Penelope Cruz's Biography
Penelope Cruz (Sánchez) was born on 28 April, 1974 in Madrid, Spain.
She grew up in the working-class suburb of Alcobendas, the daughter of a retailer and a hairdresser.
She studied classical ballet at Spain's National Conservatory, and as young as 15, Penelope Cruz won a talent agency audition which led to roles in TV shows and commercials.
Cruz spent four years studying theatre in New York, and made her film debut in The Greek Labyrinth (1991).
A year later Penelope Cruz starred in the Oscar-winning Belle Epoque and the acclaimed Jamon, Jamon. Penelope Cruz also received a Goya for Best Actress for her role in The Girl of your Dreams.
Penelope Cruz has had many roles in the exciting films of Pedro Almodovar who cast her in Carne trémula (Live Flesh) in 1997, and in the same year she starred in the critically acclaimed Abre Los Ojos, which would later be remade as Vanilla Sky, where she met Tom Cruise.
The importance of Pedro Almodovar in Cruz's life cannot be overestimated. Speaking at the launch of Volver in the summer of 2006, Penelope Cruz said that it was Pedro Almodovar who had inspired her to become an actress, adding: "For me [Almodovar] is a genius. I don't like using that word a lot but with him I really think he is."
Penelope Cruz was nominated for best actress both in the Baftas and the Oscars in 2007 for her role in Volver.
Other notable films starring Penelope Cruz include Almodovar's All About My Mother and Stephen Frears's The Hi-Lo Country. Penelope Cruz donated her fee for The Hi-Lo Country to one of Mother Teresa's charitable funds. She has also done volunteer work in Uganda and Calcutta.
2001 saw releases of a few Cruz films, including Blow opposite Jonny Depp, Captain Corelli's Mandolin and Vanilla Sky.
Co-star of Vanilla Sky, Tom Cruise was breaking up from his wife, Nicole Kidman and he and Penelope Cruz started to go out, but they too split up in early 2005.
Penelope Cruz won Italy's version of a Best Actress Oscar for her performance in Sergio Castellitto's Non ti muovere (Don't Move).The Times has an interesting article reporting:
"Together with her sister, Monica, a dancer and television actress, Cruz has designed a collection for the Spain-based fashion chain Mango."
In 2008 Penelope Cruz starred as Maria Elena in Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
She started going out with Vicky Cristina Barcelona co-star Javier Bardem. Cruz and Bardem married in 2010.
In December 2008 it was announced that Penelope Cruz had been nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture for her work on Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
In February 2009, Penelope Cruz won an Oscar for best supporting actress for the same role.
In February 2010, Penelope Cruz was nominated for an Oscar for best actress in a supporting role for Nine.
She and Bardem had a son, Leonardo in 2011 and a daughter, Luna in 2013.
In 2017, she starred in the film adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express.
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