Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Sad news

Actor Chris Penn died tonight at the very young age of 43. Every news story will describe Chris Penn in reference to a famous brother and that's a shame. He was a fine actor and the loss will be felt by his family, friends, and fans.

Condolences to his mother Eileen and his brothers Michael and Sean.

Much too young.

Please post your thoughts and condolences. I will pass this link onto Michael.

54 comments:

Ryan Batty said...

I remember Chris first making an impression on me when I saw Footloose in the theaters in third grade. His
role as Willard is as funny to me today as it was then. And I enjoyed seeing him grow in subsequent roles - you always knew a movie was going to be good if he was in it, even in a smaller part. He will be missed.

Ann said...

Chris always showed such depth and breadth in his acting- I just saw him on TV the other day in a re-run of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" and he was spell-binding. Then he could turn around and be so funny, like in "Footloose" or a music video. You have such a talented family, sometimes it's hard to remember you hurt like everyone else!
My thoughts are with you on the untimely loss of your brother.

Bob in Toronto said...

Michael - I've got two brothers myself, and couldn't imagine being without either of them. My heartfelt condolences to you and your family. I wish you strength and for nothing but warm and wonderful memories of Chris and his time in your life.

BvP said...

Chris was a great actor, a great talent. My deepest condolences to the Penn Family.
Bob van Pelt

mattmlpdx said...

Chris created some truly memorable characters, and was able to take underwritten parts and make you feel like there was a whole, real person there. My thoughts are with you and your family.
Matt Mair Lowery

Jonny said...

His performance in At Close Range still sticks with me. I feel like I grew up with him. He was an extremely talented person that I wish I'd known through more than just films and television. My condolences to you and your family on the loss of your brother.

Merujo said...

I said to someone the other day that talented character actors were rare, wonderful, and largely underrated beings. I always felt that Chris Penn fit into this category. I loved seeing him pop up in quality films and on shows like "Law & Order: Criminal Intent", where casting wonderful actors in great, meaty, dark roles is clearly a priority.

To Michael and all his family, I offer my very sincere condolences and kindest wishes. I hope that, in this time of grief, there is also celebration of a life so creative - and appreciated by many.

Anonymous said...

My thoughts and well wishes are with the Penns today. I can only imagine how this kind of loss must feel. Chris' absence will be sorely felt.

-T'

Heidi in Toronto said...

I just watched Reservior Dogs again last week and thought to myself how great Chris was in that film. He always added something special in his supporting roles, like in Short Cuts and True Romance. His talent did not go unnoticed and he will be missed.

Tom Ceraulo said...

Chris was an remarkable talent, and those of us who so admired his work can take some solace in the fact that his film/TV performances will ensure that his presence is felt long after this sad day.

Michael - My sincerest condolences to you and your family at this time.

Shannon said...

A truly talented family has lost a very talented brother. You and your family have my love, support and condolences. Your family has touched me very much, between my favorite movies and music your family is in all of them. I hope you find comfort and healing soon.

Matt in CT said...

I saw Chris Penn most recently on television ("Law & Order: Criminal Intent"), and my wife and I got into a discussion about character actors. And I remember saying that I hoped he was happy being a character actor (not all of them are), and that he understood how amazingly talented he was. And when I say "character actor," I do not mean one of those "what's that guy's name again?" actors. I mean people of a Forest Whitaker or Vincent D'Onofrio quality, actors who share with Chris an ability to show this incredible depth within a character -- the humor, the anxiety, the humiliation -- in addition to (and sometimes in spite of) their scripted lines. When I saw "Footloose" at 13, I didn't want to be Kevin Bacon's character, I wanted to be Chris Penn. He made him seem so much more fun and interesting. And when I saw him in "Short Cuts," as an adult, I was embarrassed for his character (we're supposed to be), but I also felt the burn of the familiar, the universal, in my gut. So rare, and such a loss. Godspeed, Chris Penn.

- A lifelong fan

Anonymous said...

Chris Penn was a fascinating, idiosyncratic actor who gave something unique to every movie he was in, whether it was "Short Cuts" or "Reservoir Dogs".

But none of that compares to the fact that he was someone's son and brother. My deepest sympathies, and wishes for strength and perseverance, to Michael and the rest of the Penn family during this tragic time.

