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Goodbye Chris Penn

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43-year old Chris Penn was found dead in his Santa Monica apartment today. What killed Nice Guy Eddie Cabot? Nobody's saying. All that's been reported so far is "no signs of foul play." (update: Tuesday night, according to imdb, he was born in 1962. Now it's been changed to say 1965. Maybe he was just 40 after all).

We always had a soft spot for Sean's younger (but not little) brother. How do you follow in the footsteps of the man who wants to be the Brando of his generation? Chris never got the kind of focused attention his brother did — although this registration-required 2004 Salon tribute tries to even the scales. He worked with some amazing directors (Francis Ford Coppola, Robert Altman, Barbet Schroeder, Quentin Tarantino), in what weren't always their best movies. Except for Tarantino's: Chris Penn will probably be best remembered for his role in Reservoir Dogs.

Instead, we'll remember Kevin Bacon teaching him to dance in Footloose. In silhoutte. To "Let's Hear It For The Boy."