8298 – R.I.P. Nice Guy Eddie

Cause of Actor Chris Penn’s Death Unknown
LOS ANGELES – The cause of actor Chris Penn’s death remained undetermined despite an autopsy performed Wednesday just hours before the premiere of his latest film at the Sundance Film Festival.
Toxicology tests were ordered on the actor, who was found dead in his Santa Monica condominium Tuesday.
“It’s just normal procedure for someone who’s 40 and has not seen their doctor,” said Los Angeles County coroner’s spokeswoman Brenda Shafer.
In a coincidence, Penn’s latest film, “The Darwin Awards,” premiered later in the day at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.
“He gave an incredible performance in the film,” writer-director Finn Taylor said before the screening. “I think he is going to be remembered for years to come and we will miss him.”
The cast of the movie ó a twisted comedy about accidental death ó also includes Winona Ryder, Joseph Fiennes, David Arquette and Juliette Lewis.
Ryder talked about Penn during a question-and-answer session with the Sundance audience after the film’s premiere.
“I really hope people go back and watch his movies, because he was such a fantastic actor, and he is going to be so missed,” Ryder said. “Not just Sean Penn’s little brother, you know? He was Chris Penn.”
Penn was the younger brother of Academy Award-winning actor Sean Penn and musician Michael Penn. He appeared in numerous films, including “Reservoir Dogs,” “Starsky & Hutch,” “Rush Hour” and “Corky Romano.”
“Corky” star Chris Kattan described Penn’s death as “a huge shock.”
“He was an amazing actor and a great comedian,” Kattan said. “He was such a sweet soul and so funny. He had a really great innocence in his eyes. Of course he’ll be terribly missed.”