Banderas, Antonio 1960–
Banderas, Antonio 1960–
(Antonio D. Banderas)
Full name, Jose Antonio Dominguez Banderas; born August 10, 1960, in Malaga, Spain; son of Jose (a police officer) and Ana (a teacher) Banderas; married Ana Leza (an actress), c. 1986 (some sources cite 1988; divorced c. 1996); married Melanie Griffith (an actress), May 14, 1996; children: (second marriage) Stella del Carmen; stepchildren: Alexander, Dakota. Education: National School of Dramatic Art, Malaga, Spain, graduated, 1980. Avocational Interests: Soccer, playing the guitar, boating.
Addresses: Agent—Creative Artists Agency, 9830 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90212-1825; Agents Associes, 201 rue du Fauborg, Saint Honore, Paris 75008, France. Manager—Industry Entertainment, 955 Carrillo Dr., Suite 300, Los Angeles, CA 90048-5400. Publicist—Huvane Baum Halls, Inc., 8383 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90211-2410; PMK/HBH Public Relations, 700 San Vicente Blvd., Suite G910, West Hollywood, CA 90069 (some sources cite 8500 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 700, Beverly Hills, CA 90211).
Career: Actor, director, and producer. Appeared in advertisements and public service announcements. Green Moon Productions, partner. Named ambassador for tourism for the region of Andalucia, Spain. Worked as a department store clerk and a waiter. Associated with fragrances, including Diavolo for women and Spirit for men. Also known as Antonio D. Banderas.
Member: Screen Actors Guild, Spanish Actors Union, Directors Guild of America.
Awards, Honors: Fotogramas de Plata, best movie actor, 1986, 1989, and 1991; Goya Award nomination, best supporting actor, 1987, for Matador; Sant Jordi Award, best Spanish actor, 1988, for La ley del deseo, 27 horas, and Delirios de amor; Valladolid International Film Festival Award, best actor, 1989, for La blanca paloma; Golden India Catalina Award, Cartagena Film Festival, Premio ACE, and Goya Award nomination, all best actor, 1991, for Atame!; nominated for the Award of the Spanish Actors Union, best lead performance in a film, 1993, for The Mambo Kings; Golden Apple Award, male discovery of the year, Hollywood Women's Press Association, 1995; MTV Movie Award nominations, most desirable male and (with Salma Hayek), best kiss, both 1996, for Desperado; NCLR Bravo Award nomination, outstanding actor in a feature film, National Council of La Raza, 1996, for Of Love and Shadows; Golden Globe Award nomination, best performance by an actor in a motion picture—comedy or musical, 1997, for Evita; Goya Award nomination, best lead actor, 1997, for Two Much; European Film Award, audience favorite for best actor, 1998, ALMA Award, outstanding actor in a feature film, American Latin Media Arts awards, Lasting Image Award, Imagen Foundation, Golden Globe Award nomination, best performance by an actor in a motion picture—comedy or musical, Blockbuster Entertainment Award nomination, favorite actor—action or adventure, European Film Award nomination, outstanding European achievement in world cinema, and MTV Movie Award nomination (with Catherine Zeta-Jones), best fight, all 1999, for The Mask of Zorro; European Film Award, outstanding European achievement in world cinema, 1999, for Crazy in Alabama and his body of work; nomination for the Golden Lion, Venice International Film Festival, 1999, and ALMA Award, outstanding director of a feature film, 2000, both for Crazy in Alabama; ALMA Award, outstanding actor in a feature film, 2000, for The 13th Warrior; honorary D.Arts, Dickinson College, 2000; ALMA Award nomination, outstanding actor in a motion picture, and Blimp Award nomination, favorite male action hero, Kids' Choice awards, both 2002, for Spy Kids; Anthony Quinn Award for Achievement in Motion Pictures, ALMA awards, 2002; Drama Desk Award and Outer Critics Circle Award, both outstanding actor in a musical, Theatre World Award, outstanding new performer, and Antoinette Perry Award nomination, best leading actor in a musical, all 2003, for Nine; Imagen Award, best actor in a film, 2004, for Once upon a Time in Mexico; Imagen Award, best actor in a television drama, Emmy Award nomination, outstanding lead actor in a miniseries or movie, and Golden Globe Award nomination, best performance by an actor in a miniseries or motion picture made for television, all 2004, for And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself; Vanguard Award, GLAAD Media awards, Gay and Lesbian Alliance against Defamation (GLAAD), 2004; Taormina Arte Award, Taormina International Film Festival, 2004; Annie Award nomination, voice acting in an animated feature production, International Animated Film Society, Visual Effects Society Award nomination (with Raman Hui), outstanding performance by an animated character in an animated motion picture, and MTV Movie Award nomination, best comedic performance, all 2005, for Shrek 2; received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, 2005.
Antonio Juan, Pestanas postizas, [Spain], 1982.
Y del seguro … libranos senor!, [Spain], 1982.
Sadec (some sources spell name Sadeq), Laberinto de pasiones, Colifilms Distribution/Musidora Film Cinemussy, 1982, released in the United States as Labyrinth of Passion, Cinevista, 1990.
Eduardo, El Senor Galindez, [Argentina and Spain], 1983.
Alberto, Los zancos (also known as The Stilts), Emiliano Piedra, 1984.
El caso almeria, Racor, 1984.
