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Let’s talk about range: Johnny Depp and his most iconic roles

Let’s talk about range: Johnny Depp and his most iconic roles


Johnny Depp is a legend. Disagree with me? This talented man has portrayed more characters than his age and starred in almost 80 movies in his career. He is a master character inventor with an impressive range of roles he recreated through the decades.

Once in an interview, Depp revealed that he never intentionally wanted to be an actor. Originally a man of music, acting was far from his plans. And for someone who just went along with it, he did more than bring justice to his roles, and he brought them all uniquely into life. Like a chameleon, Johnny has played an array of unforgettable characters.

First appearing on a TV show at the age of 21, the young Johnny was a charmer. The show was a definite hit that kickstarted Depp’s acting career. From the gorgeous teen cop of the 1980s, a mad hatter, a wizard with a penchant for genocide to a bald gang leader, Depp has done it all.

Here are the many faces of Johnny Depp through the years (in no particular order).

Willy Wonka

Johnny Depp is known for his collaborations with American director, Tim Burton. And the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory reboot is the duo’s closer and darker take on the novel classic by Roald Dahl.

Sweeney Todd

Hurt people, hurt other people. Playing the role of a vengeful barber out to kill those who wronged him and people who get in the way, Sweeney Todd is one of the darkest roles ever played by Depp.


Depp has brought Tonto into life, the Native American companion of the lawman famously called the Lone Ranger.

Jack Sparrow

Captain Jack Sparrow is a fan favorite. Watching the Pirates of the Caribbean made it more enjoyable with Depp’s quirky and original portrayal of the pirate captain. The first ‘Pirate’ movie was a literal hit which made Depp’s now iconic pirate.

Edward Scissorhands

Starring as the titular character, Depp proves to be an uncommon gentleman as Edward Scissorhands. His performance in this movie has earned him his first Golden Globe nomination.

Barnabas Collins

The big-screen adaptation of the cult gothic TV vampire soap opera, Dark Shadows is another one of Burton and Depp’s projects together.

Ichabod Crane

Depp brought his quirkiness to playing the Ichabod Crane in the movie adaptation of Sleepy Hollow. Faithful to the short story by Washington Irving but following Burton’s signature touch, the whole movie mixes fantasy and horror with a little bit of romance.

The Mad Hatter (Tarrant Hatter)

A personal fave. Johnny Depp brings his original version of the mad hatter to life. Eccentric, peculiar and most of all MAD, bonkers.

Frank Tupelo

The enigmatic Depp perfectly fits the role of Frank Tupelo, who is a math professor with a broken heart. On an impromptu trip to mend his heart, meets an extraordinary woman who will change his life.

J.M. Barrie

Finding Neverland is a certified tearjerking movie. Just when people thought they’d be seeing another adaptation of Peter Pan, they didn’t anticipate Depp’s moving portrayal of J.M. Barrie. What they didn’t expect is a heart-wrenching presentation of the renowned author J.M. Barrie’s period life including the family who inspired him to his iconic work, Peter Pan.

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James ‘Whitey’ Bulger

Probably one of Depp’s later-career roles that showcases a gripping and keen performance, definitely one of the best. Playing the South Boston mobster James Bulger, Johnny is fully immersed into the persona of someone who is like a definition of a calm before the storm.

Lord Charlie Mortdecai

Here’s a look at Johnny Depp as Lord Charlie Mortdecai, the swindler who disguises as an ‘art dealer’.

George Jung

In the biographical movie ‘Blow,’ Depp plays George Jung who is one of the key figures in the cocaine trade in the United States back in the 70s and 80s.

Johny Whilmot

Ever seen Johnny Depp play the role of an Earl? He easily blends in as Johny Whilmot in the British-Australian drama film, playing the role of a debauching Earl of Rochester.

In Johnny Depp’s 38-year film career, he made a rather diverse assemblage of movie roles that earned him many accolades. From Academy Award nominations to receiving a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award, among others, he is a legend in the industry. A versatile and much-awarded actor is Johnny Depp.

This list is a reminder of what a great actor Depp is. Do you agree? If you think we missed one, feel free to comment below.

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