Star Story – Antonio Banderas

dreamstime_m_22763613Birthday: August 10, 1960

Birthplace: Málaga, Andalucia, Spain

When you’re a teenager, it’s not easy to give up your career dream, even when injury requires it. But if you’re the young soccer player Antonio Banderas, a broken foot may lead you to another field.

The son of a teacher and a police officer, José Antonio Domínguez Banderas studied acting in his Spanish hometown before moving to Madrid, where the National Theatre of Spain accepted him into the troupe. Filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown; All about My Mother; Volver) took note of Banderas’s stage work. Almodóvar’s attention led to the young actor’s film debut, in 1982’s Labyrinth of Passion, and a mutually beneficial period of collaboration between the two.

The charismatic leading man with smoldering good looks was not destined to confine his acting career to Spain. Although he’d yet to learn English, Banderas won a role in The Mambo Kings, Arne Glimcher’s 1992 adaptation of Oscar Hijuelo’s Pulitzer Prize­–winning novel.

Antonio Banderas’s talent, training, and versatility brought him leading-man status in the U.S., with parts in Philadelphia and Evita. The Zorro films sealed his reputation as an international star. His voice work as Puss in Boots in the Shrek movies adds a dimension of fun to Banderas’s already impressive resumé. But he’s quipped, “I get more attention as ‘the pussycat’ in Shrek the Third than I ever did as Zorro.”

Selected Films of Antonio Banderas

  • 2015:  The 33; The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (voice)
  • 2014: The Expendables 3
  • 2013: Machete Kills
  • 2012: Ruby Sparks
  • 2011: Puss in Boots (voice); The Skin I Live In; You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger

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