Actor Johnny Depp is a familiar face at awards shows, but the American film star is poised to receive a distinctive new honour: the Distinguished Artisan Award from the union representing Hollywood's makeup artists and hairstylists.

The Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild, Local 706, announced Depp as the inaugural recipient of the prize on Monday in Los Angeles.

Depp, "probably more than any other actor working today, uses the skills of our members to delineate his characters. Depp has constantly been an outstanding supporter of our crafts, ultimately respectful and appreciative of our members' abilities and generous with his creative collaboration. A great artist himself, he allows others to shine," guild president Susan Cabral-Ebert said in a statement.

Depp will the receive the prize from his Oscar-winning makeup artist, Joel Harlow, at the group's awards ceremony on Feb. 15

From the ghoulish-looking but soft-hearted Edward Scissorhands, to the brilliantly kooky Willy Wonka and The Mad Hatter, to the indelible Captain Jack Sparrow in The Pirates of the Caribbean movies, many of Depp's unforgettable cinematic roles have relied on striking visual transformations.

Check out some of his memorable looks in the attached gallery.