Antonio Banderas


José Antonio Domínguez Bandera (born 10 August 1960), known professionally as Antonio Banderas, is a Spanish actor, singer, and producer. He began his acting career with a series of films by director Pedro Almodóvar and then appeared in high-profile Hollywood films, especially in the 1990s, including AssassinsEvitaInterview with the VampirePhiladelphiaDesperadoThe Mask of ZorroTake the LeadThe Expendables 3 and Spy Kids. Banderas also portrayed the voice of Puss in Boots in the Shrek sequels and Puss in Boots as well as the bee in the US Nasonex commercials.

Early life

Banderas was born on 10 August 1960, in the Andalusian city of Málaga, to José Domínguez Prieto (1920-2008), a police officer in the Civil Guard, and Ana Bandera Gallego (1933-2017), a school teacher. He has a brother, Francisco Javier. Although his father’s family name is Domínguez, he took his mother’s last name as his stage name. As a child, he wanted to become a professional soccer player until a broken foot sidelined his dreams at the age of fourteen. 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, writer and film director 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 working in small shops during Spain’s post-dictatorial cultural movement known as the La Movida Madrileña.[6] While performing with the theatre, Banderas caught the attention of Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar, who cast the young actor in his 1982 movie 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 movies throughout the 1980s.

Breakthrough, 1991–1994

In 1991, Madonna introduced Banderas to Hollywood. 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 made 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.

Banderas in June 2007

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 , playing the prime role originated by Raúl Juliá. 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 2Shrek 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 dancingteacher. That year, he directed his second film El camino de los ingleses, 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.

Banderas pictured with the cast of The 33, on 1 August 2015

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 Hayekfor the sixth time.

Business activities

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 – DiavoloDiavolo for WomenMediterraneoSpirit, and Spirit for Women. After the success of Antonio for Men and Blue Seduction for Men in 2007, launched his latest Blue Seduction for Women the following year.

Personal life

Banderas with Melanie Griffith at the Shrek Forever After premiere in May 2010.

Banderas married Ana Leza in 1986 or 1988 (sources differ) and divorced in 1996.  Banderas 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 Bandera (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 1996, Banderas appeared among other figures of Spanish culture in a video supporting the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party lists in the general election.

A longtime supporter of Málaga CF, he is also an officer (mayordomo de trono) of a Roman Catholic religious brotherhood in Málaga and travels during Holy Week to take part in the processions, although in an interview with People magazine, Banderas had once described himself as an agnostic.

In 2009, Banderas went under surgery for a benign tumor in his back.

In May 2010, Banderas received an honorary doctorate from the University of Málaga in the city where he was born.[7] Banderas received an honorary degree from Dickinson College in 2000.

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”.

In 2013, he called on Europe and the United States to emulate Hugo Chávez in Venezuela and nationalize big corporations as a solution to the global economic crisis.

In June 2015, Banderas demonstrated his support for Israel by taking part in a massive fund-raising event organized by Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces (FIDF), which raised $31m for Israeli soldiers.

In August 2015, Banderas enrolled in a fashion-design course at Central Saint Martins.


