For many years, actor Johnny Depp has brought to life the stories of real-life and fictional villains and heroes on television and the big screen across the world. But details about Depp’s own heritage make his personal story worthy of a Hollywood film.

New research revealed the actor is a direct descendant of Elizabeth Key, an African-American former slave who worked within the law to win her freedom on July 21, 1656, the heritage website said. Depp had earlier laid claim to some Native American ancestry, though that assertion was not verified.

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