Tribute: Chris Penn |

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Tribute: Chris Penn


91336__penn_lActor Chris Penn was found dead on Tuesday atan apartment near the Pacific Ocean in the Los Angeles suburbof Santa Monica, according to police. Though a cause of death has yet to be determined, police said they didn’t suspect foul play.

As we await more details about his mysterious, untimely death (depending on the source, he was just 40 or 43), you can remember him with your own mini-film festival of his best roles:

Footloose (1984) In which Kevin Bacon teaches the lean, mean farmboy how to dance. Let’s hear it for the boy.

At Close Range (1986) Chris’ only movie with his brother Sean (mom Eileen Ryan’s in it too) features the Penns as stepbrothers whose criminal dad is the world’s worst role model – he’s played by Christopher Walken at his most terrifying.

Reservoir Dogs (1992) Quentin Tarantino helps Penn reinvent his career with the role of Nice Guy Eddie. Penn plays Mini-Me to veteran gangster-pic star Laurence Tierney and establishes the thuggish persona that will last the rest of his career.

Short Cuts (1993) In his shocking performance as the frustrated husband of phone-sex operator Jennifer Jason Leigh, Penn is a standout in Robert Altman’s ensemble epic.

(2005) In a showdown of the showbiz lesser brothers, Penn (guest-starring as himself in the episode ”An Offer Refused”) took on Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon). The actor’s visage, increasingly bloated in recent years, was pretty frightening, but Penn’s fearsome power would have been apparent in his performance alone.

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