The sudden death of Chris Penn, the younger brother of fellow actorÂ Sean Penn, was ruled accidental Monday by coroners who said he had an enlarged heart and had taken multiple medications includingÂ “promethazine with codeineâ€¦ a highly addictive prescription cough syrup.â€Â It was widely know that Penn struggled with drug abuseÂ and many speculatedÂ on whatÂ would be the cause of his untimely death.Â
Penn was found dead at his condo in late January.Â He weighed more than 300 pounds at the time of his death, which probably didn’t help matters.Â Like Val Kilmer, we watched Penn grow sideways; from the early stocky days with Reservoir DogsÂ as Nice Guy EddieÂ to the chunkier Penn we saw in the 2004 release Starsky & Hutch.
Chris Penn was an actor who specialized in blue-collar tough guy roles but his career was overshadowed by his brother’s career who won a Best Actor Oscar in 2003 for his role in Mystic River– which I still can’t figure out.Â Sean Penn issued a statement last month asking for privacy following the sudden death and the family has made little comment since.
Some highlights on Chris Penn’s life:
- He was born in Los Angeles, CA; October 10, 1965Â
- He was the son of noted director Leo Penn and actress Eileen Ryan
- He was the brother of actor Sean Penn and musician Michael Penn
- From what I can find, his longest relationship was with professional model Steffiana De La Cruz with whom he datedÂ &Â lived with from 1993 – 1999
- He began acting when he was 12 and made his film debut inÂ 1979 with Â Charlie and the Talking Buzzard
- What do you know, in 1984 he appeared in the musical sensation Footloose
- His last acting role was in The Darwin Awards which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year, one day after his death