Antonio Banderas Biography

(Best Known for Playing 'Zorro' in the Eponymous Film Series)

Birthday: August 10, 1960 (Leo)

Born In: Málaga, Spain

Antonio Banderas is a Spanish film actor, director, producer, and singer. He began his acting career with a series of films directed by maverick filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar. Following a string of early projects with the director, he caught the attention of the international audience with his portrayal of an obsessed kidnapper in Almodóvar's controversial film ‘Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!’ He was introduced to American audiences in Madonna's documentary ‘Madonna: Truth or Dare.’ He made his English feature film debut in ‘The Mambo Kings.’ The actor then received rave reviews for his performance as a devoted lover in the ‘Academy’ award-winning American legal drama film ‘Philadelphia.’ Banderas showcased his skills as an action hero in hits like Robert Rodriguez's ‘Desperado’ and Martin Campbell’s ‘The Mask of Zorro,’ in which he starred opposite Catherine Zeta-Jones. He made his directorial debut with ‘Crazy in Alabama,’ a comedy-drama film, starring his then-wife Melanie Griffith. He was also seen in several family features, including Rodriguez's popular ‘Spy Kids’ franchise. He also voiced ‘Puss in Boots’ in ‘Shrek 2’ and in its subsequent sequels. For the first time in more than two decades, he worked with Almodóvar on the psychological thriller ‘The Skin I Live In.’ His performance in the film is regarded by many as one of his most compelling works. Handsome, charismatic, and gifted, he is indeed one of cinema's most popular leading men.

Quick Facts

Spanish Celebrities Born In August

Also Known As: José Antonio Domínguez Bandera

Age: 63 Years, 63 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Ana Leza (m. 1987–1996), Melanie Griffith (m. 1996–2015)

father: José Domínguez Prieto

mother: Ana Bandera Gallego

siblings: Chloe Banderas, Francisco Javiar Banderas

children: Stella Banderas

Born Country: Spain

Quotes By Antonio Banderas Actors

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

City: Málaga, Spain

Childhood & Early Life

Banderas was born José Antonio Dominguez Banderas on 10 August 1960, in Benalmádena, Málaga, Andalucía, Spain, to Ana Banderas, a school teacher, and José Domínguez, a police officer in the Guardia Civil.

His ambition of becoming a professional football player ended due to a foot injury at the age of 14. He enrolled in some drama classes and joined a theater troupe that toured all over Spain.

His work in the theater, and his performance on the streets, eventually landed him a place at the ‘National Theatre of Spain’ and he earned his G.E.D in 1990.

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Banderas debuted in Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar’s 1982 movie ‘Labyrinth of Passion.’ Almodóvar went on to cast him in many of his movies, including the internationally acclaimed film ‘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 his performance in the film ‘Philadelphia’ in 1993, he made a mark in the American film industry. 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, which collected $25,405,445 at the box office, increased his popularity.

In ‘Evita,’ a 1996 musical drama film based on Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical of the same name, he starred as ‘Che’ alongside Madonna and Jonathan Pryce.

He made his directorial debut with ‘Crazy in Alabama,’ a 1999 comedy-drama film, which received mixed reviews. The film starred Melanie Griffith who played an abused wife who heads to California to become a movie star.

In the first installment of the ‘Spy Kids’ series, a science fantasy family adventure film written and directed by Robert Rodriguez in 2001, he played a supporting role that received accolades.

‘Original Sin,’ a 2001 erotic thriller film, starred him opposite Angelina Jolie. It is set in late 19th-century Cuba during 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,’ where he played the main role, originally played 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 its 1998 prequel. The following year, he starred as a ballroom dance teacher in ‘Take the Lead.’

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 reunited with director Pedro Almodovar, who had launched his career. In the film, he played a revenge-seeking plastic surgeon, following the rape of his daughter.

He has voiced many characters, including ‘Puss in Boots’ in ‘Shrek 2,’ ‘Shrek the Third,’ ‘Shrek Forever After,’ and ‘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. He has successfully promoted a number of fragrances for men and women, working with the multinational company ‘Puig.’

He was cast alongside Penelope Cruz in the Spanish film 'Dolor y Gloria.' He next portrayed ‘Ramón Fonseca’ in the 2019 American biographical comedy-drama film ‘The Laundromat.’ The film was based on the infamous Panama Papers scandal and received a mixed response from critics.

In 2020, he starred as ‘Rassouli’ in the adventure fantasy film ‘Dolittle’ directed by Stephen Gaghan. The film was panned by critics and tanked at the box office. He next starred in films like ‘Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard,’ ‘Official Competition,’ ‘Uncharted,’ ‘The Enforcer,’ and ‘Puss in Boots: The Last Wish.’

He played the role of ‘Renaldo’ in the 2023 James Mangold-directed American action-adventure film ‘Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.’ The film was the fifth installment in the Indiana Jones film series and was a critical and commercial disappointment.

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Major Works

‘The Mask of Zorro’ starred him alongside Anthony Hopkins. The film achieved both financial and critical success.

He played ‘El Mariachi’ for the second time when he was cast to play the role in ‘Once Upon a Time in Mexico.’ This final film in Rodriguez's ‘Mexico’ trilogy holds the record for being the most improved second sequel of all time.


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.’

In 2003, he was nominated for an ‘Imagen Award,’ a ‘Primetime Emmy Award,’ and a ‘Golden Globe Award’ for ‘Best Actor’ for his role in the TV film ‘And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself.’

For directing ‘Crazy in Alabama,’ he won the ‘ALMA Award’ and the ‘European Film Award.’ For directing ‘Summer Rain,’ he won the ‘Berlin International Film Festival Award.’

In 2005, he was honored with a star on the ‘Walk of Fame’ at 6801 Hollywood Blvd. He received his honorary doctorate from the ‘University of Málagain.’

Banderas won the ‘Best Actor’ award at the 2019 ‘Cannes Film Festival’ for his role in the Spanish film ‘Pain and Glory.’

Personal Life & Legacy

He married 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. They have a daughter named Stella. The couple announced their separation in June 2014 and got divorced the following year. He is currently in a relationship with Nicole Kimpel. She works as an investment banker.

In 2017, he suffered a mild heart attack.


This successful Hollywood actor is a Spanish citizen. 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.”

Antonio Banderas Movies

1. Philadelphia (1993)


2. Pain and Glory (2019)


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

  (Horror, Drama)

4. Desperado (1995)

  (Thriller, Crime, Action)

5. La piel que habito (2011)

  (Thriller, Drama)

6. Frida (2002)

  (Romance, Drama, Biography)

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

  (Drama, Comedy)

8. Los zancos (1984)


9. The 13th Warrior (1999)

  (Action, History, Adventure)

10. The Mask of Zorro (1998)

  (Western, Adventure, Romance, Action, Comedy, Thriller)

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