Cyn said...

Words seem trivial and inadequate in the face of this sudden loss.

Chris Penn was the kind of actor who practically grabbed you by the collar when he appeared on screen. He always seemed to give 110% to his roles. Being equally adept at comedy and drama made his talents even more unique.

My deepest sympathies to Michael and the Penn family.

A.V. Jones said...

I'm grieving the loss of such a talented man from our world today, especially one from such an incredible family as yours. Chris will be sorely missed. As others are saying and have said, his was a great career, effortlessly encompassing the fields of comedy and drama. I first became aware of him in the 80s, with Footloose and The Wild Life, and was always looking for his name on a project. Again, my condolences to everyone in your family.

MarkM said...

Michael,

My condolescences to you and your family for this terrible loss. Chris will be missed.

Anonymous said...

Michael, My sincere condolences to you and your entire family. Chris will be missed by everyone. Take comfort in the fact that he was loved and was a great actor and I'm sure even more so, a wonderful brother. Take care, Joyce

Laurie said...

"Oh heart, if one should say to you that the soul perishes like the body, answer that the flower withers, but the seed remains." ~Kahlil Gibran

Our thoughts and sympathy are with Michael and his family.

Laurie & Don Koster

Ellen said...

I just wanted to offer my sincere and heartfelt condolences to Michael Penn and his entire family. The world knew Chris Penn as a talented actor, but his family and those close to him also knew him as uncle, brother, son and friend. I can only imagine the grief you must be going through right now, but please know that my thoughts and prayers go out to you, with gratitude for the gifted performances that Chris left behind on film for all of us to remember him by.

Jill said...

Michael,

I am so sorry to hear about your brother. I'm sure it must be a really difficult time. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Leviathan said...

What a sad, sad piece of news. For me, it's a great talent lost much too early, but for his family, it is, of course, a devestating blow. My heart hangs heavy for those who loved him.

Tom said...

No words can truly express how sorry I am about Chris' passing. I am very sorry and send my thoughts to Chris' entire family and all his friends.

Ray in Omaha said...

Chris was among the best actors out there. His ability to completely own the role whether comedy or drama, cop or criminal was nothing short of amazing. And while his name was never at the top of the marquee, seeing him listed anywhere in the credits always gives me something to look forward to (even when the kids want to watch 'Beethoven 2').

My thoughts are with all those who will miss Chris, family and fans alike.

Tavie said...

My heart goes out to his family and all who loved him. It seems like there were many.

Anonymous said...

I want to express my great sadness at this sudden loss for the Penn family. We just enjoyed seeing Michael in concert the other night in Santa Monica, and that experience makes me feel palpably sad for him and his family.

Aaron said...

I'll always remember Chris for his role in one of my favorite movies, "Best of the Best." Hollywood has lost a great character actor that always seemed to fit no matter what role he stepped into.

My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Penn family.

Dan said...

Chris was an awesome actor, and although I never met him, looked like a pretty cool guy. He will be remembered in the films "Reservoir Dogs", "Footloose" and "The Wild Life" for me. All my condolensces to Michael and his family.

Dan.

Julie in Chicago said...

Chris always brought so much heart to his characters and gave them a depth that made them fascinating to watch. He'll be missed by many, many people. My heartfelt condolences go out to Michael and the whole Penn family. You're in our thoughts and prayers.

Ben Hodges said...

This is totally shocking and sad. He was very underrated. He made Reservoir Dogs!

He shall be missed.

-Ben Hodges,
Atlanta

Tamalee Person said...

I was shocked to hear about Chris' death. 43 is way too young to die and I feel so sad for his entire family. :(

randi l. spiegel said...

I loved the song "Footdown" before I even heard it; by virtue of seeing Chris' name in the album credits.

Chris made an impression in every project he took part in. His presence will be sorely missed.

My most sincere condolences to you and your family. My thoughts are with you.

May you find comfort in the love and wonderful memories of your dear brother.


Randi L. Spiegel
Toronto, Ontario

meg said...

Chris was a truly talented actor who not only gave many memorable and nuanced performances but really seemed like an intelligent good guy. He will be missed.

