Known outside her native country as the "Spanish enchantress", Penélope Cruz Sánchez was born in Madrid to Eduardo (a retailer) and Encarna (a hairdresser). As a toddler, she was already a compulsive performer, re-enacting TV commercials for her family's amusement, but she decided to focus her energies on dance. After studying classical ballet for nine years at Spain's National Conservatory, she continued her training under a series of prominent dancers. At 15, however, she heeded her true calling when she bested more than 300 other girls at a talent agency audition. The resulting contract landed her several roles in Spanish TV shows and music videos, which in turn paved the way for a career on the big screen. Cruz made her movie debut in The Greek Labyrinth (1993) (The Greek Labyrinth), then appeared briefly in the Timothy Dalton thriller "Framed" (1992). Her third film was the Oscar-winning Belle epoque (1992), in which she played one of four sisters vying for the love of a handsome army deserter. The film also garnered several Goyas, the Spanish equivalent of the Academy Awards. Her resume continued to grow by three or four films each year, and soon Cruz was a leading lady of Spanish cinema. Live Flesh (1997) (Live Flesh) offered her the chance to work with renowned Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar (who would later be her ticket to international fame), and the same year she was the lead actress in the thriller/drama/mystery/sci-fi film Open Your Eyes (1997), a huge hit in Spain that earned eight Goyas (though none for Cruz). Her luck finally changed in 1998, when the movie-industry comedy The Girl of Your Dreams (1998) won her a Best Actress Goya. Cruz made a few more forays into English-language film, but her first big international hit was Almodóvar's All About My Mother (1999), in which she played an unchaste but well-meaning nun. As the film was showered with awards and accolades, Cruz suddenly found herself in demand on both sides of the Atlantic. Her next big project was Woman on Top (2000), an American comedy about a chef with bewitching culinary skills and a severe case of motion sickness. While in the US, she also signed up to star opposite Johnny Depp in the drug-trafficking drama Blow (2001) and opposite Matt Damon in Billy Bob Thornton's All the Pretty Horses (2000). Cruz says she's wary of being typecast as a beautiful young damsel, but it's hard to imagine disguising her wide-eyed charms and generous nature. Fortunately, with Cameron Crowe's Vanilla Sky (2001) (a remake of Open Your Eyes (1997)) and a John Madden collaboration looming in her future, Damsel Penelope isn't likely to disappear just yet.IMDb Mini Biography By: IMDb Editors
|Javier Bardem||(July 2010 - present) 1 child|
After filming All the Pretty Horses (2000), she became a vegetarian.
It was rumored that she donated her entire The Hi-Lo Country (1998) salary to the Mother Teresa's children's sanctuary in Calcutta after spending a week there volunteering. This was later denounced by Cruz, according to a Reuters news article in 2001.
Daughter of Eduardo (merchant) and Encarna (hairdresser).
Academic curriculum: Finished 2º B.U.P. (2nd. year of secondary school). Had 4 years of dance performance with Cristina Rota, several dance courses at New York, 9 years of classic ballet at the Conservatorio Nacional and 3 years of Spanish ballet with Ángela Garrido. Also had Jazz Dance course with Raúl Caballero.
Volunteered in Uganda for 2 months in 1997 with then boyfriend Faiz Ahmad.
She founded a non-government organisation (NGO) called Sabera Foundation. Together with Nacho Cano and other Spanish entertainers, they have set up a home, a school and a clinic for homeless girls and people suffering from tuberculosis in Calcutta. Two documentary programs were made for Spanish TV on this project. Unfortunately differences of opinion caused a collapse in the project and Sabera Foundation tragically no longer exists.
Was in a relationship with Tom Cruise (July 2001-January 2004).
She was named after the song "Penélope" by Joan Manuel Serrat.
Voted the 7th Sexiest Female Movie Star in the Australian Empire Magazine September 2002.
Lived with Nacho Cano, Spanish musician, part of the trio (famous in Spain) called "Mecano", a pop music group. Penelope appeared in one of the band's video-clips "la Fuerza del Destino".
Ranked #23 in Stuff magazine's "102 Sexiest Women in the World" (2002).
Likes to keep stray cats.
Learned Italian because she wanted her part in the movie Don't Move (2004) really badly. It paid off and she went on to win the Italian equivalent of the Oscars for Best Actress.
Speaks four languages: Spanish, Italian, French and English.
