Antonio Banderas (born Jose Antonio Domínguez Banderas, 10.8.1960)
Antonio Banderas is a Spanish actor, perhaps best known for his roles in Desperado and The Mask of Zorro.
Antonio Banderas: Childhood
Antonio Banderas was born in Málaga, in the Andalucia region of Spain, to Ana Banderas (a teacher) and José Domínguez, a Guardia Civil policeman.
He and his brother Francisco were raised as Roman Catholics although Antonio has since said that he is no longer a follower of the Roman Catholic faith. He does occasionally, however, still pray to the Virgin of Guadalupe.
As a child, Antonio Banderas wanted to be a footballer but he broke his foot at the age of 14, thus ending his dream. He later travelled to Madrid to make a name for himself in the Spanish film industry.
Antonio Banderas: Acting Career
At the age of 19, Banderas began acting in small theatres and soon started working with the renowned Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar. His first Almodóvar film was 1982's Laberinto de Pasiones, followed by Matador in 1986, Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios in 1988. In 1989, he performed his breakthrough role in the Almodóvar film ¡Átame! Which was known as Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! in English. The film achieved moderate success in the UK and the US.
Following the release of Tie Me Up! Time Me Down! Banderas moved to the United States and began working in American movies. In 1992, he starred in The Mambo King and followed this with a role in the Oscar-winning Philadelphia, starring Tom Hanks.
In 1995, Banderas starred in a number of Hollywood films, including a performance in Desperado, the film directed by Robert Rodriguez.
1996 saw Banderas star opposite Madonna in Evita, the musical about the life of Eva Peron, as written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. Banderas played the role of Che, the narrator. In 1998, Antonio Banderas became the first Spanish actor to play the role of Zorro since the creation of the character, in The Mask of Zorro. Catherine Zeta Jones also starred in the film.
Banderas returned to collaborating with Robert Rodriguez in the Spy Kids trilogy and also in the last film in the 'Mariachi' trilogy, Once Upon A Time In Mexico, which also featured Johnny Depp on the cast list.
In 1999, Antonio Banderas tried his hand at directing, starting with Crazy in Alabama. The film starred his wife, Melanie Griffith, as well as his daughter, but was widely panned by film critics.
2005 saw Banderas winning the acclaimed Outer Critics Circle Award and Drama Desk Award for his role in the musical Nine, which is based on the film 8 1/2 . Later that year, he returned to the role of Zorro in the Legend of Zorro but the film failed to make as great an impression as its predecessor.
Banderas provided the voice for Puss in Boots in Shrek 2 and Shrek the Third.
In 2006, Antonio Banderas starred as a ballroom dance teacher in the high school drama Take the Lead.
Antonio Banderas: Personal Life
Antonio Banderas' first marriage was to Ana Leza. In May 1996, he married the actress Melanie Griffith. They had met a year earlier, on the set of the film Too Much. The couple have a daughter, Stella del Carmen Banderas.