My most sincere condolences to the Penn family.


Meg

Anonymous said...

Michael, I know there's not much one can say at a time like this because the grief is near unbearable, but I just wanted to let you know that I'm thinking of and praying for all of you. Your family is so incredibly talented and Chris was certainly no exception! He will be missed and fondly remembered. -Marie

Justin Prusi said...

I was stunned to hear the sad news this morning. Though I've always known him better as "Michael Penn's Brother," I've seen quite a few of his movies and always enjoyed his work. It's so hard to lose someone close to you, so I hope the entire Penn family can take some comfort in the fact that so many people have felt strongly enough about Chris to personally offer their condolances. He will be missed greatly by many. My sincerest sympathies...

Joe Caravella said...

The Guys from the band Late Model Jesus send thier deepest regrets at the passing of Chris Penn, He was a talented actor and will be missed

Grant said...

I was shocked when I heard the news of Chris's passing. Although I wasn't too familiar with his acting, I've heard many wonderful things. I can't really imagine how I would feel if I lost either of my brothers. My thoughts and sympathies are with you and your family through these hard times.

DKH said...

I was shocked and saddened when I read the news last night. Michael, I am truly sorry to hear about the loss of your brother and I offer my sincere sympathy. I believe Chris was the first Penn brother to make an impression on me. I saw Footloose and loved that good old boy Willard character. One thing that always seemed to come through the screen when you saw Chris Penn was that no matter the character, or how "bad" he was supposed to be, you could see that beneath the surface there was a giant heart in there, and just a great soul. - Darin H.

Thomas Walsh said...

Hi from Dublin, Ireland. Myself and a substantial amount of my friends are deeply shocked at the death of Chris. He was not the "brother of" or "related to",no.....,like Michael, he was a hugely talented individual and his talents and influence will be sorely missed.

Thank you Spencer for enabling us to have an outlet to air our grief for someone who should not become a footnote in the acting world.

Thank you - Thomas Walsh.

Rebecca Maglangque said...

There are so many guys in Hollywood who do the supporting actor shtick and you barely notice they're on camera, let alone take note of their names. Chris Penn was not one of those guys. He revealed an immense passion in his work that made him shine in even the smallest of parts; I can only imagine what he brought to his most important roles as a brother and a son.

Chris G. said...

Condolences to the extended Penn family - it's truly a sad day for all to lose somebody so talented and young.

Maarten Kneppers said...

My condolences to the Penn family and the friends of Chris. He was too young to die.

Ron Barth, Jr. said...

Hi,
I figured this would be the best way to convey my regrets to Michael and his family on the loss of his brother Chris. I had the pleasure of meeting Michael when he did a bookstore event here in Chicago last year, and I've always been a fan of both of his brothers' work, considering Chris' character work somewhat unfairly underrated because he wasn't really the lead actor "type." (Richard Roeper has a nice little tribute piece on Chris in today's Chicago Sun-Times at http://www.suntimes.com/output/roeper/cst-nws-roep26.html .)

Chris in PA said...

Dear Michael,
I am so very sorry to hear of your loss. Like you, I have two brothers, but sadly lost one of them far too early, too. I can truly say that I honestly know how you must feel at this time. My most sincere and heartfelt sympathies go out to you and your family.
You are so blessed in that you have such a wonderfully talented family, a family that has entertained us all for so many years and in so many ways. Like just about everyone else in the world, practically, I first saw Christopher act in 'Footloose.' I was 20 yrs old at the time, and the movie left a great impression. I was particularly thrilled by his role in 'At Close Range', though. At the time, I lived in Chester Co., PA, where this true story took place, so that role struck very close to home, quite literally. I thoroughly enjoyed Christopher's portrayals in 'Reservoir Dogs, 'True Romance' and 'Mulholland Falls', too. Like I mentioned, you and family have provided us all with so much wonderful enjoyment over the years, that I believe I probably speak for a lot of people when I say that the best way that we can say 'Thank You' to you all is to keep you, your family, and Christopher in our thoughts and prayers, and hope that Christopher can now do the same for all of us.
My Deepest Sympathies,
Chris H in Pennsylvania

Chris in PA said...

