PENELOPE CRUZ Biography - Theater, Opera and Movie personalities


Biography » theater opera and movie personalities » penelope cruz


It’s 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. One thing’s for sure: subtitles aren’t needed to translate her magnificence. With her film, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, co-starring Nicolas Cage, you’re sure to see what we mean.


Penelope 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.


Pe, 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.


Her 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 spreading worldwide.


After 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 Almodovar’s Carne Tremula (Live Flesh). Although she did not appear on the screen for long, she made a lasting impression as a pregnant woman.


And 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 A Yesterday.


In 1999, Penelope was cast once again in an Almodovar 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.


No 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.


Extremely active in social causes, Penelope donated all her earnings from The Hi-Lo Country to Mother Teresa’s charity.


Be sure to catch Penelope in the films, Woman on Top, All The Pretty Horses, co-starring Matt Damon (she has become a vegetarian since filming this movie), Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, to be released in 2001.


After having been linked to co-stars Matt Damon and Nicolas Cage, Penelope is now involved with her Vanilla Sky co-star, the post-Nicole Kidman Tom Cruise.