Chris Penn, film actor and actor Sean Penn's younger brother, was found dead in his home in Santa Monica, CA. Police stated that they suspected no foul play. An autoposy is scheduled to determine his cause of death. Penn was 40 years old, although some sources list his age as 43.
Penn started acting at age 12 and made his film debut in Charlie and the Talking Buzzard in 1979. He appeared in such films as Rumble Fish, Footloose, and Pale Rider before making his breakthrough appearance as Nice Guy Eddie Cabot in Reservoir Dogs. Penn would specialise in playing criminals similar to Nice Guy Eddie for much of his career, in such films as Muholland Falls and The Funeral. Among the movies he appeared in were True Romance; To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar; Short Cuts; Rush Hour; and Murder by Numbers. Chris Penn and his brother Sean appeared in only one film together, At Close Range in 1986.
Penn was primarily a motion picture star, so his appearances on television were few. He guest starred on such shows as Seinfeld, CSI: Miami, and Entourage (on which he played himself). He was a regular on the short lived series The Brotherhood of Poland, New Hampshire.
I have to say that I am saddened by the death of Chris Penn. I always enjoyed his performances and in Reservoir Dogs Nice Guy Eddie Cabot was one of my favourite characters. It is truly sad that he was only 40 years old--at my age one generally does not think of someone his or her own age as dying. It is a shame that his life, and hence his career, had to end so soon, as I do think he was one of the better character actors of our time.