Penelope Cruz

3 03 2007

Penelope CruzPenelope Cruz Sanchez (born April 28, 1974 in Madrid, Spain), better known as Penelope Cruz, is a Golden Globe and Academy Award-nominated Spanish actress. Originally a dancer, she soon moved into Spanish television, and since then she has appeared in a string of films, in Spanish, English, French and Italian.

Early life

Cruz was born in San Sebastián de los Reyes, Madrid, Spain. Her parents are Eduardo Cruz, a retailer, and Encarna Sánchez, a hairdresser. As a toddler, she was already a compulsive performer, re-enacting TV commercials for her family’s amusement, but she decided to focus her energies on dance. After studying classical ballet for nine years at Spain’s National Conservatory, she continued her training under a series of prominent dancers. At 15, however, she heeded her true calling when she bested more than 300 other girls at a talent agency audition. She received three years of Spanish Ballet with Ángela Garrido. She also had jazz dance courses with Raúl Caballero.

Career

Cruz first achieved fame when she appeared in the video clip La fuerza del destino for the Spanish synthpop group Mecano. She later started a relationship with Nacho Cano, a member of the group.

She was a TV presenter for the teen-oriented program La Quinta Marcha. She also had early exposure in Série Rose, a French erotic TV serial.

Cruz’s first major films were Jamón, jamón and Belle Epoque, a film which won an Academy Award for Foreign Language Film.

In 1997, she starred as Sofía Pangia, alongside Eduardo Noriega in Abre los ojos, directed by Alejandro Amenábar, and in 2000 she appeared with Matt Damon in All the Pretty Horses. In 1999, she appeared in Pedro Almodóvar’s Todo sobre mi madre, which won an Academy Award for Foreign Language Film.

In early 2001, she appeared in the film Vanilla Sky with Tom Cruise, which sparked a three-year relationship with the actor. Vanilla Sky was the Hollywood remake of Abre los ojos and she played the same part in both films.

In 2006, Cruz received rave reviews for her performance in Pedro Almodóvar’s Volver. She won a Best Actress ensemble award at the Cannes Film Festival and has been nominated for an Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award and BAFTA Award. She is the first Spanish Actress to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role.

Personal life

Cruz has a younger brother, Eduardo, who is a singer, and a younger sister Mónica, who closely resembles her: a similarity exploited for some Spanish TV ads. In the 2000s, Mónica left her dancing career and achieved note on her own in the youth-oriented TV series Un Paso Adelante.

She claims to be a vegetarian since 2000, though this fact is disputed. She speaks four languages: Spanish, Italian, French and English. Cruz has also donated a considerable amount of money and time to charity. In 1997 she volunteered in Uganda for two months.

After appearing in 2001 in the film Vanilla Sky with Tom Cruise, they had a three-year relationship. They split up in January 2004.

After filming Sahara in February 2005, she started dating actor Matthew McConaughey. In May 2006, they released a joint statement to People, saying that they “have decided to take time off as a couple. Due to busy work schedules and so much time apart, they mutually decided four weeks ago that separating was the best thing to do at this time.”

Cruz is friends with Mexican actress Salma Hayek. The two co-starred in the 2006 movie Bandidas.

Dated British Actor Orlando Bloom for about five months and ended after Orlando’s 30th Birthday last January 13th this year.

Awards and nominations

Academy Awards

  • 2007 Nominated Academy Award Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for: Volver (2006)

ALMA Awards

  • 1999 Nominated ALMA Award Outstanding Actress in a Feature Film for: The Hi-Lo Country (1998)
  • 2002 Nominated ALMA Award Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture for: Vanilla Sky (2001)

BAFTA Awards

  • 2007 Nominated BAFTA Award Best Actress in a Leading Role for: Volver (2006)

Blockbuster Entertainment Awards

  • 2001 Nominated Blockbuster Entertainment Award Favorite Actress – Drama/Romance for: All the Pretty Horses (2000)

Cannes Film Festival – To the female ensemble cast.

  • 2006 Won Best Actress for: Volver (2006)award shared with Carmen Maura; Lola Dueñas; Blanca Portillo; Yohana Cobo; Chus Lampreave

David di Donatello Awards

  • 2004 Won David Best Actress (Migliore Attrice Protagonista) for: Non ti muovere (2004)

European Film Awards

  • 1999 Nominated European Film Award Best Actress for: La Niña de tus ojos (1998)
  • 2001 Nominated Audience Award Best Actress for: Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (2001)
  • 2003 Nominated Audience Award Best Actress for: Fanfan la tulipe (2003)
  • 2004 Nominated European Film Award Best Actress for: Non ti muovere (2004)
  • 2004 Won Audience Award Best Actress for: Non ti muovere (2004)
  • 2006 Won European Film Award Best Actress for: Volver (2006)

Fotogramas de Plata

  • 1999 Won Fotogramas de Plata Best Movie Actress (Mejor Actriz de Cine)for: La Niña de tus ojos (1998)

Golden Globe Awards

  • 2007 Nominated Golden Globe Best Actress in a Dramatic Role for: Volver (2006)

Goya Awards

  • 1993 Nominated Goya Best Lead Actress (Mejor Actriz Principal) for: Jamón, jamón (1992)
  • 1999 Won Goya Best Lead Actress (Mejor Actriz Principal) for: La Niña de tus ojos (1998)
  • 2005 Nominated Goya Best Lead Actress (Mejor Actriz Principal) for: Non ti muovere (2004)
  • 2007 Won Goya Best Lead Actress (Mejor Actriz Principal) for: Volver (2006)

Imagen Foundation Awards

  • 2003 – Creative Achievement Award

MTV Movie Awards

  • 2002 Nominated MTV Movie Award Breakthrough Female Performance for: Blow (2001)

Ondas Awards

  • 1993 Won Film Award Best Acting (Mejor Interpretación) Tied with Javier Bardem (No award category given officially).

Peñíscola Comedy Film Festival

  • 1995 Won Best Actress for: Todo es mentira (1994)

Razzie Awards

  • 2002 Nominated Razzie Award Worst Actress for: Blow (2001), Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (2001) and Vanilla Sky (2001).

Spanish Actors Union

  • 1993 Nominated Newcomer Award for: Jamón, jamón (1992)
  • 1993 Won Award of the Spanish Actors Union Film: Supporting Performance (Secundario Cine) for: Belle epoque (1992)
  • 1998 Nominated Award of the Spanish Actors Union Film: Performance in a Minor Role (Reparto Cine) for: Carne trémula (1997)
  • 1999 Won Award of the Spanish Actors Union Film: Lead Performance (Protagonista Cine) for: La Niña de tus ojos (1998)
  • 2007 Won Won Award of the Spanish Actors Union Film: Lead Performance (Protagonista Cine) for: Volver (2007)
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