possible that many have not yet heard of this Spanish
beauty since she hasn't appeared in any blockbuster films
and hasn't broken into the mainstream film industry...
that is, until now. Although Penelope Cruz has appeared
in many films, if you don't like subtitles, chances are
you haven't seen any of them.
thing's for sure: subtitles aren't needed to translate
her magnificence. With her upcoming film, All The Pretty
Horses, co-starring Matt Damon, you're sure to see what
Cruz Sanchez was born in Madrid, Spain, on the 28th of
April 1974. Raised in Madrid along with her brother Eduardo
and sister Monica, Penelope was always fond of the arts,
particularly ballet and jazz. Her passion for dance led
to her decision to not graduate high school and instead
focus her time and energy on the graceful art of dance.
as she is nicknamed, may not have her high school diploma,
but she does have 4 years of Theatre training from Cristina
Rota's school in New York. After having studied drama,
and with 10 years of classical ballet training and 3 years
of Spanish ballet training, Penelope was ready to take
her performing skills to the camera.
big break came at the age of 17, when she was cast in
Jamon, Jamon (Ham, Ham in English) and Belle Epoque. Set
in pre-Franco Spain, Penelope portrayed one of four daughters
of a wealthy man. Thanks to Belle Epoque's huge success
-- it garnered nine Goya Awards (Spanish Oscars) and the
Oscar for Best Foreign Film -- Penelope's star power was
starring in several Spanish films such as La Celestina
and Alegre ma non troppo, Penelope had a role in the film
Abre Los Ojos. The film made it to the 1997 Sundance Film
Festival and that same year, she appeared in Spanish filmmaker
Pedro Almodóvar's Carne Tremula (Live Flesh). Although
she did not appear on the screen for long, she made a
lasting impression as a pregnant woman.
finally, North America was acquainted with the Spanish
star after her role in the English film, The Hi-Lo Country,
in 1998. If English audiences didn't catch Penelope in
The Hi-Lo Country, they had another opportunity to catch
her as a barmaid in the Spanish-British film, Twice Upon
1999, Penelope was cast once again in an Almodóvar
film, this time the critically acclaimed Todo Sobre Mi
Madre (All About My Mother). Premiering at Cannes, the
film ushered rave reviews and took home the Oscar for
Best Foreign Film.
stranger to awards ceremonies, Penelope wowed the audience
at this year's Oscar Awards; if they didn't know who she
was until then, they were sure to ask about her now.
active in social causes, Penelope donated all her earnings
from The Hi-Lo Country to Mother Teresa's charity.
sure to catch Penelope in the upcoming films, Woman on
Top and All The Pretty Horses, co-starring Matt Damon
(she has become a vegetarian since filming this movie),
and Captain Corelli's Mandolin, to be released in 2001.
Lucky for young Matt Damon, who has dated such stars as
Minnie Driver and Winona Ryder, Penelope is allegedly
his latest squeeze.