Hugo Chavez Dead: Sean Penn Mourns Venezuelan President
Sean Penn and other Hollywood stars are grieving the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, whose death at age 58 was announced on Tuesday, March 5. "I lost a friend I was blessed to have, and poor people around the world lost a champion," said Oscar winner and activist Penn, 52, in a statement.
Penn has long been a vocal supporter of the controversial leader, who had been privately battling cancer for years. The Dead Man Walking star first met Chavez in 2007 and appeared at a vigil last December as Chavez underwent surgery doctors hoped would save his life. "He's one of the most important forces we've had on this planet," Penn said at the time. He had previously praised Chavez as a "model democrat"; back in 2010, he charged that anyone calling Chavez a dictator "should be jailed."
Chavez returned the favor in a public speech, applauding Penn's "great films" and adding, "he's one of the greatest opponents of the Iraq invasion."
Other Hollywood insiders remembering Chavez include director Oliver Stone, who chronicled his rise to power in his documentary South of the Border. Calling Chavez a "hero," Stone tweeted "Hugo Chavez will live forever in history. My friend, rest finally in peace long earned." Chavez and Stone walked the red carpet together at the 2009 Venice Film Festival.
Filmmaker Michael Moore, rocker Courtney Love and actor/activist Danny Glover also met with Chavez over the years, with the Venezuelan congress giving Glover $18 million to fund a film.
This article originally appeared on Usmagazine.com: Hugo Chavez Dead: Sean Penn Mourns Venezuelan President
Behind the Scenes
Kendall Jenner and more stars share the best behind-the-scenes photos from the Cannes Film Festival on today's Celebs Gone Social.Watch Video »
Check out Emma Stone, Emily Blunt, and Julianne Hough's style statements on this week's OMG Celeb Fashion hosted by Wonderwall's Kirby Kristen.Watch Video »
Blake Lively gets celery up her nose, plus more of her funniest Instagram moments on today's Celebs Gone Social.Watch Video »
"#RichKids" newcomer Taylor-Ann Hasselhoff dishes about the drama on the new season and about spending QT with her dad, David Hasselhoff!Watch Video »
DIY Celeb Makeup
We show you how to get Taylor Swift's blue eye shadow look on "DIY Celeb Makeup."Watch Video »
Rumer Willis and "Dancing With the Stars" partner Val Chmerkovskiy blow off steam by making funny videos on today's Celebs Gone Social.Watch Video »
Like us on Facebook?
UP NEXTLike Their Folks
From Crowd Ignite