Before his high-profile relationships with Winona Ryder and Kate Moss, Johnny Depp dated a star of the iconic early ‘90s TV show Twin Peaks.
Depp and Sherilyn Fenn (who played Audrey Horne on the quirky series created by David Lynch) were both unknown actors when they met on the set of the student film Dummies in 1985. The pair soon fell for each other and dated for several years, with Fenn later going on to describe the Pirates of the Caribbean actor as her “first love.”
Sherilyn Fenn was 19 when she met Johnny Depp
Fenn and Depp started dating when she was 19 and he was 21. He played the role of supportive boyfriend when she booked one of her first big jobs — a role on the sitcom Cheers.
“The first big thing I acted in was Cheers – and my first love, little Johnny Depp, was waiting outside the door,” Fenn recalled to The Big Issue in 2017. “I had to walk on and say three lines then leave. My body was shaking. I walked out to say my lines but I just wanted to run back into my boyfriend’s arms and run away.”
Later, Depp’s star began to rise when he was cast in 21 Jump Street. He played a cop who went undercover in a high school on the Fox drama. Fenn guest-starred in one first-season episode, playing a high school girl who wanted Depp’s character to murder her father. The pair also appeared in a Pepsi commercial together.
Fenn and Depp dated for 2½ years
Fenn and Depp’s youthful romance didn’t last, but she looks back on her time with him fondly.
“We were so young … We went out for two-and-a-half years when we were just starting out in the business. He was very sweet. He was my first love,” she told The Big Issue.
“Finding your first love is an important part of everyone’s life,” she added. “With Johnny it helped me, because as a young woman, for the first time, I had found real love. It was with someone who was walking the same path, but even if he wasn’t, the love and the connection was strong enough – cooking meals, hanging out, laughing and crying. So it is more about that than the fact he is this well-known person now. I know him as a human not a movie star.”
Sherilyn Fenn has defended Johnny Depp
Fenn occasionally reminisces about her time with Depp, posting throwback photos of their time together to Instagram. She also defended her ex during his recent libel case, in which Depp sued a British newspaper for describing him as a “wife-beater.” (Depp lost the case.) In a 2016 tweet, Fenn said the Edward Scissorhands star was “not capable of the things being written.”
“Simply the very first love of my life,” she captioned one photo she shared in April 2020. “After so many years it would be fun to talk. Yet, memories are enough as well.”
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