Pedro Almodovar Biography

(Spanish Film Director Whose Films Are Marked By Melodrama, Irreverent Humour, Bold Colour, Glossy Decor and Complex Narratives)

Birthday: September 25, 1949 (Libra)

Born In: Calzada de Calatrava, Spain

Pedro Almodovar, the eminent director who won international recognition for his films is one of the most successful Spanish filmmaker of his generation. With a unique vision of Spanish life, the characters he depicted made him stand out among his contemporaries. His journey from obscurity to one of the best Spanish directors the world has witnessed is indeed a story worth telling. One who came to be known as the leader of New Spanish cinema, he was highly praised for his films such as, ‘Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown’ where his shrewd portrayal of women invited much critical acclaim. Though he faced a creative downturn in the 1990’s, he came out of it with ease, contributing films like, ‘All To My Mother’ which marked the peak of Almodovar era in Spanish film industry. Carving a niche for himself in the Spanish film industry and earning great international fame and reputation, Pedro’s impact on Spanish cinema is unequivocal and was particularly praised for his characterization of women. Numerous awards including the Academy Award and Golden Globe were additional feathers in his cap. To know more about the illustrious life and achievements of this phenomenal film maker, read the biography below.

Quick Facts

Spanish Celebrities Born In September

Also Known As: Pedro Mercedes Almodóvar Caballero

Age: 74 Years, 74 Year Old Males


father: Antonio Almodovar

mother: Francisca Caballero

siblings: Agustín Almodóvar

Born Country: Spain

Directors Screenwriters

Height: 5'10" (178 cm), 5'10" Males

Grouping of People: Gay

Founder/Co-Founder: Spanish film production company

Childhood & Early Life
Born in a remote area in Spain, he moved with his family to Extremadura at the age of eight. There his father ran a local gas station and made wine at home.
He had a stern catholic upbringing which he resented and wanted to escape. He showed great potential as a writer from a very early age.
In 1968, he moved to Madrid. Due to financial instability he couldn’t attend college and did many odd jobs like selling books and jewelry.
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Soon, he got a job which helped him stabilize financially though he found himself a misfit into it. From 1970 to 1981, he was employed as a clerk and later as an administrator.
In late 1960’s and 1970’s, he wrote comic articles and stripes for underground publications including Star, Vibora, and Vibraciones.
He also wrote for newspapers like El Pais, Diario 16, and La Luna. For the latter, he created a cartoon character Patti Diphusa under a pseudonym.
Soon, he joined an Avant-Garde group, ‘Los Golidardos’, where he acted and met actors and actresses like Carmen Maura and Antonio Banderas who later would star in his films.
From the period between 1974 and 1978, he experimented with films, making super-8 shots and a super length movie in 1978,’ F - , F - , F - me, Tim’. It was soon followed by his first feature in 16mm format, titled, Salome.
In 1980, he made his first feature film, ‘Pepi, Luci, Bom and Other Girls on the Heap’ with a budget of $60,000, mainly funded by friends.
The following year, he came up with his first feature film, Labyrinth of Passion’ for which he composed the music.
His third feature film, ‘Dark Habits’ won him international recognition, the first one to achieve appreciation outside Spain.
In 1984, he came up with, ‘What Have I Done to Deserve This?’ which catapulted him to international fame. Soon, he began to be known as the leader of New Spanish Cinema and the head of La Movida (The Movement).
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In 1985, he formed his first production company, ‘El Deseo’ with his brother Agustin. The following year he came up with ‘Matador’ which further established him as a versatile director.
In the year, 1988 was released his biggest hit ‘Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown’ which became the highest grossing film in Spain and one of the most acclaimed movies in the history of Spanish films.
It also became the highest grossing film in United States in 1989 where it earned almost $7 million and won the Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Film.
The follow-up to ‘Women of the Verge’, ‘Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!’ though was not well received by the critics collected $4 million in box office in the United States.
In 1990’s he came up with a comic melodrama, ‘High Heels’ and ‘Kika’ which did not go well with the critics. His 1996 film, ‘The Flowers of My Secret’ grossed about $1 million in the United States.
His movie, ‘All About my Mother’ won numerous awards including the Director’s Prize at the Cannes Film Festival and the best foreign language film at the Academy Awards.
In 2002, he directed ‘Talk to Her’, a romantic comedy which won much critical acclaim and was nominated for a British Academy Award for best original screenplay. He received the nomination for the Academy Award for best director and won the 2003 Academy Award for original screenplay.
In 2006, his film ‘Volver’, starring Penélope Cruz, won the Best Screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival.
Major Works
‘Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown’, his famous work released in 1988 was written and directed by him. The film brought him widespread attention and was nominated for 1988 Academy Award for Best Foreign-language film, and won five Goya Awards including Best Film and Best Actress in a Leading Role.
His film, ‘All About My Mother’ released in 1999 won numerous awards including the most prestigious Academy Award for the Best Foreign Language Film, BAFTA Award for Best Film not in the English Language and Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The film grossed a total of $67,872,296 at worldwide box office.
Awards & Achievements
He was made a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2001.
His film, ‘All About My Mother’ won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, BAFTA Award for Best Film in Foreign Language and Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
Personal Life & Legacy
He is known to be a homosexual though he has not admitted it in public or has not supported any gay rights movement or organization.
This famous Spanish director’s mother, Francisca Caballero and brother, Agustín Almodóvar appeared in cameo roles in his movies.
In 1992, this famous European film director was a Member of jury at the Cannes Film Festival.
The Celebrity chef Rachael Ray is a big fan of this movie maker and has named a chicken dish after him.

Pedro Almodovar Movies

1. Wild Tales (2014)

  (Comedy, Drama, Thriller)

2. Talk to Her (2002)

  (Romance, Mystery, Drama)

3. Todo sobre mi madre (1999)


4. Pain and Glory (2019)


5. What Have I Done to Deserve This? (1984)

  (Comedy, Drama)

6. Rapture (1979)

  (Horror, Drama, Mystery, Fantasy)

7. La piel que habito (2011)

  (Thriller, Drama)

8. Volver (2006)

  (Drama, Crime, Comedy, Mystery)

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

  (Drama, Comedy)

10. My Life Without Me (2003)

  (Drama, Romance)


Academy Awards(Oscars)
2003 Best Writing, Original Screenplay Hable con ella (2002)
BAFTA Awards
2012 Best Film Not in the English Language La piel que habito (2011)
2003 Best Screenplay - Original Hable con ella (2002)
2003 Best Film not in the English Language Hable con ella (2002)
2000 Best Film not in the English Language Todo sobre mi madre (1999)
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