Penelope Cruz biography 2022

Actress Penelope Cruz

Penelope Cruz biography

Penelope Cruz was born in Madrid, Spain, on April 28, 1974.

Raised with brother Eduardo and sister Monica in Madrid, Penelope was always fond of the arts, especially ballet and jazz.

Her passion for dance led her to abandon traditional schooling and focus her time and energy on ballet's graceful art. She may not have her high school diploma, but she is very educated.

Before transitioning to acting, Penelope had completed 10 years of classical ballet training, 3 years of Spanish ballet training, and 4 years of theater at Cristina Rota's school.

Her first casting call came in 1991's El Laberinto Griego, and her big break in Spanish film came a year later in Jamon, Jamon. 1992 also saw her first foray into international screens in her role in Belle époque - a massive success that garnered nine Goya Awards and an Oscar for Best Foreign Film. It was with the Belle époque that Penelope's star power received its first worldwide exposure.

After appearing in other Spanish films such as La Celestina and Alegre ma non-troppo (1994) and La Celestina (1996), Penelope Cruz reappeared in America in Abre Los Ojos, which was screened at the Sundance Film Festival in 1997. Penelope recorded a few more English-language films in the late 90s, but production from her home country put her in the spotlight.

Pedro Almodóvar's All About My Mother (1999) premiered at the Cannes Film Festival to rave reviews and won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Penelope stood out in this project in her role as a pregnant nun and was soon after cast alongside Matt Damon in All the Pretty Horses (2000).

This film flopped, and Penelope's next film, opposite Johnny Depp in Blow, did not fare much better. Still, both projects gave Penelope the visibility she needed at this time, big-budget films like Captain Corelli's Mandolin and Vanilla Sky (2001).

In 2003, Penelope appeared alongside Halle Berry in Gothika and a host of talent who should have known better in Bob Dylan's vanity disaster Masked and Anonymous.

In 2004, Penelope Cruz took on roles in Chazz Palminteri's Noel and Charlize Theron in Head in the Clouds. She was cast opposite Matthew McConaughey in Sahara (2005).

Active in social causes, Penelope Cruz has volunteered for NGOs abroad and donated her proceeds from certain films to charities.

After being linked to Matt Damon and Nicolas Cage, Penelope was involved with Tom Cruise between 2001 and 2004.

last updated September 2022

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