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Antonio Banderas

Antonio Banderas

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Also Known As: Jose Antonio Dominguez Banderas Died:
Born: August 10, 1960 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Spain Profession: actor, producer, director, musician, waiter, department store clerk

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A gifted actor with matinee-idol looks, Antonio Banderas smoldered his way to an international following with his work for filmmaker and fellow Spaniard Pedro Almodóvar. Following a string of early projects with the iconoclastic director, Banderas attracted international attention as a love-struck kidnapper in Almodóvar's controversial "Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!" (1990). After being introduced to American audiences as the object of Madonna's lust in her documentary "Truth or Dare" (1991) Banderas - despite not speaking English - made his Hollywood acting debut in the drama "The Mambo Kings" (1992). Proving that he was more than just a pretty face, the actor drew raves for his performance as Tom Hanks' devoted lover in the Academy Award-winning AIDS drama "Philadelphia" (1993). The in-demand Banderas quickly cashed in as an action hero in hits like Robert Rodriguez's shoot-'em-up, "Desperado" (1995) and as the titular swordsman in "The Mask of Zorro" (1998) opposite Catherine Zeta-Jones. He made his directorial debut with "Crazy in Alabama" (1999), a comedy-drama starring his wife, Melanie Griffith. Banderas also took part in several family features, including Rodriguez's popular "Spy Kids" (2001)...

A gifted actor with matinee-idol looks, Antonio Banderas smoldered his way to an international following with his work for filmmaker and fellow Spaniard Pedro Almodóvar. Following a string of early projects with the iconoclastic director, Banderas attracted international attention as a love-struck kidnapper in Almodóvar's controversial "Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!" (1990). After being introduced to American audiences as the object of Madonna's lust in her documentary "Truth or Dare" (1991) Banderas - despite not speaking English - made his Hollywood acting debut in the drama "The Mambo Kings" (1992). Proving that he was more than just a pretty face, the actor drew raves for his performance as Tom Hanks' devoted lover in the Academy Award-winning AIDS drama "Philadelphia" (1993). The in-demand Banderas quickly cashed in as an action hero in hits like Robert Rodriguez's shoot-'em-up, "Desperado" (1995) and as the titular swordsman in "The Mask of Zorro" (1998) opposite Catherine Zeta-Jones. He made his directorial debut with "Crazy in Alabama" (1999), a comedy-drama starring his wife, Melanie Griffith. Banderas also took part in several family features, including Rodriguez's popular "Spy Kids" (2001) franchise and as the voice of Puss in Boots in "Shrek 2" (2004) and its subsequent sequels. For the first time in more than two decades, he reunited with Almodóvar for the psychological thriller "The Skin I Live In" (2011), delivering what some called his strongest work in years. Handsome, charismatic and undeniably talented, Banderas rightfully earned his place as one of cinema's greatest leading men.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

2.
  Crazy in Alabama (1999) Director

CAST: (feature film)

3.
4.
5.
 33, The (2014)
6.
 Automata (2014)
7.
 Knight of Cups (2014)
8.
 I'm So Excited (2013)
9.
 Machete Kills (2013)
10.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1974:
Began career working with independent theater company in home town of Malaga at age 14, having abandoned dreams of playing professional soccer after breaking foot
:
Formed theater troupe and traveled around southern Spain in an old truck putting on street productions
1980:
Moved to Madrid; worked as a waiter and department store clerk while trying to get acting jobs (date approximate)
1981:
Worked for five years as an ensemble member of Spain's National Theater
1981:
Made professional stage debut in "Los Tarantos"
1982:
Feature film debut, "Labyrinth of Passion" (released in the U.S. in 1990); first collaboration with director Pedro Almodóvar
1984:
Acted in Carlos Saura's "Los Zancos/The Stilts"
1986:
Reteamed with Almodóvar for "Matador"; first film with Carmen Maura
1987:
Made third film with Almodóvar, "Law of Desire"; director cast him as a heterosexual discovering homosexual love
1988:
Co-starred in Almodóvar's "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown," starring Maura; then-wife Ana Leza also in cast
1988:
Played gigolo opposite Maura's wealthy, sexually dysfunctional woman in Rafael Moleon's (former assistant to Almodóvar) feature directing debut "Baton Rouge"; fourth film with Maura; Victoria Abril also starred
1990:
Starred opposite Abril in Almodóvar's "Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!"; last collaboration with the director (left cast of 1991's "High Heels" to do "Mambo Kings") until years later; fourth film with Abril
1991:
Appeared as himself in Madonna's tour documentary "Truth or Dare"; the 'Material Girl' gave his career a big boost by publicly (and unrequitedly) lusting after him
1992:
Acted in first Hollywood film, Arne Glimcher's "The Mambo Kings"; learned the entire script phonetically and the fact that he did not understand what he was saying showed
1993:
Reteamed with Saura for "Outrage"
1993:
Played the hunky lover in two high profile films: opposite Glenn Close and Winona Ryder in "The House of the Spirits" (based on the Isabel Allende novel), and as Tom Hanks' partner in "Philadelphia"
1994:
Portrayed sinister gay bloodsucker Armand in Neil Jordan's film adaptation of the Anne Rice novel "Interview with the Vampire:The Vampire Chronicles"
1994:
Acted in "Of Love and Shadows," another picture adapted from a work by Allende
1995:
Landed first leading role in a Hollywood film, Robert Rodriguez's "Desperado"
1995:
Co-starred with future wife Melanie Griffith in "Two Much"
1996:
Played the narrator Che in the film musical "Evita" opposite Madonna
:
Formed Green Moon Productions, deriving its name from Federico Garcia Lorca's declaration that "Andalusians are not dark from the sun, but from the green moon"
1998:
Starred alongside Anthony Hopkins in "The Mask of Zorro"; Martin Campbell replaced Rodriguez as director
1999:
Made feature directorial debut, "Crazy in Alabama," starring Griffith; also produced film
2000:
Reteamed with Glimcher for "The White River Kid" (filmed in 1998); aired on Starz! in lieu of a theatrical release
2000:
Starred opposite Woody Harrelson as professional boxing rivals in Ron Shelton's "Play It to the Bone"
2001:
Reteamed with Robert Rodriguez to play a retired espionage agent who comes out of retirement in "Spy Kids"
2001:
Cast opposite Angelina Jolie in "Original Sin"
2002:
Reprised role of espionage agent and parent in "Spy Kids 2"
2002:
Co-starred in the bio pic feature "Frida"
2002:
Co-starred opposite Rebecca Romijn-Stamos in "Femme Fatale"
2003:
Made Broadway debut in a revival of the award-winning musical "Nine"
2003:
Returned to his role as Gregorio Cortez in "Spy Kids 3D: Game Over"
2003:
Reteamed with director Robert Rodriguez for "Once Upon a Time in Mexico," the third film in an unofficial trilogy that begun with "El Mariachi" (1992)
2003:
Portrayed Pancho Villa in the HBO movie "And Starring Poncho Villa as Himself"; received a Golden Globe and an Emmy nomination for Best Actor in a Miniseries or movie (2004)
2004:
Voiced the character Puss in Boots opposite Mike Myers and Cameron Diaz for "Shrek 2"
2005:
Reteamed with Catherine Zeta-Jones and director Martin Campbell for "The Legend of Zorro"
2006:
Played a former professional dancer in the musical-drama "Take the Lead"
2006:
Directed second feature, the Spanish-language production "El Camino de los Ingleses/The English Path"
2007:
Reprised role of Puss in Boots for feature film "Shrek the Third," and the ABC animated special "Shrek the Halls"
2007:
Cast opposite Jennifer Lopez in "Bordertown"
2010:
Once again voiced Puss in Boots in "Shrek Forever After"
2010:
Acted in the romantic comedy "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger"
2011:
Reteamed with Almodóvar, starring in the psychological drama thriller "The Skin I Live In" ("La piel que habito")
2011:
Voiced the title character in the "Shrek" spin-off "Puss in Boots"
2012:
Co-starred in the action thriller "Haywire," directed by Steven Soderbergh
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Dickinson College: - 2000
School of Dramatic Art: - 1980

