Actor Antonio Banderas is perhaps one of the most widely recognizable faces, not only in his native Spain, but also in the United States, Europe, and all over the globe. Born on August 10th, 1960 in Malaga, Andalucía, Spain, as Jose Antonio Dominguez Banderas, Antonio began his foray into the spotlight at a young age as a soccer player, until a broken foot ended his dream of a professional career at 14. Little did the young athlete know that he would go on to appear in over 60 films, make countless television appearances, as well as earn a star on Hollywood’s infamous Walk of Fame, among many other notable achievements.
Antonio’s focus turned to acting as he developed a love of theater, and soon began studying at the School of Dramatic Art in Malaga, Spain where he gave his very first acting appearance. After moving to Madrid at the age of 19, Banderas, which translates to “flags” in Spanish, began fervently pursuing his acting career and struggled as both a waiter and model while between small acting roles.
Banderas, who has one sibling, a younger brother named Francisco, then became the youngest member ever to join the National Theatre of Spain’s acting troupe. It was there that his stellar performances caught the eye of an innovative film director by the name of Pedro Almodovar. After teaming with Almodovar throughout the 1980s, gaining more experience and recognition, his work was eventually noticed by the Academy Awards in 1988 after his role in the Spanish film Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios.
Career Highlights of Antonio Banderas
Thanks to his natural charisma and his Latin good looks, Banderas had no problem gaining a wide fan base in the United States after his Hollywood debut in the movie The Mambo Kings in 1992, even though he spoke no English yet. International fame and recognition ensued a year later after he received worldwide acclaim for his performance in the movie Philadelphia starring with actor Tom Hanks.
Word of the handsome young actor spread quickly, and by 1995, Banderas was chosen by Empire magazine as one of the top 100 sexiest stars in all of film history, coming in at number 24. The following year, People magazine named Antonio as one of the top 50 most beautiful people in the entire world. In 2000, Antonio received a very different type of honor as he accepted an honorary doctorate degree from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania.
In addition to starring in films, Banderas has also tried his hand at directing them, beginning with the 1999 movie Crazy in Alabama, starring his second wife, American actress Melanie Griffith. Continuing on into the new millennium, Antonio was on his way to becoming one of Hollywood’s most sought after leading male actors, starring in hits such as Interview with the Vampire, Evita, and The Mask of Zorro, and eventually its sequel, Legend of Zorro. In October of 2005, Banderas was duly honored with a star on Hollywood’s infamous Walk of Fame.
Just some of Antonio’s other films include:
– The voice of the character Puss in Boots in the Shrek movie series
– The Code, 2008
– Bordertown, 2006
– Once Upon a Time in Mexico, 2003
– Frida, 2002
– Femme Fatale, 2002
– Original Sin, 2001
– Spy Kids, 2001
– Play it to the Bone, 1999
– The 13th Warrior, 1999
– Two Much, 1995
– Never Talk to Strangers, 1996
– Assassins, 1995
– Desperado, 1995
– Of Love and Shadows, 1994
– The House of Spirits, 1993
– Terra Nova, 1991
– Contra el viento, 1990
The Personal Life of Antonio Banderas
On May 14th, 1996, Banderas wed Melanie Griffith, daughter of actress Tippi Hedrin, and became stepfather to her two children Dakota and Alexander. In September of 1996, their daughter Stella Dominguez was born in Marbella, Spain, and a short three years later, was making her very own movie debut in her parent’s film Crazy in Alabama. Stella also appeared in 2004 on the Golden Globe Awards show with bother her father and mother.
Besides his love of acting, Antonio, who has his own line of cologne for both men and women, continues to be an avid soccer fan and devoutly follows the Real Madrid FC (football club). Banderas says he enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter in their home in southern Spain, where he continues to be an active citizen, and also at their residence in the United States.