SUNDANCE: "Darwin" Actor Chris Penn Found Dead

by | January 25, 2006 | Comments

Character actor Chris Penn was found dead Tuesday at a Santa Monica apartment. He was 43 years old.

Police are investigating the death but have found no signs of foul play.

The younger brother of fellow actor Sean and musician Michael, Penn was well known for supporting roles in over fifty films including "Reservoir Dogs," "Best of the Best 2," and "Rush Hour." He had a role in 1983’s "Rumble Fish" before making an impression a year later in "Footloose" as Kevin Bacon‘s best friend with two left feet, lent his voice to the "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" video game, and recently appeared in "Starsky & Hutch."

Chris Penn filmed at least four independent films that have yet to be released, including "The Darwin Awards," which premieres Wednesday at the Sundance Film Festival. With a recognizable cast that includes Joseph Fiennes, Winona Ryder, David Arquette and Juliette Lewis, and helmed by writer-director Finn Taylor ("Cherish"), "Darwin" looks to have a good shot at landing a distribution deal this year.

Prior to his death, Penn also filmed "King of Sorrow" with director Damian Lee ("Ski School") as well as the crime drama "Aftermath," both of which are still in post-production. Last year he appeared in the unreleased "Holly" with Ron Livingston and Udo Kier.

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