Born in: Málaga, Andalucia (Southern Spain)
Career: Actor and Singer
Antonio Banderas is a much acclaimed actor as well as a singer. He started his career in Spanish films, but moved to Hollywood in the 1990s. He has starred in a number of Hollywood projects, including films like “Assassins”, “Evita”, “Interview With the Vampire” and “Philadelphia”. However, his most-known movies have been “The Mask of Zorro” and the “Mariachi” and “Shrek” sequels. Though devoid of any major awards till date, Banderas has achieved major critical recognition and also enjoys mass appeal.
Antonio Banderas was born as ‘José Antonio Domínguez Bandera’ on 10th August 1960, in Málaga, Andalucia (Southern Spain). He is the son of José Domínguez, a policeman in the Guardia Civil, and doña Ana Bandera, a school teacher. He also has a brother, Francisco. During his childhood days, Banderas was raised as a Roman Catholic. However, the actor does not follow the religion any more. As a child, he was interested in football and also wanted to play the game professionally. He had to abandon his dream after breaking his foot, at the age of 14.
Career in Spain
At a very young age, Banderas left his home and went to Madrid, to carve out a career in the Spanish Film Industry. His acting career began at the age of 19, when he started working in small theaters, during the Movida period. He tasted success, for the first time, in 1982, through director Pedro Almodóvar’s movie. The rest of the decade (1982 to 1990) saw Banderas doing a number of Pedro’s movies, which included “Laberinto de pasiones”, “Matador”, “La ley del deseo”, “Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios” and “¡Átame!”. However, it was with ¡Átame! that he gained recognition in the United States.
Around 1990, Banderas moved to US and started indulging in American movies. Some of his more notable roles include those in “The Mambo Kings” (1992) and “Philadelphia” (1993). In the year 1995, he was seen in a number of successful Hollywood movies, one of which was Robert Rodriguez-directed, “Desperado”. The next year, Banderas starred in Evita, along with Madonna, which was followed by the highly successful “The Mask of Zorro” (1998). It was the latter one that won him critical applause.
In the coming years, Banderas was seen working frequently with director Robert Rodriguez. He was the one who cast Banderas in the Spy Kids film trilogy as well as in the final installment of the "Mariachi" trilogy. In 2003, Banderas made his comeback to the musical genre and received great appreciation for Broadway revival of Maury Yeston's musical ‘Nine’, based on the film 8½. It was for this movie that he won the Outer Critics Circle award, Drama Desk award and was even nominated for the Tony Award, for Best Actor in a Musical.
Banderas gained wide-scale recognition when he gave his voice for the role of ‘Puss in Boots’ in Shrek 2 (2003) and Shrek 3 (2007). In 2005, he was again seen as Zorro in ‘The Legend of Zorro’, but the film did not touch the same height of critical success as its predecessor. The next year, Banderas starred in “Take the Lead” and also became the recipient of L.A. Latino International Film Festival's "Gabi" Lifetime Achievement Award. He is expected to play the lead role in “Memoirs of Hadrian” & will also be seen in “The Code” & “The Other Man”.
The first marriage of Banderas took place with Ana Leza. However, he divorced his wife and married actress Melanie Griffith. The couple met during the shooting of “Two Much”. Presently, the couple has a daughter, Stella del Carmen Banderas Griffith, who was born in 1996. He is involved in a business ‘Andalusian products’, which he promotes in Spain and the USA. Antonio Banderas is also a long time supporter of the Málaga CF and Real Madrid Football Club.
1982 - Pestañas postizas (Antonio Juan), Laberinto de pasiones (Sadec),
1983 - Y del seguro... (líbranos Señor!)
1984 - El caso Almería, El señor Galíndez (Eduardo), Los zancos (Alberto),
Fragmentos de interior (Joaquín)
1985 - Caso cerrado (Preso), La corte de Faraón (Fray José), Réquiem por un campesino español (Paco)
1986 - Delirios de amor, 27 horas (Rafa), Puzzle, Matador (Ángel)
1987 - Así como habían sido (Damián), La ley del deseo (Antonio Benítez)
1988 - Bâton rouge (Antonio), El placer de matar (Luis), Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios (Carlos), La Mujer de tu vida: La mujer feliz (Antonio)
1989 - Acto, El (Carlos), Blanca Paloma, La (Mario), Si te dicen que caí (Marcos), Bajarse al moro (Alberto)
1990 - Contra el viento (Juan), ¡Átame! (Ricky), La otra historia de Rosendo Juárez (Rosendo Juárez)
1991 - Terra Nova (Antonio)
1992 - The Mambo Kings (Nestor Castillo), Mujer bajo la lluvia, Una (Miguel)
1993 - Philadelphia (Miguel Alvarez), The House of the Spirits (Pedro Tercero García), ¡Dispara! (Marcos), Il Giovane Mussolini (Benito Mussolini)
1994 - Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (Armand), Of Love and Shadows (Francisco)
1995 - Two Much (Art Dodge), Never Talk to Strangers (Tony Ramirez), Assassins (Miguel Bain), Four Rooms (Man), Desperado (El Mariachi), Miami Rhapsody (Antonio)
1996 - Evita (Che Guevara)
1998 - The Mask of Zorro (Alejandro Murrieta/Zorro)
1999 - Play It to the Bone (Cesar Dominguez), The White River Kid (Morales Pittman), The 13th Warrior (Ahmad ibn Fadlan)
2001 - Original Sin (Luis Vargas), Spy Kids (Gregorio Cortez), The Body (Father Matt Gutierrez)
2002 - Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (Agent Jeremiah Ecks), Frida (David Alfaro Siqueiros), Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams (Gregorio Cortez), Femme Fatale (Nicolas Bardo)
2003 - Shrek 2 (Puss In Boots) - voice, Imagining Argentina (Carlos Rueda), And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself (Pancho Villa), Once Upon a Time in Mexico (El Mariachi), Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (Gregorio Cortez)
2004 - Far Far Away Idol (Puss In Boots) - voice
2005 - The Legend of Zorro (Don Alejandro de la Vega/Zorro)
2006 - Take the Lead (Pierre Dulaine)
2007 - Shrek the Third (Puss in Boots) - voice, Bordertown (Diaz)