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Penelope Cruz

Penelope Cruz

Penelope Cruz Penélope Cruz Sánchez (born April 28, 1974), better known as Penélope Cruz, is a 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, and other languages, with relative success and some awards.


Early life
Cruz was born in Madrid and was named after a song by Joan Manuel Serrat. Her parents are Eduardo Cruz, a retailer, and Encarna Sánchez, a hairdresser. She was a dancer as a child and young teen. She completed 2º B.U.P. (2nd year of secondary school), but dropped out of school at the age of 15 after she beat more than 300 other girls at a talent agency audition. She received nine years of classic ballet training at the Conservatorio Nacional in Madrid, four years of dance performance with several dance courses at the Cristina Rota School in New York, and three years of Spanish Ballet with Ángela Garrido. She also had jazz dance courses with Raúl Caballero.

Penelope Cruz

Cruz first achieved fame when she appeared in the video clip La fuerza del destino for the Spanish synthpop group Mecano (see La forza del destino for the reference to the Italian work). She later started a relationship with Nacho Cano, a member of the group, which lasted for several years.

She was a TV presenter for the teen-oriented program La Quinta Marcha, in collaboration with Jesús Vázquez.

Cruz's first major films were Jamón, Jamón and the more widely known (in the US) Belle Epoque, a film which won an Academy Award for Foreign Language Film.

In 1997, she starred as Sofía 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 supposed three-year relationship with the actor. Vanilla Sky was the Hollywood remake of Abre los Ojos ("Open Your Eyes"), and she played the same part in both films.

After her second appearance on the TV series Punk'd (her first backstage debut), and during an interview on CBS's The Early Show (aired on April 4, 2005), Cruz remarked that her friend/Mexican actress/Bandidas co-star Salma Hayek has threatened to "punk" Cruz for helping Ashton Kutcher with the bathroom trick at Kutcher's Geisha House, his second restaurant, in Hollywood, California.

Penelope Cruz

Personal life
Has a brother Eduardo, and a younger sister Mónica Cruz 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. They are also distant cousins of Alexandra Cruz.

She is a vegetarian, a decision made after filming All the Pretty Horses in 2000.

She speaks four languages: Spanish, Italian, French and English. She learnt Italian because she wanted a part in the 2004 movie Non ti muovere, and she went on to win the Italian equivalent of the Oscars for Best Actress.

She has donated a number of sums of money and time to chairty works. In 1997 she volunteered in Uganda for two months with then boyfriend Faiz Ahmad. It was rumoured that she donated her entire fee from the film The Hi-Lo Country to the Mother Teresa's children's sanctuary in Calcutta after spending a week there volunteering, but this was later denounced by Cruz.

She lived for a period of time with Spanish musician Nacho Cano, part of the pop music trio "Mecano". Cruz appeared in one of the band's video-clips "la Fuerza del Destino"

After appearing in 2001 in the film Vanilla Sky with Tom Cruise, they supposedly had a three year relationship. He had recently split from his wife Nicole Kidman. Cruise and Cruz split 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."

Spanish press has been linking Cruz to Academy Award winner Adrien Brody, whom she co-stars in the upcoming film Manolete. Cruz herself has denied the rumors.

Penelope Cruz

Selected filmography
Passion India (announced) (2006) (announced)
The Loop (announced) (2006) (announced)
Manolete (2006)
Volver (2006)
Bandidas (2006) Maria
Chromophobia (2006) Gloria
Sahara (2005)
Noel (2004)
Don't Move (2004)
Head in the Clouds (2004)
Gothika (2003)
Fanfan la tulipe (2003)
Vanilla Sky (2001)
Captain Corelli's Mandolin (2001)
Blow (2001)
Woman On Top (2000)
All the Pretty Horses (1999)
Open Your Eyes (Abre los ojos) (1997)
Belle Epoque (1992) Luz (aka Belle époque (France) aka The Age of Beauty)
Jamón, jamón (1992)

Penelope Cruz Picture Gallery

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