Leila George is an Australian-American actress best known for her role as the younger version of Janine “Smurf” Cody in the Animal Kingdom TV series. Leila also gained fame for her marriage to actor Sean Penn. The duo were married for just under one year before the actress filed for divorce.
It is not clear what caused Leila to want to leave or divorce the Oscar-winning actor but according to recent reports, the pair might be on their way to reconciling as divorce proceedings have not yet been finalized.
Other than her marriage and flourishing career across both the United States and Australia that has seen her appear in films like Mortal Engines (2018) and The Kid (2019) among others, Leila George is also famous for being the daughter of the legendary Emmy-award-winning actor, Victor D’Onofrio. Her father is known for movies like Men in Black, Jurassic World, and Law & Order. Below is an insight into the 30 year old’s life and career.
Leila George Was Born In Sydney, Australia, Over Two Decades Ago
Leila George was welcomed into the world by Vincent D’Onofrio and his then-wife, Greta Scacchi, on the 20th of March in 1992. The celebrity child was born in the Australian city of Sydney but was subsequently raised in Brighton in the United Kingdom after her parents got divorced. She lived with her mother and two younger half brothers in Sussex county.
George attended Brighton College where she took acting classes when she was just 16 years old. The next year, being 2009, she began attending the University at Crawley College, a school that her mother, Greta, had attended many years ago. She was there for two years before moving over to the Arts Educational School in London. It might seem like too many schools for one person, but not to someone like Leila.
In 2011 she enrolled at yet another school, this time the Sydney Film School where she studied filmmaking for one year. The final icing on the cake for Leila’s educational background was the Lee Strasberg Institute located in New York City. Reports have said that she attended the school so she could be close to her father, who lived in New York at the time.
This all happened in 2012 when Leila was just 20 years old. During the year, she relocated fully and it was not long before Leila began to work in the movie industry, armed to the teeth as she was, with so many impressive skills at her fingertips.
Leila George and Sean Penn Met Way Back In 2015 On A Movie Set
Reports have stated that Sean and Leila George met just shortly after the older actor had broken up with his ex-fiancée, South African actress Charlize Theron, in June 2015. According to reports, Leila met Sean Penn on the set of the movie, ‘The Last Face’. The rumors about both of them being romantically linked were not confirmed until 2016 when they made headlines after Penn was spotted kissing the much younger actress on a beach in Hawaii.
They, however, didn’t make anything official until almost four years later. On the 30th of July in 2020, they got married amid the panic of the coronavirus pandemic. Their wedding ceremony was a quiet and intimate one and took place in Sean Penn’s New York home.
The couple’s secret marriage was first brought to public notice by top celebrities like Josh Brolin, who co-starred with Sean in ‘Milk and Gangster Squad’, and Irena Medavoy, wife of Black Swan producer Mike Medavoy.
Irena had posted a congratulatory message to the couple on her Instagram saying that they were so happy for, “@leilageorge #seanpenn getting married. We love you.” She went on to thank Sean for being like a son to her husband, adding that they were excited that he had found his “soul mate true partner @coreresponse true love that also changes the world for better”.
She further said that they were meant to be together and prayed for God’s blessings on them and the family they had joined. “…Introducing the Penn’s #marriage,” Irena wrote. One of the photos of the couple she shared was a picture of a ring with a sapphire – which seemed to be the wedding ring.
On Josh’s part, he took to his Instagram story to congratulate Sean and Leila writing, “Happy Wedding lovebirds. Our salutations to a beautiful marriage. Sean and Leila.”
Subsequently, the first confirmation that the lovebirds had tied the knot came from Sean himself. He said that they tied the knot in a civil ceremony in a Zoom meeting with the county commissioner with his (Sean’s) two children and Leila’s brother in attendance.
The ‘Milk’ actor revealed this during his appearance on the Late Night with Seth Meyers show in August 2020, and he was noticeably sporting a gold wedding ring.
Following their nuptials, a friend of Leila who spoke to PEOPLE in August revealed that the actors had gotten back together earlier in 2020 after being on and off. According to the source, they got together and later broke up, and then Sean worked hard to get Leila back after he realized that he had made a mistake and didn’t want to lose her. Thankfully, his hard work yielded positive results as they reunited during the covid-19 pandemic.
During this period, the pair self-isolated together, the insider further disclosed, and this helped to make their bond stronger. They even worked together on humanitarian projects all through the public health crisis and on one of such projects, they helped to set up testing sites in Los Angeles. Having become very close, Leila and Sean got engaged early during quarantine in 2020, the source explained.
Unfortunately, the duo’s union fell apart just a little over a year after they got married. Meanwhile, an age gap of more than two decades exists between Sean and Leila in addition to Sean Penn being a year older than Leila’s father and the same age as her Australian-Italian actress mother, Greta Scacchi.
Although we do not know for sure, it is believed that the coupe’s huge age difference might have been a contributory factor to the failure of their marriage.
Sean Penn Is A Huge Hollywood Star
The man Leila George married is none other than American actor and screenwriter, Sean Penn. Sean was born on August 27, 1960, to American movie producer, Leo Penn. He is also known for his work as a movie director and as a social rights activist. His career dates all the way back to the seventies when he made a short appearance in an episode of ‘Little House on the Prairie’.
After appearing in so many other movies throughout the eighties and early nineties, he finally landed a lead role in the 1995 movie, ‘Dead Man Walking.’ The movie earned him his first Academy Award nomination and a Berlin Film Festival ‘Best Actor’ award. He finally won the Academy Award in 2003 and 2008 for his performance in ‘Mystic River’ and ‘Milk’ with the former turning out to be the defining role of his entire career.
