It was a critical and commercial success that established him as leading Hollywood actor although Burton disapproved of the comment, Depp agrees with it. Depp had no film releases in the following two years, with the exception of a brief cameo in Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991), the sixth installment in the A Nightmare of Elm Street franchise. In the romantic comedy Benny and Joon, he played an eccentric and illiterate silent film fan who befriends a mentally ill woman and her brother; it became a sleeper hit.
Films featuring Depp have grossed over $3.1 billion at the United States box office and over $7.6 billion worldwide.
His most commercially successful films are the Pirates of the Caribbean films, which have grossed $3 billion; Alice in Wonderland, which grossed $1 billion; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which grossed $474 million; and The Tourist, which grossed $278 million worldwide.
He is also of 3/2048 African descent, as he descends twice over from an African slave whose biracial daughter, Elizabeth Key Grinstead, was the first woman of Sub-Saharan African ancestry in North America to sue for her freedom from slavery and win (in 1655).
He played with The Kids, a band that enjoyed modest local success.
Depp has taken on the task of challenging himself to portray "larger-than-life" roles, starting with a supporting role in Oliver Stone's Vietnam War film Platoon in 1986, then playing the title character in the romantic dark fantasy Edward Scissorhands (1990).
He later found box office success in the fantasy adventure film Sleepy Hollow (1999), the fantasy swashbuckler film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) and its sequels, the musical adventure film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), the fantasy film Alice in Wonderland (2010) and voicing the title character in the animated action comedy western Rango (2011).In 1997, Depp starred alongside Al Pacino in the crime drama Donnie Brasco, directed by Mike Newell. Pistone, an undercover FBI Agent who assumes the name 'Donnie Brasco' in order to infiltrate the mafia in New York City.To prepare for the role, Depp spent time with the real-life Joe Pistone, on whose memoirs the film was based.He has collaborated on nine films with director, producer, and friend Tim Burton.Depp is regarded as one of the world's biggest film stars.Depp later stated that he was at the time depressed about films and filmmaking, but that "within 10 minutes of hearing about the project, I was committed." Ed Wood received critical acclaim, with Janet Maslin of The New York Times writing that Depp had "proved himself as an established, certified great actor" and "captured all the can-do optimism that kept Ed Wood going, thanks to an extremely funny ability to look at the silver lining of any cloud." The following year, Depp starred in three films.