Sean Penn

Sean Penn in October 2013 Sean Justin Penn (born August 17, 1960) is an American actor and filmmaker. He has won two Academy Awards, for his roles in the mystery drama ''Mystic River'' (2003) and the biopic ''Milk'' (2008).

Penn began his acting career in television, with a brief appearance in episode 112 of ''Little House on the Prairie,'' December 4, 1974, and directed by his father Leo Penn. Following his film debut in the drama ''Taps'' (1981), and a diverse range of film roles in the 1980s, including ''Fast Times at Ridgemont High'' (1982), Penn garnered critical attention for his roles in the crime dramas ''At Close Range'' (1986), ''State of Grace'' (1990), and ''Carlito's Way'' (1993). He became known as a prominent leading actor with the drama ''Dead Man Walking'' (1995), for which he earned his first Academy Award nomination and the Best Actor Award at the Berlin Film Festival. Penn received another two Oscar nominations for Woody Allen's comedy-drama ''Sweet and Lowdown'' (1999) and the drama ''I Am Sam'' (2001), before winning his first Academy Award for Best Actor in 2003 for ''Mystic River'' and a second one in 2008 for ''Milk''. He has also won a Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival for the Nick Cassavetes-directed ''She's So Lovely'' (1997), and two Best Actor Awards at the Venice Film Festival for the indie film ''Hurlyburly'' (1998) and the drama ''21 Grams'' (2003).

Penn made his feature film directorial debut with ''The Indian Runner'' (1991), followed by the drama film ''The Crossing Guard'' (1995) and the mystery film ''The Pledge'' (2001). Penn directed one of the 11 segments of ''11'09"01 September 11'' (2002), a compilation film made in response to the September 11 attacks. His fourth feature film, the biographical drama survival movie ''Into the Wild'' (2007), garnered critical acclaim and two Academy Award nominations.

In addition to his film work, Penn engages in political and social activism, including his criticism of the George W. Bush administration, his contact with the Presidents of Cuba and Venezuela, and his humanitarian work in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Provided by Wikipedia
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