Dear Michael,
I am so very sorry to hear of your loss. Like you, I have two brothers, but sadly lost one of them far too early, as well. I can truly say that I honestly know how you must feel at this time. My most sincere and heartfelt sympathies go out to you and your family.
You are so blessed in that you have such a wonderfully talented family, a family that has entertained us all for so many years and in so many ways. Like just about everyone else in the world, practically, I first saw Christopher act in 'Footloose.' I was 20 yrs old at the time, and the movie left a great impression. I was particularly thrilled by his role in 'At Close Range', though. At the time, I lived in Chester Co., PA, where this true story took place, so that role struck very close to home, quite literally. I thoroughly enjoyed Christopher's portrayals in 'Reservoir Dogs, 'True Romance' and 'Mulholland Falls', too. Like I mentioned, you and your family have provided us all with so much wonderful enjoyment over the years, that I believe I probably speak for a lot of people when I say that the best way that we can say 'Thank You' to all of you is to keep you, your family, and Christopher in our thoughts and prayers, and hope that Christopher can now do the same for all of us.
My Deepest Sympathies,
Chris H in Pennsylvania

Anonymous said...

Michael,
I wanted to express my sincere condolances to you and your family during this difficult time, and pray for peace and comfort during this time of grief for all of you.

John Jankow

Lance said...

Michael,

Both Jamie and I are truly saddened by the loss of Chris. We hope your family can find strength to get through this difficult time. Chris was a wonderful actor who Oddly enough I remember most fondly as travis brickley from the best of the best franchise. He was engaging, funny and actually kicked some butt.

Your family will certainly be in our thoughts.

Plasticsoul said...

Chris was an amazing talent and I will miss watching him work. It's has always been a pleasant surprise when Chris would unexpectedly turn up in a movie that I was watching. "Chris Penn is in this? Bonus points!" My thoughts are with his family and friends at this time of loss. We will miss you Chris.

Todd in Dayton said...

We'd all be lucky to leave the kind of legacy Chris did. On stage and screen, you brothers have made your parents proud and attracted a much larger extended family of fans. Our condolences as you fondly celebrate Chris's life.

Anonymous said...

Michael and Sean,

My deepest condolences to you and yours...May you find some peace and respite in the times ahead.

Sincerely,

Dan Lindley
Cupertino CA

Eric Guth said...

Dear Michael and Family,

My sincere condolences on your loss of Chris. Your happy memories of him will help to ease the pain that your family feels now.

I remember Chris when he was 5 years old, not yet old enough to be a Beatle on the back yard swing set. Old enough, however, to add to the color of the Penn family in those years in WH. May his memory be for a blessing.

Sincerely,
Eric Guth

Anonymous said...

Michael,

My deepest sympathies to you and your family on your loss.

josh m. slifkin
pittsburgh, pa

Anonymous said...

I was sad to hear of the death of Chris. He was a unique talent. I remember how much he affected me in The Funeral and Short Cuts especially. All three of you turned into such inspirational, gifted individuals. My thoughts are with the whole Penn family and I hope you find the strength to get through this difficult time.

sean said...

How sad to learn the news of Chris Penn's passing.

His was a most welcome presence in any movie, from "The WildLife", "All the Right Moves", and "At Close Range" to later films like "Reservoir Dogs",
"Short Cuts", "True Romance" and "The Funeral", all the way up to the new "The Darwin Awards".

And don't forget his brief part in "The Pilot" episode of Seinfeld in season 4.

But more than his many colourful roles in film and tv, what I will remember most about Chris is what a GENUINE guy he was...there was no artifice, no pretense.

Whenever I met him, he was always genial and friendly.

My condolences go out to Michael and the entire Penn family.

How lucky I was to be at Largo that night of May 4, 1999, when Michael coaxed Chris up on stage to sing with him for a couple of songs...the joy and fun that they
were having sharing the stage together was priceless.

God rest ye merry soul, Chris Penn. Rest In Peace.

Anonymous said...

Dear the Penn family & friends,

I was deeply saddened by the terrible news of the untimely passing of Chris Penn.

The world has lost a fine actor & the family a branch on their very wonderful & talented tree.

My thoughts are with you all during this extremely difficult time.


Dave Thake
Leeds, UK