Antonio Banderas Biography

Antonio Banderas is a well-known Spanish actor. This biography profiles his childhood, early life, career, major works, awards, personal life, legacy, timeline and trivia.

Quick Facts

Birthday: August 10, 1960

Nationality: Spanish

Famous: Quotes By Antonio Banderas Atheists

Age: 59 Years, 59 Year Old Males

Sun Sign: Leo

Also Known As: Jose Antonio Banderas Dominguez, Antonio Banderas,

Born in: Málaga

Famous as: Actor, Director

Height: 5'9" (175 cm), 5'9" Males

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Spouse/Ex-: Ana Leza, Melanie Griffith

father: Jose Dominguez

mother: Dona Ana Banderas

siblings: Francisco Javiar Banderas

children: Stella Banderas

More Facts

education: School of Dramatic Art, Malaga, Spain

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Antonio Banderas is a Spanish film actor, director, producer and singer. He began his acting career with a series of films by maverick director Pedro Almodóvar. Following a string of early projects with the director, he attracted international attention as an obsessed kidnapper in Almodóvar's controversial, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!. He was introduced to American audiences in Madonna's documentary, Truth or Dare and The Mambo Kings. Proving that he was more than just a pretty face, the actor drew rave reviews for his performance as Tom Hanks' devoted lover in the Academy Award-winning AIDS drama, Philadelphia. Banderas quickly cashed in as an action hero in hits like Robert Rodriguez's ‘Desperado’ and as the titular swordsman in ‘The Mask of Zorro’, opposite Catherine Zeta-Jones. He made his directorial debut with ‘Crazy in Alabama’, a comedy-drama starring his wife, Melanie Griffith. He also took part in several family features, including Rodriguez's popular Spy Kids franchise and as the voice of Puss in Boots in ‘Shrek 2’ and its subsequent sequels. For the first time in more than two decades, he reunited with Almodóvar for the psychological thriller, ‘The Skin I Live In’, delivering what some called his most compelling work in years. Handsome, charismatic and definitely gifted, he is indeed one of cinema's most popular leading men.

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Childhood & Early Life
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  • Banderas debuted in Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar’s 1982 movie, ‘Labyrinth of Passion’. Almodovar went on to cast him in many of his movies including internationally acclaimed, ‘Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown’.
  • In 1992, despite speaking minimal English and having to learn his lines phonetically, he gave a great performance as a struggling musician in his first American drama film, ‘The Mambo Kings’.
  • With the film ‘Philadelphia’ in 1993, he made his mark with mainstream American audience. He played the character of Miguel Álvarez, the gay lover of AIDS-afflicted lawyer Andrew Beckett played by Tom Hanks.
  • ’Desperado’, a 1995 action film, saw him play a mariachi or folk singer seeking revenge on the drug lord who killed his lover. The film enhanced his fame and made $25,405,445 at the box-office.
  • In ‘Evita’, a 1996 musical drama film based on Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical of the same name about Eva Perón, he starred as Che with Madonna, and Jonathan Pryce.
  • With, ‘Crazy in Alabama’, a 1999 comedy-drama film, he made his directorial debut to mixed reviews and had Melanie Griffith as an abused wife who heads to California to become a movie star.
  • In the first installment in the Spy Kids series, a science fantasy family adventure film written and directed by Robert Rodriguez in 2001, he had a supporting role which received many accolades.
  • ’Original Sin’, a 2001 erotic thriller film starred him opposite Angelina Jolie. It is set in the late 19th century Cuba during the Spanish rule. He played Luis Durand, a wealthy Hispanic-Cuban businessman.
  • In 2003, he returned to the musical genre with the Broadway revival of Maury Yeston's musical Nine, playing the prime role originated by the late Puerto Rican actor Raúl Juliá.
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  • His 2005 reprisal of Zorro in ‘The Legend of Zorro’ was not as successful as the first time. The following year, he starred in ‘Take the Lead’ as a ballroom dancing teacher.
  • His second directorial venture, ‘El camino de los ingleses’ (Summer Rain) in 2006, depicts the life of a teenager suffering from kidney disease.
  • With ‘The Skin I Live In’, a Spanish psychological thriller, he returned to director Pedro Almodovar, who had launched his career. He stars as a revenge-seeking plastic surgeon following the rape of his daughter.
  • He has lent his voice to many characters including Puss in Boots in the Shrek2, Shrek the Third, Shrek Forever After, and in Puss in Boots, a 2011 spin-off prequel to the Shrek franchise.
  • His business activities include a 50% ownership of a winery in Villalba de Duero, and he has successfully promoted a number of fragrances for men and women working with the multinational company Puig.
Major Works
  • ’The Mask of Zorro’, starred him with Anthony Hopkins and received both financial and critical success.
  • ‘Once Upon a Time in Mexico’, was his second performance as El Mariachi. This final 2003 film in Rodriguez's Mexico Trilogy holds the record for being the most improved second sequel of all-time.
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  • His role in the Broadway revival of ‘Nine’ in 2003 won him the Theatre World Award for Best Actor, and the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical.
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  • He was nominated for his role in ‘And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself’, for an Imagen Award, a Primetime Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in 2003.
  • As a director he won the ALMA Award and the European Film Award for Achievement in World Cinema for Crazy in Alabama and Berlin International Film Festival Award for Directing Summer Rain.
  • He was honored with Star on the Walk of Fame in the Motion Picture category in 2005 at 6801 Hollywood Blvd. He received his honorary doctorate from the University of Málagain where he was born
Personal Life & Legacy
  • He married his first wife, Ana Leza, in July 1987 but the couple separated in May 1995.
  • After divorcing his first wife, Ana Leza, he married actress Melanie Griffith in 1996 with whom he had a relationship since they worked in the movie, ‘Two Much’, and they have a daughter, Stella. The couple announced their separation in June 2014.
  • Despite his successes in American films, this actor is still a Spanish citizen and his surname means "flags" in Spanish.
  • This actor once said, “I always feel that art in general and acting in particular should make the audience a little uncomfortable, to slap them and wake them up”.

1. Philadelphia (1993)


2. Pain and Glory (2019)


3. Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994)

  (Horror, Drama)

4. La piel que habito (2011)

  (Thriller, Drama)

5. Frida (2002)

  (Romance, Drama, Biography)

6. Desperado (1995)

  (Thriller, Crime, Action)

7. Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios (1988)

  (Drama, Comedy)

8. Los zancos (1984)


See the events in life of Antonio Banderas in Chronological Order

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- Antonio Banderas Biography
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Last Updated
- September 13, 2017
Antonio Banderas

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