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Banderas at the 2017 San Sebastián International Film Festival
José Antonio Domínguez Bandera
(1960-08-10) 10 August 1960
( m. 1987; div. 1996)
( m. 1996; div. 2015)
José Antonio Domínguez Bandera[a] (born 10 August 1960), known professionally as Antonio Banderas, is a Spanish actor, film producer and director. He is the recipient of numerous accolades, including a Cannes Best Actor Award and nominations for a Tony Award, an Academy Award, two Primetime Emmy Awards and five Golden Globe Awards.
Banderas began his acting career with a series of films by director Pedro Almodóvar in the 1980s and then appeared in several Hollywood films, such as Philadelphia (1993), Interview with the Vampire (1994), Desperado (1995), Assassins (1995), Evita (1996), and The Mask of Zorro (1998). He also appeared in the Spy Kids series and provided the voice of Puss in Boots in the Shrek franchise as well as its spin-off film Puss in Boots.
In 2003, Banderas made his theatre debut as Guido Contini in Nine, for which he was nominated for a Tony Award and won a Drama Desk Award. He received Primetime Emmy Award nominations for his roles in the television film And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself (2004) and the second season of Genius (2018); his portrayal of Pablo Picasso in the latter garnered him critical praise.
José Antonio Domínguez Bandera was born on 10 August 1960 in Málaga, the son of Civil Guard police officer José Domínguez Prieto (1920–2008) and schoolteacher Ana Bandera Gallego (1933–2017). He has a brother named Francisco. As a child, he wanted to become a professional football player until a broken foot sidelined his dreams at the age of 14. He showed a strong interest in the performing arts and formed part of the ARA Theatre-School run by Ángeles Rubio-Argüelles y Alessandri (wife of diplomat and filmmaker Edgar Neville) and the College of Dramatic Art, both in Málaga. His work in the theater and his performances on the streets eventually landed him a spot with the Spanish National Theatre.
Early work, 1982–1990
Banderas began his acting studies at the School of Dramatic Art in Málaga, and made his acting debut at a small theatre in Málaga. He was arrested by the Spanish police for performance in a play by Bertolt Brecht, because of political censorship under the rule of General Francisco Franco. Banderas spent a whole night at the police station; he had three or four such arrests while he was working with a small theatre troupe that toured all over Spain and was giving performances in small town theatres and on the street.[]. Banderas began working in small shops during Spain's post-dictatorial cultural movement known as the La Movida Madrileña.
While performing with the theatre, Banderas caught the attention of Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar, who cast the young actor in his 1982 film debut Labyrinth of Passion. Five years later, he went on to appear in the director's Law of Desire, making headlines with his performance as a gay man, which required him to engage in his first male-to-male onscreen kiss. After Banderas appeared in Almodóvar's 1986 Matador, the director cast him in his internationally acclaimed 1988 film, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.
The recognition Banderas gained for his role increased two years later when he starred in Almodóvar's controversial Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! as a mental patient who kidnaps a porn star (Victoria Abril) and keeps her tied up until she returns his love. It was his breakthrough role in Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, that helped spur him on to Hollywood. Almodóvar is credited for helping launch Banderas's international career, as he became a regular feature in his films throughout the 1980s.
In 1991, Madonna introduced Banderas to Hollywood. (He was an object of her desires in her pseudo-documentary film of one of her concert tours, Madonna: Truth or Dare.) The following year, still speaking minimal English, he began acting in U.S. films. Despite having to learn all his lines phonetically, Banderas still managed to turn in a critically praised performance as a struggling musician in his first American drama film, The Mambo Kings (1992).
Banderas then broke through to mainstream American audiences in the film Philadelphia (1993), as the lover of lawyer Andrew Beckett (Tom Hanks), who has AIDS. The film's success earned Banderas wide recognition, and the following year he was given a role in Neil Jordan's high-profile adaptation of Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire, sharing the screen with Brad Pitt.
Worldwide recognition, 1995–present
He appeared in several major Hollywood releases in 1995, including a starring role in the Robert Rodriguez-directed film Desperado and the antagonist on the action film Assassins, co-starred with Sylvester Stallone. In 1996, he starred alongside Madonna in Evita, an adaptation of the musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice in which he played the narrator, Che, a role played by David Essex in the original 1978 West End production. He also had success with his role as the legendary masked swordsman Zorro in the 1998 film The Mask of Zorro. In 1999 he starred in The 13th Warrior, a movie about a Muslim caught up in a war between the Northman and human eating beasts.
In 2001, he collaborated with Robert Rodriguez who cast him in the Spy Kids film trilogy. He also starred in Michael Cristofer's Original Sin alongside Angelina Jolie the same year. In 2002, he starred in Brian De Palma's Femme Fatale opposite Rebecca Romijn and in Julie Taymor's Frida with Salma Hayek. In 2003, he starred in the last installment of the trilogy Once Upon a Time in Mexico (in which he appeared with Johnny Depp and Hayek). Banderas' debut as a director was the poorly received Crazy in Alabama (1999), starring his then wife Melanie Griffith.