Bigas Luna was determined to have her starring as the lead character in the torrid The Ages of Lulu (1990), but Penélope was only 14. They agreed that she was too young for the role and Francesca Neri was cast instead. Two years later, Luna's fixation with Cruz resulted in her breakthrough performance in Jamon Jamon (1992), her first film, famous for her somewhat erotic scenes. They eventually collaborated again in Volavérunt (1999).
Ranked as #51 in FHM's "100 Sexiest Women in the World 2005" special supplement. (2005)
Named #72 in FHM magazine's "100 Sexiest Women in the World 2006" supplement. (2006).
Good friends with ex-boyfriend Tom Cruise. She was one of the first people to visit his new-born baby daughter Suri.
One of People magazines 50 Most Beautiful People in the world 2005.
Second Spanish performer to be Oscar-nominated. The first one was Javier Bardem.
Is a fan of Indian cinema and has expressed interest in working with Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan someday.
Ranked #58 on the Maxim magazine Hot 100 of 2007 list.
Choosen by Empire Magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Movie Stars in the world (#50) 2007.
In 2006, she was earning $2 million per year representing L'Oreal cosmetics.
Ranked #82 on the Maxim magazine Hot 100 of 2008 list.
Second Spanish performer to win an Oscar for acting. The first was Javier Bardem.
Met Javier Bardem for the first time on the set of Jamon Jamon (1992), but they wouldn't become a couple until working together in Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008). They also worked together on Live Flesh (1997), but didn't share any on-screen time.
Her role-model is Meryl Streep.
Was in a relationship with Matthew McConaughey (March 2004-May 2006).
Married long-term partner Javier Bardem at a friend's house in the Bahamas in a small ceremony with just family members present.
Daughter-in-law of Pilar Bardem.
Was in a relationship with Matt Damon (June-December 2000).
Was originally cast as Justine in Melancholia (2011), but dropped out before filming began in order to pursue Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011). As a result Kirsten Dunst was cast instead.
Confirmed she is 5 months pregnant with her first child, by husband Javier Bardem (14 September 2010).
Was 7 months pregnant with her son Leo when she completed filming on Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011).
Returned to work 6 months after giving birth to her son Leo to begin filming To Rome with Love (2012).
Is good friends with Gwyneth Paltrow.
Was awarded the 2,436th Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame by Rob Marshall, accompanied by her husband Javier Bardem and Blow (2001) and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011) co-star Johnny Depp (1 April 2011).
Married her boyfriend of 3 years Javier Bardem. [July 2010]
Gave birth to her 1st child at age 36, a son Leonardo Encinas Bardem on January 22, 2011. Child's father is her husband, Javier Bardem.
Expecting her 2nd child with her husband Javier Bardem. [February 12, 2013]
The most difficult thing in the world is to start a career known only for your looks, and then to try to become a serious actress. No one will take you seriously once you are known as the pretty woman.
I'm strong and opinionated. Those qualities brought me a lot of problems since I was a little girl in school, saying 'I don't agree' and fighting with the children. It's part of my curiosity for life.
There's so much more I want to do. I refuse to get to 50 and wait at home for the phone to ring. In Spain, actresses work until they are old. That's my plan.
"I love Salma Hayek, we've been friends for a really long time. i admire how she has come such a long way and always remained grounded and who she is. She never compromises to follow her vision and she is loyal. Such qualities only mark the great stars".
"I love the Italian culture, it's a beautiful culture. I love the language, the Italian people, their music, their attitudes...I just love it! Sometimes I think I'm an Italian trapped in a Spanish woman's body.
You cannot live your life looking at yourself from someone else's point of view.
[on acting] In terms of the work, it always seems like it's a first date. I mean, every time I go to the movie set and start a project, I feel the same feeling - the butterflies in the stomach, not having control over it - because acting is like that. That's the beauty of it. You can always keep learning. There's always more.
I came to Los Angeles for the first time in 1994. I spoke no English. I only knew how to say two sentences: 'How are you?' and 'I want to work with Johnny Depp.'
My first audition was for the woman who became my manager and still works with me. She was testing around 300 actors. I was 14 years old, and she had me read a scene from Casablanca (1942), which is impossible to do when you are that age. But my manager asked me if I wanted to work with her, and she sent me on some castings. When I was 16, I got Jamon Jamon (1992). Of course, I had to lie about my age. And I had to lie to my parents about the content of the script.
|Vanilla Sky (2001)||$2,000,000|
(July 2007) Launched the new clothing line which she created with her younger sister, 'Monica Cruz (I)', in Spain.
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