Johnny Depp pays tribute to late 'Pirates of the Caribbean' fan he met through Make-a-Wish: 'Sail on my fellow Captain'

Johnny Depp pays tribute to late ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ fan he met through Make-a-Wish: ‘Sail on my fellow Captain’

Johnny Depp is paying a heartwarming final farewell to a very special fan who passed away, months after the two were brought together by the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

Make-a-Wish, the nonprofit that grants special “wishes” to children with critical illnesses, reached out to the 60-year-old actor in December with an urgent request: an 11-year-old boy named Kori Stovell was in palliative care after being born with a heart condition, and his wish was to meet Depp.

Denis Makarenko /

Kori was a huge fan of Pirates of the Caribbean and Depp’s performance as Captain Jack Sparrow in the film franchise. Depp was happy to oblige his wish, getting fully back into character — complete with full costume and make-up — to leave Kori a special video message.

Capt. Sparrow called the boy “Captain Kori” and promised to follow his YouTube channel Kraken The Box, though the 19th century pirate didn’t totally understand what the site was: “I think will make for a wonderful entertainment expertise momentary lapse of togetherness altogether in one space, but far apart, but then, at the same time, very close,” he says.

“I wish you the best of luck. I am your No. 1 fan, Capt. Kori.”

A source told People that Kori was a massive fan of Pirates of the Caribbean and watched the films while recovering from his multiple heart surgeries, so he was surely thrilled by the special video. The wish was also reportedly “a timely ask.”

On top of that, Kori also had a video call with Depp, still in character as Sparrow:

Sadly, Kori recently passed away — and Depp shared a heartwarming tribute to his number one fan.

“Sail on my fellow Captain!” Depp wrote in an Instagram story. “You honored us with your life. You humbled and amazed us with the courage and strength to be able to smile through it all. You’ve shown every one of us how to stay ahead of the curve with grace, humor, an incomprehensible understanding and unparalleled dignity.”

“You are a warrior, mate… We will meet again on the highest of seas,” he added. “All my love and respect to you and your family, always!”

Instagram/@JohnnyDepp (screenshot)

Depp portrayed Jack Sparrow in all five Pirates of the Caribbean films, beginning in 2003. Depp received acclaim for his eccentric performance: he received an Oscar nomination for the first film and the character has become a cultural icon.

Depp’s career as a Hollywood A-lister took a hit from his highly-publicized and often ugly legal battle with ex-wife Amber Heard, and Depp has said he was not intending to do more films due to a strained relationship with Disney. However, last month he said he was “open” to returning to the franchise if it’s the “right project.”

credit: phol_66 /

Regardless of what the future holds for the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, it’s clear that Depp still has the character in him and is happy to reprise the role for kids in need.

In 2017, he visited patients at a Vancouver hospital dressed up as Jack Sparrow.

Thank you to Johnny Depp for making this fan’s dreams come true in his final months — rest in peace, Captain Kori 💔🏴‍☠️

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