As actor

Year Title Role Notes
1982 Pestañas postizas Antonio Juan
Laberinto de pasiones Sadec
1983 Y del seguro… líbranos Señor!
1984 El caso Almería
El señor Galíndez Eduardo
Los zancos Alberto
1985 Réquiem por un campesino español Paco Fotogramas de Plata Award for Best Movie Actor
Murcia Week of Spanish Cinema for Best Actor
La corte de Faraón Fray José Fotogramas de Plata Award for Best Movie Actor
Murcia Week of Spanish Cinema for Best Actor
Caso cerrado Preso Fotogramas de Plata Award for Best Movie Actor
1986 Matador Ángel Nominated — Goya Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Murcia Week of Spanish Cinema for Best Actor
27 horas Rafa Sant Jordi Awards for Best Spanish Actor
Delirios de amor Sant Jordi Awards for Best Spanish Actor
Nominated — Fotogramas de Plata Award for Best Movie Actor
1987 La ley del deseo Antonio Benítez Sant Jordi Awards for Best Spanish Actor
Nominated — Fotogramas de Plata Award for Best Movie Actor
Así como habían sido Damián Fotogramas de Plata Award for Best Movie Actor
1988 La Mujer de tu vida: La mujer feliz Antonio Nominated — Fotogramas de Plata Award for Best TV Actor
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown Carlos Fotogramas de Plata Award for Best Movie Actor
El placer de matar Luis Fotogramas de Plata Award for Best Movie Actor
Baton rouge Antonio Fotogramas de Plata Award for Best Movie Actor
1989 Bajarse al moro Alberto Nominated — Fotogramas de Plata Award for Best Movie Actor
Si te dicen que caí Marcos Nominated — Fotogramas de Plata Award for Best Movie Actor
La Blanca Paloma Mario Valladolid International Film Festival Award for Best Actor
Fotogramas de Plata Award for Best Movie Actor
Hasta Luego Tenis Jake Spicer
El Acto Carlos
1990 La otra historia de Rosendo Juárez Rosendo Juárez Television film
Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! Ricky Golden India Catalina Award for Best Actor
Fotogramas de Plata Award for Best Movie Actor
ACE Awards for Best Actor
Nominated — Goya Award for Best Actor
Contra el viento Juan Fotogramas de Plata Award for Best Movie Actor
1991 Terra Nova
1992 Una mujer bajo la lluvia Miguel Nominated — Fotogramas de Plata Award for Best Movie Actor
The Mambo Kings Néstor Castillo His first English-language film
Nominated — Fotogramas de Plata Award for Best Movie Actor
Nominated — Spanish Actors Union Award for Lead Performance
1993 Benito Benito Mussolini Television
¡Dispara! Marcos Nominated — Fotogramas de Plata Award for Best Movie Actor
The House of the Spirits Pedro Tercero García
Philadelphia Miguel Álvarez
1994 Of Love and Shadows Francisco Nominated — NCLR Bravo Awards for Best Actor in a Feature Film
Interview with the Vampire Armand
1995 Miami Rhapsody Antonio
Desperado El Mariachi (Manito) Nominated — MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss
Nominated — MTV Movie Award for Most Desirable Male
Four Rooms as Man (segment “The Misbehavers”)
Assassins Miguel Bain
Never Talk to Strangers Tony Ramirez
Two Much Art Dodge Nominated — Goya Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Fotogramas de Plata Award for Best Movie Actor
1996 Evita Che Guevara Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1998 The Mask of Zorro Alejandro Murrieta/Zorro European Film Award for Best European Actor
Imagen Award for Lasting Image Award
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated — European Film Award for Achievement in World Cinema
Nominated — ALMA Award for Outstanding Actor in a Feature Film
Nominated — Blockbuster Entertainment Awards for Favorite Actor – Action/Adventure
Nominated — MTV Movie Award for Best Fight
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Royal Albert HallCelebration Che/Phantom
1999 The 13th Warrior Ahmad ibn Fadlan Nominated — ALMA Award for Outstanding Actor in a Feature Film
The White River Kid Morales Pittman
Play It to the Bone César Domínguez
2001 The Body Father Matt Gutiérrez
Spy Kids Gregorio “Greg” Cortez Nominated — ALMA Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
Nominated — Kids’ Choice Award for Favorite Male Butt Kicker
Original Sin Luís Vargast
2002 Femme Fatale Nicolas Bardo
Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams Gregorio “Greg” Cortez
Frida David Alfaro Siqueiros
Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever Agent Jeremiah Ecks
2003 Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over Gregorio “Greg” Cortez
Once Upon a Time in Mexico El Mariachi Imagen Award for Best Actor
And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself Pancho Villa Television film
Imagen Award for Best Actor in a Television Drama
NAMIC Vision Award for Best Dramatic Performance
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie[4]
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or TV Film
Imagining Argentina Carlos Rueda
2004 Far Far Away Idol
Shrek 2 Puss in Boots Voice role (for the English and Spanish versions)
Nominated — Annie Award for Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production
Nominated — MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance
Nominated — VES Award for Best Animated Character in an Animated Motion Picture
2005 The Legend of Zorro Don Alejandro de la Vega/Zorro Nominated — Imagen Award for Best Actor
2006 Take the Lead Pierre Dulaine Imagen Award for Best Actor
2007 Bordertown Díaz
Shrek the Third Puss in Boots Voice role (for the English, Spanish and Italian versions)
2008 My Mom’s New Boyfriend Tommy Lucero / Tomas Martinez
The Other Man Ralph
2009 Thick as Thieves Gabriel Martin Also known as “The Code”
2010 Shrek Forever After Puss in Boots Voice role (for the English, Spanish and Italian versions)
You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger Greg Clemente
2011 The Big Bang Ned Cruz
Day of the Falcon Emir Nesib Also known as “Black Gold” and “Black Thirst”
The Skin I Live In Dr. Ledgard Nominated — Goya Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Actor
Puss in Boots Puss in Boots Voice role (for the English, Spanish and Italian versions)
Nominated — Kids Choice Awards for Favorite Voice from an Animated Movie
2012 Haywire Rodrigo
Puss in Boots: The Three Diablos Puss in Boots Voice role
Ruby Sparks Mort
2013 Machete Kills El Camaleón
Justin and the Knights of Valour Sir Clorex Voice role
2014 Autómata Jacq Vaucan
The Expendables 3 Galgo
2015 The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water Burger-Beard the Pirate
Alameda Jack
Knight of Cups Tonio
The 33 Mario Sepúlveda
2016 Altamira Marcelino Sanz de Sautuola y de la Pedrueca
2017 Black Butterfly Paul
Gun Shy[5] Turk Enry
Security Eduardo “Eddie” Deacon
Acts of Vengeance Frank Valera
Bullet Head Blue
The Music of Silence The Maestro
2018 Beyond the Edge Gordon
Life Itself Post-production
2019 The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle Rassouli Post-production
The New Mutants TBA Filming reshoots
Dolor y gloria Filming

As director

Year Title Notes
1999 Crazy in Alabama ALMA Award for Best Director of a Feature Film
European Film Award for Achievement in World Cinema
Nominated — Golden Lion for Directing
2006 Summer Rain Berlin International Film Festival Award for Directing
TBA Akil


Year Title Notes Ref.
2018 Genius As Pablo Picasso in Season 2


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