Sean Penn’s award-riddled career has lasted throughout the nineties and well into the early 2000s with Oscars, Golden Globes, and Screen Actors Guild Awards – you name it. By 1991, he had made his first feature film called ‘The Indian Runner’, closely followed by the 1995 drama film ‘The Crossing Guard’ and a 2001 mystery film called, ‘The Pledge’.
In 2002 the Oscar award-winning actor directed one out of eleven parts of ‘September 11’, a compilation film made in memory of the victims of the terrorist attacks of the same name. His fourth feature film, ‘Into the Wild’ (2007) was critically acclaimed by many and even earned him two Academy Award nominations for Best Director.
Apart from his work in the movies, Sean is known for his unbridled activism, especially for his unabashed criticism of George Bush’s administration, and his humanitarian work during the aftermath of the devastating Hurricane Katrina. Before Leila, the 62 year-old actor had been married to two famous women; pop singer Madonna and actress Robin Wright.
What Happened To Leila George’s Marriage To Sean Penn?
Sean Penn’s now estranged wife Leila George filed for divorce after under one year of marriage. Apparently, she filed the papers on the 15th of October 2021 at the Los Angeles Superior Court and seems to have moved out of their family home.
What caused the divorce isn’t public knowledge yet, and although this would mark the Oscar-winning actor’s third divorce, the news came as a huge shock to fans of the couple. This is because the duo never showed any signs of discontent hitherto.
How Many Children Does Leila George Have With Sean Penn?
During the short period that Leila and George were an item, they didn’t have any kids together. However, Leila was a stepmother to two children from Penn’s previous marriage to Donna Wright. They are daughter Dylan Penn and son Hopper Penn.
Dylan Frances Penn
- Age: 31 years old
- Gender: Female
- Occupation: Actress
Sean welcomed his first child and daughter with the actress on April 13, 1991. Now 31 years old, Dylan can be seen trying to make a career in Hollywood for herself and has actually appeared in a few. You’ll see her in the movies, ‘Condemned’ (2015), ‘Elvis & Nixon’, ‘Unregistered’, ‘Aramingo Avenue’, ‘Flag Day’ and ‘Tramp’ (2021). Sean’s daughter is also a fashion model and has appeared on the cover of some major fashion magazines like Elle and GQ.
Hopper Jack Penn
- Age: 29 years old
- Gender: Male
- Occupation: Actor
Hopper was born two years after his big sister, on August 6, 1993. With appearances in movies like ‘The Last Face’ (2016), ‘War Machine’ (2017), and ‘Between Worlds’ (2018) which featured Nicolas Cage, he seems to have transitioned into Hollywood quite smoothly.
Leila Has Been Active In The Movie Industry For A Long Time
As D’Onofrio’s daughter, it wasn’t too hard to break onto the movie scene, however, her first movie gig happened behind the camera. In 2013, she was among the crew who worked on the documentary ‘The Last Impresario’ and took up a spot as a camera operator. The next year, she starred alongside her mother in the Anton Chekhov play, ‘The Seagull’ produced by the Black Swan Theatre Company. Her character was named Nina, the rival of Arkadina (played by Leila’s mother, Greta).
In 2016, the Australian actress featured in her very first feature television film titled ‘Mother, May I Sleep with Danger?’ featuring James Franco. She was also featured in the movies: ‘The Kid’ (2019) in which she featured alongside her father Vincent D’Onofrio, and the 2018 action movie, ‘Mortal Engines’.
In 2019, she played Ellen Barkin’s younger character, Janine Cody, for the television series ‘Animal Kingdom’. In her relatively short span as an actress, George has worked with many veteran actors like Robert Sheehan, Dane Deehan, Ethan Hawke, and Chris Pratt.
Apart from her work onscreen, Leila George is also very involved in humanitarian services, and during the 2019/2020 Australian fires, she organized a celebrity fundraiser to assist in the fight to conserve Australia’s forests.
Where Is Leila George Now?
Since she filed for divorce from her husband, Leila George has continued to remain in the public eye, each time appearing unfazed by the rumors surrounding her breaking marriage. If fans had harbored any hope of her and Penn getting back together, it was quickly dashed as the 30-year-old has been spotted publicly with Australian actor Kick Curry twice in a row.
The first time the couple (George and Curry) were spotted together, it was at Bondi Beach, in the company of actor Lincoln Younes, and other friends. The second time, they were pictured at the same beach, this time alone. It remained unclear whether the two of them were romantically involved or not until Leila posted the picture above on Instagram, explaining that Kick was her close friend and nothing more.
Considering the actress’ coldness towards her estranged husband, it might be safe to say that whatever caused the issue between them must have broken their marriage down irrevocably. Surprisingly though, in spite of their differences, Sean and Leila managed to meet each other during the New Year and were even cordial to some extent with one another for that fleeting period of time.
They have not made any public comments about the status of their relationship yet. So lovers of the Penn-Sean ship can only keep their fingers crossed.
How Old is Leila George?
Leila George is 30 years old. She was born on 20 March 1992 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
What is Leila George’s Net Worth?
Leila George has been able to amass a net worth of $1 million from her acting career that began in 2016.
How Tall is Leila George?
Leila’s height is listed at 5 feet 9 inches or 175 cm. This makes her taller than the average American woman.
Why Did Leila George and Sean Penn Divorce?
Leila George filed for divorce from Sean Penn after about one year of marriage. It is not clear what caused her to want to leave her husband but it appears that they might be getting back together.