Penelope Cruz

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Real Name: Penelope Cruz
Birthday: 04/28/1974 in 
Birth Place: Madrid, Spain
Eyes: Brown
Hair Color: Brown
Height: 5'5"


Biography And Filmography:

With her dark eyes and brown hair, Penelope Cruz first gained attention as a young teen girl showing sexual innocence and love of nudity as the star in Bigas Lunas' hit "Jamon Jamon" (1992). Cruz cemented her celebrity status playing the virgin Luz in Ferdinand Trueba's 1994 Oscar winning "Belle Epoch.”

Born in Madrid Spain, Penelope Cruz started studying dance and theatre as a young girl. At age fourteen, she tried out for a talent agent who hired her on the spot. Within two years, she had starred in "The Greek Labyrinth" (1992) before her breakthrough in "Jamon Jamon.”

As a growing star in her native Spain, Penelope had the opportunity to work with famous directors, and took on many roles ranging from the Virgin Mary in "For Love, Only for Love" (1993) to a medieval bride in "Celestina" (1996), to a pregnant prostitute in Pedro Almodovar's "Live Flesh" (1997), to the supportive girlfriend of a man injured in a car accident in Alejandro Amenabar's "Open Your Eyes" (1998). 

Penelope next worked on her best screen performances to date with "The Girl of My Dreams/La Nina de tus ojos" (1998) that allowed her to pay tribute to her grandmother in her role of a cabaret singer stuck in Nazi Germany who gets the attention of party line minister Josef Goebbels. Directors again had her playing a woman with child in the Cannes favorite "Todo sobre mi madre/All About My Mother" (1999) where she played a Catholic nun.

Trying to expand her career opportunities, Cruz started work in the British miniseries "Framed" (1993). She then appeared as the guide of an Irish governess in the drama "Talk of Angels" (1998), and gave her good looks to the role of the Mexican girlfriend of Billy Crudup's cattle rancher in Stephen Frears' "The Hi-Lo Country" with Patricia Arquette (1998). Cruz also played an academic bartender who grabs the attention of Scotsman Douglas Henshall in the romantic comedy "The Man with Rain in His Shoe" (1998). Her status as a rising international star was achieved when she took the lead opposite Matt Damon in Billy Bob Thornton's screen version of "All the Pretty Horses" (2000), and the lead as a South American chef dealing with her recent success when she gets a television show in the United States in the comedy "Woman on Top" (2000).

Penelope Cruz would soon move up in Hollywood with roles as sexy and exotic women in "Blow" (2001) with Johnny Depp, and "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" (2001) with Nicolas Cage and Christian Bale, but it would be a role opposite superstar Tom Cruise, both on screen and in real life, that would send the actress to the top of Hollywood. After being cast as Tom Cruise's romantic love interest Sofia in "Vanilla Sky" featuring Cameron Diaz (2001), writer and director Cameron Crowe's version of "Open Your Eyes", the actress started a romantic relationship with Cruise, shortly after his famous and nasty separation from Nicole Kidman. 

The couple was shot to the front of the headlines, and Penelope Cruz had became a Hollywood celebrity.

Her exposure did not immediately turn into more movie roles, but in 2002 Cruz appeared in the comedy "Waking Up In Reno" opposite Billy Bob Thornton, and in 2003 she gave a great performance as Chloe, the mental patient who believes she talks with demons and starts to pull her former analyst (Halle Berry) into her shadowy world in the thriller "Gothika." Cruz then played opposite Charlize Theron and Stuart Townsend in the wartime drama "Head in the Clouds" (2004) as a bohemian drawn into a strange situation.

Penelope was then cast in the role of Eva Rojas, the lover of explorer Dirk Pitt (Matthew McConaughey) in "Sahara" (2005), based on Clive Cussler's best selling book. Cruz then gave her best performance of her career in “Volver” (2006), playing an energetic and caring mother who does everything possible to help her daughter when her deadbeat  husband tries to sexually assault the girl and is killed as a result. Directed by Pedro Almodovar, “Volver” proved to be a blockbuster film for Cruz, allowing her to finally play a real woman instead of girls still coming of age and very young. 

Thanks to Almodovar’s powerful direction, the actress was sparkling in the role and generated Oscar nominations when the movie hit the United States after becoming a hit at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. The media attention began to heat up, leading to a Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama, as well as a nomination from the Screen Actors Guild for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role. Penelope Cruz then received her first Academy Award nomination, joining Judi Dench, Helen Mirren, Meryl Streep and Kate Winslet in the Best Actress category.

In 2012 Cruz had the opportunity to work with legendary Woody Allen, funny girl Ellen Page,  and “Social Network” veteran Jesse Eisenberg in the comedy “Nero Fiddled” – set in Italy and rolled out over four different comedy vignettes. Nero Fiddled tells the story of two sailors who are struck by lightning in Stonehenge and transported back to the first century and the court of the Roman emperor. There, they run afoul of Nero, who is about to have them beheaded when they remember and predict events in the history of the Roman Empire and are appointed court prophets.

Penelope Cruz wrapped 2012 by taking the starring role in the dramatic “Twice Born” about a single mother who brings her teenage son to Sarajevo where his father died in the Bosnian conflict years ago.


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