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SEAN PENN (Joseph Wilson) is a two-time Academy Award winner who has become an American film icon in a career spanning nearly three decades. Penn is a five-time Oscar® nominee for Best Actor. He was nominated for Dead Man Walking, Sweet and Lowdown and I Am Sam before winning his first Best Actor Oscar® in 2003 for his searing performance in Clint Eastwood's Mystic River and his second in 2009 for Gus Van Sant's Milk. His performance as gay rights icon Harvey Milk also garnered Penn Best Actor honors from The Screen Actors Guild, New York Film Critics Circle and Los Angeles Film Critics Association.

Penn has also received Best Actor awards from the Cannes International Film Festival for She's So Lovely and the Berlin Film Festival for Dead Man Walking. He is a two-time winner of the Best Actor prize at the Venice Film Festival, for Hurlyburly and 21 Grams. Penn will next be seen in Terrence Malick's drama The Tree of Life, opposite Brad Pitt.

Penn's feature film directorial debut came with 1991's The Indian Runner, which he also wrote and produced. In 1995, he directed The Crossing Guard, which he also wrote and produced. His third film as director and producer was 2001's The Pledge, starring Jack Nicholson, which was named one of the Top Ten Films of 2001 by the National Board of Review. Since then, Penn wrote and directed the United States contribution to the compilation film 11'09”01 – September 11. This important project gathered 11 acclaimed directors from around the world to create short films in response to the horrific events of September 11, 2001.

In 2003, the film was nominated for a French César in the Best European Union Film category and also received a special award from the National Board of Review.

Into the Wild marked Penn's fourth feature film as writer, producer and director, opening to rave reviews in September 2007. The film, based on Jon Krakauer's bestselling nonfiction book, premiered at the Telluride and Toronto film festivals and appeared on many lists of the top ten films of the year. Penn was presented the Director of the Year Award at the 2007 Palm Springs International Film Festival.

Penn has appeared on stage in productions such as Alfred Hayes' "Girl on the Via Flaminia” and Albert Innaurato's "Earthworms In Los Angeles.” On Broadway, Penn performed in Kevin Heelan's "Heartland” and John Byrne's "Slab Boys.” He also appeared in David Rabe's "Hurlyburly” at the Westwood Playhouse and "Goose and Tom Tom” at Lincoln Center, both productions directed by the playwright. Most recently, Penn starred opposite Nick Nolte and Woody Harrelson in "The Late Henry Moss,” written and directed by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Sam Shepard.

In 2002, Penn was presented with the Modern Master Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival and in 2003 he became the youngest recipient ever of the Donostia Lifetime Achievement Award at the San Sebastian Film Festival. In 2004, he was honored with the John Steinbeck Award for outspoken torchbearers in the creative arts. In 2008, Penn received the Desert Palm Achievement Award for Acting. He also served as jury president for the 2008 Cannes Film Festival and later the same year was named a Knight in the French Legion of Honor.

As a journalist, Penn has written for Time magazine, Interview, Rolling Stone and The Nation. In 2004, he wrote a two-part feature in The San Francisco Chronicle after his second visit to a war-torn Iraq. Penn wrote a five-part feature for the same paper in 2005, reporting from Iran during the election that led to the Mahmoud Ahmadinejad regime. Penn's landmark interviews with Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and Cuba's Raul Castro were published in The Nation and The Huffington Post. Penn's interview with President Castro was the leader's first-ever interview with an international journalist.

Penn's humanitarian work found him in New Orleans in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and, more recently, in earthquake-ravaged Haiti. In January 2010, Penn founded the J/P Haitian Relief Organization, which focuses on medical aid, protection and relocation. His organization established the first emergency re-location in the country. For his efforts, Penn received the Commander's Award for Service (U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division), the 82nd Airborne Award for Meritorious Service, the Operation Unified Response JTF Haiti Certificate from Lieutenant General U.S. Army Commander P.K. Keen, the 1st Recon 73rd Division Coin of Excellence, the 2nd Brigade Combat Team Coin of Excellence, the Commendation of Excellence from the U.S. Southern Command and the Award of Excellence from the Deputy Commander of the U.S. Southern Command.

Earlier this year, Penn was honored with the Children and Families Global Development Fund Humanitarian Award, presented by the Ambassador of the Republic of Haiti, Raymond A. Joseph and his wife, Lola Poisson-Joseph.

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