RIP Willard Hewitt
I finally found an article about Chris Penn that actually mentioned “Footloose.” Still haven’t found one that mentions him as Tom Cruise’s best friend in “All The Right Moves.” However, a lot of people recognize his brother, Sean, better than they recognize Chris, but I adored the sweet, uncoordinated goofy guy (Willard Hewitt) he played in “Footloose” that Kevin Bacon tried to teach to dance while the song “Let’s Hear It For The Boy” played in the background. I never did think he’d get that foot tapping right, but darn it all if he didn’t try his heart out. May you find peace, Christopher.
CREDIT: JEFFREY MAYER / WIREIMAGE
Actor Chris Penn has died in Santa Monica, Calif., PEOPLE has confirmed. He was 40.
Santa Monica police say there is no evidence of foul play in the death of the actor, whose brother is Sean Penn. An autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death, authorities said.
“The Penn family would appreciate the media’s respect of their privacy during this difficult time,” the family’s rep said in a statement given to PEOPLE on Tuesday.
Penn’s body was discovered in a bed inside his residence, located in a four-story condominium complex near the beach, said Capt. Ed Winter of the county coroner’s office. Penn’s housekeeper called authorities to the condominium complex, Winter said.
Penn, who has more than 50 acting credits to his name, has starred in such films as Reservoir Dogs, At Close Range, Mulholland Falls, Short Cuts and Footloose.
The California native hailed from a show-business family: In addition to his Oscar-winning brother Sean, his brother Michael is a musician; his father, Leo, was a TV director; and mother Eileen Ryan is an actress who appeared in the films I Am Sam and Magnolia.<!——>