Actor Chris Penn Found Dead in his Santa Monica Home
By Lookout Staff
January 25 -- Actor Chris Penn -- brother to Sean Penn -- was found dead Tuesday at his Santa Monica oceanside condo. He was 40.
Only a day before his new film was set to debut at the acclaimed Sundance Film Festival, , Penn's body was found inside his four-story residence by a housekeeper.
There are "no signs of foul play," said Santa Monica police spokesman Lt. Frank Fabrega, but the investigation is ongoing. An autopsy will be performed by the LA Coroner's office to determine the cause of death.
The coroner's office will conduct toxicology tests, Fabrega said.
So far, it appears Penn's death does not seem to be the result of anything other than natural causes. Penn, in recent years, had gained considerable weight and was much larger than he appeared in previous films.
Some of his acting highlights include his roles as "nice guy Eddie," the sweatsuit appareled gangster in the Quentin Tarantino film Resevoir Dogs and the loveable guy who Kevin Beacon taught to dance in the 1980's hit Footloose.
With media outlets jockeying to catch glimpses of the various family members shuffling in and out of the residence Tuesday, Sean Penn’s publicist issued a statement saying that “the Penn family would appreciate the media’s respect of their privacy during this difficult time.”
Penn debuted in Francis Ford Coppola's 1983 film, Rumble Fish, at the age of 12. His lifetime of on-screen work also includes parts in All The Right Moves and True Romance.
Penn grew up in a family dedicated to the arts. His late father, Leo Penn, directed television shows. His brother is a well-known musician, while Sean Penn and his mother, Eileen Ryan, are both successful actors.
Penn's final film, “The Darwin Awards,” is scheduled to premiere tonight
at the Sundance Film Festival.
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