Antonio Banderas Biography
(José Antonio Dominguez Banderas)
Birthplace: Málaga, Spain
This smoldering Spanish heartthrob first splashed onto the big screen in the states in The Mambo Kings (1992) opposite Armand Assante, having worked in some 20 Spanish films in the 1980s and in the Spanish National Theater before that. Though he did not speak English when he landed the role for Mambo Kings, he managed the part by learning all his lines phonetically. He quickly landed roles as a love interest both for men (Tom Hanks in Philadelphia, 1993; Brad Pitt in Interview with the Vampire, 1994) and women (Desperado, 1995, The Mark of Zorro, 1998). He met his wife, Melanie Griffith, while working on Two Much (1996), and rose to widespread recognition starring opposite Madonna as Ché in Evita (1997). Other films include The 13th Warrior (1999) and Play It to the Bone (1999). He made his directorial debut in 1999's Crazy in Alabama, which starred Griffith.