Notes

Received an honorary degree from Dickinson College in May 2000.

"The whole country is a movie, a wild Technicolor dream. It's not unlike an Almodovar set."---Antonio Banderas about working in Hollywood for his first English-language film, "The Mambo Kings".

"Banderas is the baby-faced heartthrob who inhabits most of Spanish director Pedro Almodovar's films. . . . He's also the man Madonna, lonely and bored on tour in 'Truth or Dare' set out to meet after Sandra Bernhard asked her what famous stranger might rock her world."---Trish Deitch Rohrer in Mirabella, December 1991.

"Mainly, it is the script and director I consider. Sometimes I ask for advice because I am confused about whether this is going to be good or bad. Actors are another consideration. It's better to be in a little part with quality people surrounding you. For me, the people that surround you in a movie are what you are."---Banderas on how he chooses his roles to Movieline, August 1995.

Remembering his first acting teacher: "She was called Guillermina Soto, and she was very old, and whatever we were doing, she was always the main character, even if they were men. She was an old woman, playing Don Juan. She would tell us, 'It is like an opera: What is important is the music. It doesn't matter if I am a woman or a man, if I play the music of Don Juan, that's what people will see.'"---Banderas, quoted in US, November 1995.

About being led away by police at age 14 after he and members of a theater group had performed the forbidden work of Bertolt Brecht: "I remember seeing the shine of the helmets of the cops in the wings of the theater just waiting for us. I remember just getting out after the applause and putting my hands like that (straightening his arms out in front of him) and being handcuffed."---Banderas to Robert W Welkos in the Los Angeles Times, July 12, 1998.

"I was raised on Hollywood movies. I directed my first movie here, though I'd like to make some in Spain. I married an American woman. My little daughter is American too, so I have to be able to answer her questions about America. So I've become part American, and I don't feel bad about that."---Banderas to Bob Strauss in The Boston Globe, July 12, 1998.

"I don't think there's a boom in Latino cinema. It's just that Antonio Banderas is in every single film."---Spike Lee quote regarding the 1995 saturation of Banderas films, reprinted in Neon, January 1999.

"Antonio's a man of many talents. He invited the whole cast to [director Robert] Rodriguez's house. He cooked the best paellas I have ever had in my life."---Ricardo Montalban in Premiere September 2002.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Ana Leza. Actor. Appeared with Banderas in "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" (1988) and "Philadelphia" (1993); married c. 1986; separated 1995; filed for divorce in December 1995.
wife:
Melanie Griffith. Actor. Met on set of "Two Much" in January 1995; married in London on May 14, 1996.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Jose Dominguez. Policeman. Reportedly worked for Fascist dictator Francisco Franco's secret police.
mother:
Ana Banderas. Teacher.
brother:
Francisco Dominguez Banderas. Economist. Younger; looks after brother's business interests in Spain.
daughter:
Stella del Carmen Banderas Griffith. Born on September 24, 1996; mother, Melanie Griffith.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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