Celebrity › Antonio Banderas|
Antonio Banderas has been Spainís biggest gift to Hollywood. Star of big blockbusters like Mask of Zorro (1998) and Spy Kids (2001), he first began his movie career in Spain. Antonio started his film career by working with director Perdro Almodovar and making some very sexually provocative films all through the 80ís. His face is the most recognized Spanish face in Hollywood.
Antonio came from a very humble background. His father was a policeman and his mother was a teacher. Antonio started off playing football and was on his way to success when an unfortunate accident ended his career at the age of 14. Antonio then concentrated on becoming an actor. He joined the School of Dramatic Art in Malaga. He moved to Madrid in search of work and joined a group at the National Theatre of Spain. Here he was noticed by Pedro Almodovar and cast in the film Labyrinth of Passion (1982). Thus, began a successful combination of actor-director in Spanish films.
Antonio made his American film debut in The Mambo Kings (1992). His major break in Hollywood came when he starred in Philadelphia (1993) playing the homosexual lover of an AIDS-infected Tom Hanks. He did quite a few movies in between including the musical Evita (1996), till his next big film The Mask of Zorro (1998) alongside Catherine Zeta-Jones. With this film he reached new heights of popularity in America and became one the premier actors of Hollywood.
Antonio was married to Ana Leza, but divorced her in 1996 and married actress Melanie Griffith that very same year. The two had met while filming Two Much (1996) and had fallen madly in love with each other. They have a daughter together; Stella Banderas.
Antonio set the world record for the highest paid extra when he was paid a whopping $50, 000 to play a peasant in the film Gladiator (2001). Antonio is one of the busiest actors in Hollywood doing a lot of films. He also stars as Gregorio Cortez in the successful franchise of Spy Kids.
In 2003 he made a move to Broadway starring in the musical play Nine. The play was very well received and he even won a lot of awards for his work. Antonio gave his voice for the character of Puss in Boots in Shrek 2 (2004), and all the subsequent sequels He also has a spin-off animation movie from his character in Shrek. The movie is Puss in Boots: Story of an Ogre Killer that is to be released in 2011.
After having tried his hand at all kinds of roles, Antonio today is still very much active in the acting circuit. He has two homes, one in Los Angeles and one in Spain, so that he can raise his daughter according to his Spanish culture.