Penelope Cruz
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Penelope Cruz's Life

Born on April 28, 1974, Cruz is a critically acclaimed Spanish actress who has achieved admirable reputation with her array of international films over the years. Having always had a strong passion for her work, she began the path to her career at the mere age of four, when she began nine years of studying classical dance followed by a further three years of ballet. She had great talents nurturing her along the way, such as her time spent learning jazz dance by Raul Caballero. During her teens she found herself becoming the winner of a 300 strong competition to become a part-time model. Following this period she took on the role of a TV presenter for La Quinta Marcha, though she was soon to star in more controversial roles.

Her first role was starring in the film Greek Labyrinth, released in 1993. The film portrayed Cruz as the detective's daughter in the search for a missing dancer. In 1997, she appeared alongside Eduardo Noriega in the thought provoking film Abre los ojos, directed by Alejandro Aménabar. This film also brought her a lot of attention, especially that of Tom Cruise. Cruise liked the film, and the actress, so much that he bought the rights to the film. Later, in 2001, Cruise played the lead in the remake of the movie, which was entitled Vanilla Sky, with Cruz returning to her role in the film, only this time, speaking in English. This meant that Penelope had broken into the American market, a task that was made all the more easier thanks to her relationship with Tom Cruise.

However, due to the fact that Tom Cruise had just broken up with leading actress Nicole Kidman, it also won Cruz a lot of negative press too, many believing that she was a heart breaker. Since this point, many of her relationships with famous celebrities have brought rumours and scathing headlines. It is for this reason that Penelope Cruz prefers not to give too much away about her private life to the press, and rarely gives interviews.

One of the major films in the last few years starring Penelope Cruz is Woman on Top from 2000. Following this she had a period of mixed reviews and she responded in 2004 with Don't Move, for which she learned Italian and ended up winning the Italy's equivalent of an Oscar. In 2008, the film Vicky Cristina Barcelona garnered Cruz an Oscar, thereby finally earning the respect she deserved. She became one of very few to win the award for speaking two languages in one feature film.

More recently, Penelope Cruz has appeared in the fourth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, On Stranger Tides, alongside Johnny Depp, further adding to her list of major roles in American cinema. Of course, this wasn't the first time that the two stars had worked together. Back in 2001, she also appeared as the wife of the drug smuggler George Jung, played by Depp, in the film Blow.

Penelope Cruz's Films

Penelope Cruz is gifted with a range of talents and has used her years learning the expressive arts to star in a host of impressive films. She has worked with several influential directors, actors and actresses, all the while acquiring numerous national and international film awards.

There is no way that we could talk about Penelope Cruz and not talk about her film relationship with the director Pedro Almódovar. Cruz has appeared in a number of Almódovar's films, from the very beginnings of her career with Carne Trémula in 1997, to the most recent, with her performance in Volver in 2006.

Some notable films include:

  • Belle Epoque
  • Open Your Eyes
  • The Girl of Your Dreams
  • Blow
  • Vanilla Sky
  • Volver
  • Vicky Cristina Barcelona