for Into the Wild (2007).

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