Chris Penn, a younger brother of Sean Penn who played supporting roles in films such as “Reservoir Dogs” and “Starsky & Hutch,” was found dead in his Santa Monica home, authorities said. Police do not suspect foul play.
Penn’s body was discovered in bed inside the condominium on Ocean Avenue, said Capt. Ed Winter of the county coroner’s office. He said the actor’s housekeeper called authorities.
There were no obvious signs of foul play, Lt. Frank Fabrega said. Autopsy results were pending. Police said Penn was 40 years old, though several celebrity Web sites list his age as 43.
“The Penn family would appreciate the media’s respect of their privacy during this difficult time,” Mara Buxbaum, Sean Penn’s publicist, said in a statement.
Chris Penn’s credits included “Rumble Fish,” “All the Right Moves,” “Footloose,” “Rush Hour,” “Corky Romano” and “Starsky & Hutch.” He also played Nice Guy Eddie Cabot in the 1992 Quentin Tarantino crime drama “Reservoir Dogs.”
Although he was not as well known as his brother Sean, 45, critics said he often was underrated.
“Just as talented as Sean — just a lot less cocky,” Slate magazine critic Cintra Wilson wrote of him last year. He “makes you seamlessly believe in characters so much you barely even notice them.”
Penn’s late father, Leo Penn, directed television shows. His mother, Eileen Ryan, is an actress whose credits include “I Am Sam,” “Magnolia” and “Parenthood.” His brother is musician Michael Penn.
Chris Penn’s latest film, “The Darwin Awards,” was scheduled to premiere Wednesday at the Sundance Film Festival. The film also stars Joseph Fiennes, Winona Ryder and David Arquette.