In 2003, he returned to the musical genre, appearing to great acclaim in the Broadway revival of Maury Yeston's musical Nine, based on the film 8½, playing the prime role originated by Raul Julia. Banderas won both the Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk awards, and was nominated for the Tony Award for best actor in a musical. His performance is preserved on the Broadway cast recording released by PS Classics. Later that year, he received the Rita Moreno HOLA Award for Excellence from the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors (HOLA).
Banderas' voice role as Puss in Boots in Shrek 2, Shrek the Third, and the last film in the Shrek franchise, Shrek Forever After, helped make the character popular on the family film circuit. In 2005, he reprised his role as Zorro in The Legend of Zorro, though this was not as successful as The Mask of Zorro. In 2006, he starred in Take the Lead, a high-set movie in which he played a ballroom dancing teacher. That year, he directed his second film El camino de los ingleses, based on the novel by Antonio Soler and also received the L.A. Latino International Film Festival's "Gabi" Lifetime Achievement Award on 14 October.
He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on 6801 Hollywood Blvd. in 2005.
In 2011, the horror thriller The Skin I Live In marked the return of Banderas to Pedro Almodóvar, the Spanish director who launched his international career. The two had not worked together since 1990 (Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!). In The Skin I Live In he breaks out of the "Latin Lover" mold from his Hollywood work and stars as a calculating revenge-seeking plastic surgeon following the rape of his daughter. According to the Associated Press Banderas' performance is among his strongest in recent memory. He again lent his voice to Puss in Boots, this time as the protagonist of the Shrek spin-off prequel, Puss in Boots. This film reunited Banderas with Salma Hayek for the sixth time.
In 2018 he was cast with Penélope Cruz in the Spanish film Pain and Glory (Dolor y gloria), directed by Pedro Almodóvar. On May 25, 2019, Banderas won Best Actor at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival for his role in the film. He was later nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for Pain and Glory. In March 2020, Banderas was cast in an undisclosed role in the upcoming Uncharted film.
He has invested some of his film earnings in Andalusian products, which he promotes in Spain and the US. He owns 50% of a winery in Villalba de Duero, Burgos, Spain, called Anta Banderas, which produces red and rosé wines.
He performed a voice-over for a computer-animated bee which can be seen in the United States in television commercials for Nasonex, an allergy medication, and was seen in the 2007 Christmas advertising campaign for Marks & Spencer, a British retailer.
He is a veteran of the perfume industry. The actor has been working with fragrance and beauty multinational company Puig for over ten years becoming one of the brand's most successful representatives. Banderas and Puig have successfully promoted a number of fragrances so far – Diavolo, Diavolo for Women, Mediterraneo, Spirit, and Spirit for Women. After the success of Antonio for Men and Blue Seduction for Men in 2007, he launched his latest Blue Seduction for Women the following year.
Banderas resides in England in Cobham, Surrey.
A longtime supporter of Málaga CF, Banderas is also an officer (mayordomo de trono) of a Roman Catholic religious brotherhood in his hometown of Málaga and travels during Holy Week to take part in the processions, although he once described himself as an agnostic in an interview with People magazine.
In 2009, Banderas underwent surgery for a benign tumor in his back.
Banderas has always struggled with the pronunciation of certain English words, as he mentioned in a 2011 article with GQ magazine: "The word that really gets me is 'animals', I just can never say it properly, whenever it is in a film I have to get it changed for a synonym. In Zorro, I had a line changed from 'you look like a bunch of animals' to 'you look like a collection of beasts'. It worked much better, so I don't care."
Speaking at the Málaga Film Festival during March 2017, Banderas revealed that he had suffered a heart attack on January 26, 2017, but said it "wasn't serious and hasn't caused any damages". Following that incident, he had heart surgery to put in three stents in his arteries. In a Fresh Air interview in September 2019, he recalled it as being life changing. He said, "It just gave me a perspective of who I was, and it just made the important things [go to] the surface. When I say this, people may just think that I'm crazy, but it's one of the best things that ever happened in my life."
Banderas married Ana Leza in 1986 or 1988 (sources differ) and divorced in 1996. He met and began a relationship with actress Melanie Griffith in 1995 while shooting Two Much. They married on 14 May 1996 in London. They have a daughter, Stella del Carmen Banderas (born 24 September 1996), who appeared onscreen with Griffith in Banderas' directorial debut Crazy in Alabama (1999). In 2002, the couple received the Stella Adler Angel Award for their extensive philanthropy. Griffith has a tattoo of Banderas' name on her right arm.
In June 2014, Griffith and Banderas released a statement announcing their intention to divorce "in a loving and friendly manner". According to the petition filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court, the couple had "irreconcilable differences" that led to their separation. The divorce became official in December 2015.
In June 2015, Banderas demonstrated his support for Israel by taking part in a fund-raising event organized by Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces (FIDF), which raised $31m for Israeli soldiers.
Awards and nominations
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