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Penelope Cruz

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About Penelope Cruz

Last update: February, 2017

Penélope Cruz Sánchez, known to her closest friends simply as Pe, is a renowned Spanish actress and model. She was born in Alcobendas, Madrid in 1974. Married to the famous Spanish actor Javier Bardem, the young madrileña is the eldest among her siblings, Mónica Cruz — also an actress — and singer Eduardo Cruz. From early childhood, Penelope knew that she wanted to dedicate herself to the world of art and dreamed of working with the award-winning film director Pedro Almodóvar.

The popular actress combined her dance studies with her true vocation, acting. Penélope Cruz made her debut in the music video for the song La Fuerza del Destino by the famous pop group Mecano. This musical appearance opened for her the doors to the world of television.

Penélope Cruz's feature film debut was in Rafael Alcázar’s The Greek Labyrinth (1990). Afterwards, she starred the Bigas Luna’s famous Jamón Jamón (1992), an appearance that earned her a Goya nomination for Best Leading Actress and the Fotogramas de Plata Award for Best Film Actress. The promising young actress was chosen to be part of the cast of Belle Époque by the award-winning Fernando Trueba, which won the 1993 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. After these two appearances her reputation continued to steadily grow with films such as The Butterfly Effect, La Celestina, and Love Can Seriously Damage Your Health.

Thanks to the success of the latter, Penélope Cruz became very popular and sought-after in the Spanish film scene. It was in 1997 that her admired director Pedro Almodóvar finally gave her a chance in Live Flesh. Afterwards she won her first Goya Award for Best Actress for her appearance in Fernando Trueba's The Girl of Your Dreams, which earned her acclaim both from critics and the public, through whose votes she won the Fotogramas de Plata Award for Best Film Actress. All About My Mother gained the already renowned actress more international fame.

After many years of effort, her next work with Pedro Almodóvar in All About My Mother reinforced her status of one of the most prominent Hispanic actresses in the United States. Thanks to her appearance in the film, she became the first Spanish actress to receive a Best Actress Oscar nomination and won the Goya Award for Best Actress. After so many accolades and laudatory reviews, Penélope Cruz finally won her first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008), directed by the illustrious Woody Allen.