José Antonio Domínguez Banderas (born Aug. 10, 1960 (53 years ago)), better known as Antonio Banderas, is a Spanish movie actor, movie director, movie producer and singer. He began his acting career at age 19 with a series of movies by director Pedro Almodóvar and then appeared in high-profile Hollywood movies including Assassins, Evita, Interview with the Vampire, Philadelphia, Desperado, The Mask of Zorro, Spy Kids and the Shrek (5 pics) sequels.
Banderas was born in Málaga, Andalusia, in Spain, in 1960; he was the son of doña Ana Banderas, a school teacher, and José Domínguez, a police officer in the Guardia Civil. He also has one younger brother, Francisco. He took his mother's surname as his stage name. He initially wanted to play football professionally, but his dream ended when he broke his foot at age 14.
Career in Spain
Banderas' acting career began at the age of 19, when he worked in small theatres during the Movida period. He first gained wide attention of the Spanish audience through starring on a set of movies by director Pedro Almodóvar between 1982 (31 years ago) and 1990 (23 years ago). Labyrinth of Passion ('Laberinto de pasiones', 1982 (31 years ago)) where he plays a gay man, Matador (1986, 27 years ago) where he plays a troubled young man who is confused about his sexuality, Law of Desire ("La Ley del Deseo", 1987 (26 years ago)) where he plays a psychotic gay stalker, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios, 1988 (25 years ago)), and Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! ("¡Átame!", 1989 (24 years ago)), in which he performed his breakthrough role as "Ricky".
Career in Hollywood
He began appearing in American films; some of his earlier roles there included the 1992 (21 years ago) film, The Mambo Kings, as well as a supporting role in the Oscar-winning 1993 (20 years ago) film, Philadelphia. He appeared in several major Hollywood releases in 1995 (18 years ago), including a starring role in the Robert Rodriguez-directed film, Desperado. In 1996 (17 years ago), he starred alongside Madonna in Evita, an adaptation of the musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice in which he played the narrator, Che, a role originally played on Broadway by Mandy Patinkin. He also made success with his role as the legendary Mexican masked swordsman, Zorro in the 1998 (15 years ago) movie The Mask of Zorro, for which he was the first Spanish actor to portray the character after over 80 years since Zorro's creation. In 2000 (13 years ago), Ridley Scott offered Banderas a part as a peasant in his film, Gladiator (2000 film) and he reluctantly accepted, but demanded exactly $50,000 for the role, which is currently the world record for the highest salary of an extra.
In 2001 (12 years ago), he collaborated with Robert Rodriguez who cast him in the Spy Kids movie trilogy. He also starred in Michael Cristofer's Original Sin alongside Angelina Jolie (146 pics) that year. In 2002 (11 years ago), he starred in Brian De Palma's Femme Fatale (film) opposite Rebecca Romijn (8 pics)-Stamos and in Julie Taymor's Frida with Salma Hayek (21 pics). In 2003 (10 years ago) he starred in the last installment of the "Mexico" trilogy Once Upon A Time In Mexico (in which he appeared with Johnny Depp (9 pics) and Salma Hayek (21 pics)). Banderas' debut as a director was the poorly-received Crazy in Alabama (1999, 14 years ago), starring his wife Melanie Griffith.
In 2003 (10 years ago), he returned to the musical genre, appearing to great acclaim in the Broadway revival of Maury Yeston's musical Nine, based on the movie 8½, playing the prime role originated by the late Raúl Juliá. Banderas won both the Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk awards, and was nominated for the Tony Award for best actor in a musical. His performance is preserved on the Broadway cast recording released by PS Classics.
His voice role as Puss in Boots in Shrek (5 pics) 2 and Shrek (5 pics) the Third followed by "Shrek (5 pics) the Fourth" which made the character popular on the family movie circuit. In 2005 (8 years ago), he reprised his role as Zorro in The Legend of Zorro (4 pics), though this was not as successful as The Mask of Zorro. In 2006 (7 years ago), he starred in Take the Lead, a high school-set movie in which he played a ballroom dancing teacher. That year, he directed his second movie El camino de los ingleses (Summer Rain), and also received the L.A. Latino International movie Festival's "Gabi" Lifetime Achievement Award on 14 October. He hosted Saturday Night Live's 600th episode (in season 31). The musical guest was Mary J. Blige. He performed a voice-over for a computer-animated bee which can be seen in the United States in TV commercials for Nasonex, an allergy medication, and was seen in the 2007 (6 years ago) Christmas advertising campaign for Marks & Spencer, a British retailer. He is being considered for the part of Hadrian in the in-production (as of Feb. 2008 (5 years ago)) movie Memoirs of Hadrian. He is also planning to produce a movie based on Muhammad XII, the last Moorish ruler of Granada.
He also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on 6801 Hollywood Blvd in 2005 (8 years ago).
Banderas divorced his first wife, Ana G. Leza, and in May 1996 (17 years ago) married Melanie Griffith. whom he met a year earlier when they shot Two Much. They have a daughter, Stella Banderas, born in 1998 (15 years ago), who appeared in the movie Crazy in Alabama (1999, 14 years ago), in which Griffith starred and which Banderas directed.
He has invested his movie earnings in Andalusian products, which he promotes in Spain and the USA. He owns 50% of a winery in Northern Spain called Anta Banderas which makes red and rose wines.
While he speaks in his native Andalusian Spanish with his family and Spanish press, he switches to the Castilian pronunciation when playing non-Andalusian roles or when dubbing his Hollywood roles.
He is a long time supporter of the Málaga CF.
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