Johnny Depp May Be Distant Cousin to Queen Elizabeth

Johnny Depp is one of Hollywood’s most high-profile stars, a man who has worked with many top directors over the course of his legendary career. Known for his tendency to play quirky characters, Depp has fallen from grace in recent years thanks to several major tabloid scandals. Still, to his millions of fans, Depp is a celebrity who occupies a unique place in film history. While Depp might be considered acting royalty, according to one study conducted in 2012, he could actually be related to real-life royalty, as well. 

How did Johnny Depp become a star?

Johnny Depp poses after presenting 'The Minamata Photographer' film at the BCN Film Fest on April 16, 2021
Johnny Depp | Ana Belen Morant/Europa Press via Getty Images

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Depp was born in Kentucky in 1963. As a young man, Depp wanted to become a musician and began performing in garage bands as a guitarist. In 1980, Depp and his bandmates moved to California in order to pursue a record deal.

While Depp didn’t become a rock star, he did get started in the acting business. By the mid-’80s, he had appeared in a handful of movies, including A Nightmare on Elm Street.

In 1987, Depp enjoyed his big breakout into mainstream Hollywood when he was cast in the TV series 21 Jump Street. Playing a young undercover police officer, Depp made waves due to his good looks and easy charm.

Still, Depp proved that he wasn’t willing to be typecast as a standard handsome lead, consistently choosing roles that challenged him creatively. A few of his best-known early roles include parts in movies such as Edward Scissorhands, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, and Dead Man. By the mid-90s, Depp was one of Hollywood’s biggest stars. 

What is Johnny Depp best known for?

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After a string of roles in independent dramas, Depp broke into the mainstream, big-budget film territory by appearing in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. As Captain Jack Sparrow, Depp received critical acclaim, netting Academy Award, Golden Globe, and BAFTA nominations for his work. He went on to reprise the role of Sparrow in multiple other films in the franchise.

In the early 2000s, Depp appeared in several other high-profile movies, including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Alice in Wonderland, and Finding Neverland.

For the past few years, Depp has slowed down his acting efforts, appearing in mostly independent movies once again, especially in the wake of his Amber Heard divorce scandal

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Depp is still a fan-favorite actor, even though he’s not the box-office draw that he once was. He might also be related to royalty, according to a genealogist named Dr. Nick Barratt.

According to a report from Insider, Barratt did a deep dive on Depp’s ancestry and came up with some rather surprising results.

“When I examined Johnny’s history I discovered a likely connection to the royal family,” Barratt explained. “I’ve since established the family tree that demonstrates how. You have to go back more than 500 years to reach the point where his ancestors become royal.”

Barratt did qualify his research by stating that the link likely can’t be proven: “I believe the balance of probability is that there is indeed a link between Depp and the royals – though I doubt we’ll ever be able to prove it 100 percent.”

For Depp’s fans, however, the characters that he has brought to life should earn him a permanent spot in Hollywood’s “most royal.”