Friar Jose, La corte de faraon (also known as The Court of the Pharaoh and Pharaoh's Court), Line Films, 1985.
Paco, Requiem por un campesino espanol (also known as Requiem per un camperol), Nemo Films/Venus Produccion, 1985.
Preso, Caso cerrado, Tango Producciones, 1985.
Angel Gimenez, Matador (also known as The Bullfighter), New Yorker Films/Cinevista/World Artists/Andres Vicente Gomez, 1986.
Rafa, 27 horas (also known as 27 Hours and Veintisiete horas), Elias Querejeta, 1986.
Delirios de amor, [Spain], 1986.
Puzzle, [Spain], 1986.
Antonio Benitez, La ley del deseo (also known as Law of Desire), New Yorker Films/Cinevista, 1987.
Damian, Asi como habian sido (also known as The Way They Were), Multivideo ALPC, 1987.
Alberto, Bajarse al moro (also known as Going South Shopping), Ion Films/Lolafilms, 1988.
Antonio, Baton Rouge, Arenas Group/Modigil/ Connoisseur/Meridian Films, 1988.
Carlos, Mujeres al borde du un ataque de nervios (also known as Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown), New Yorker Films/Orion Classics/Laurenfilm, 1988.
Luis, El placer de matar (also known as The Pleasure of Killing), Laurenfilm, 1988.
Carlos, El acto, [Spain], 1989.
Marcos, Aventis (also known as If They Tell You I Fell, Shoot!, and Si te dicen que cai), Arenas Group, 1989.
Juan, Contra el viento (also known as Against the Wind), Connoisseur/Meridian Films, 1990.
Ricky, Atame! (also known as Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!), Miramax, 1990.
Antonio, Terra nova (also known as New Land and Terre nuove), Cinevista, 1991.
Himself, Truth or Dare (documentary; also known as In Bed with Madonna and Madonna: Truth or Dare), Miramax, 1991.
Mario, La blanca paloma (also known as The White Dove), [Spain], 1991.
Miguel, Una mujer bajo la lluvia (also known as A Woman in the Rain), Atrium Productions/Sogepaq, 1992.
Nestor Castillo, The Mambo Kings (also known as Les Mambo Kings), Warner Bros., 1992.
Marcos Vallez, Dispara! (also known as Outrage, Shoot, and Spara che ti passa), A-pix Entertainment, 1993.
Miguel Alvarez, Philadelphia (also known as At Risk and People Like Us), TriStar, 1993.
Pedro Tercero Garcia, The House of the Spirits (also known as Aandernes hus, A casa dos espiritos, and Das Geisterhaus), Miramax, 1993.
Armand, Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (also known as Interview with the Vampire and The Vampire Chronicles), Warner Bros., 1994.
Francisco Leal, Of Love and Shadows (also known as De amor y de sombras), Miramax, 1994.
Antonio, Miami Rhapsody, Buena Vista, 1995.
Art Dodge/Bart, Two Much (also known as Loco de amor), Buena Vista, 1995.
El Mariachi, Desperado (also known as El Mariachi 2 and Pistolero), Columbia/TriStar, 1995.
Man, "The Misbehavers," Four Rooms (also known as Four Rooms and a Hotel), Miramax, 1995.
(Uncredited; in archive footage) Miguel Alvarez, The Celluloid Closet (documentary; also known as Celluloid Closet and Gefangen in der Traumfabrik), Sony Pictures Classics, 1995.
Miguel Bain, Assassins (also known as Day of Reckoning), Warner Bros., 1995.
Tony Ramirez, Never Talk to Strangers (also known as L'inconnu and Spiel mit dem Feuer), TriStar/Imperial Entertainment, 1995.
Himself, Friderikusz Sandor es vendegei, 1996.
Che, Evita (musical), Buena Vista, 1996.
Alejandro Murrieta/Zorro, The Mask of Zorro (also known as Mark of Zorro), TriStar, 1998.
Himself, Junket Whore (documentary), 1998.
Ahmed Ibn Fadlan, The 13th Warrior (also known as Eaters of the Dead and The Thirteenth Warrior), Buena Vista, 1999.
Cesar Dominguez, Play It to the Bone (also known as Play It), Buena Vista, 1999.
Father Matt Gutierrez, The Body (also known as Das Geheimnis volle Grab), Avalanche Releasing/Lions Gate Films/TriStar, 2000.
Gregorio Cortez, Spy Kids, Miramax/Dimension Films, 2001.
Luis Antonio Vargas, Original Sin (also known as Dancing in the Dark and Peche originel), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 2001.
Agent Jeremiah Ecks, Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (also known as Ecks vs. Sever and X vs. Sever), Warner Bros., 2002.
(Uncredited) Himself, Searching for Debra Winger (documentary), Lions Gate Films, 2002.
David Alfaro Siqueros, Frida (also known as Frida Kahlo), Miramax, 2002.
Gregorio Cortez, Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams (also known as Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams), Miramax/Dimension Films, 2002.
Nicolas Bardo, Femme Fatale, Warner Bros., 2002.
El Mariachi, Once upon a Time in Mexico (also known as El Mariachi 3), Columbia, 2003.
Gregorio Cortez, Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (also known as Spy Kids 3: Game Over), Miramax/Dimension Films, 2003.
Carlos Rueda, Imagining Argentina, 2003, United International Pictures/Arenas Entertainment, 2004.
Voice of Puss in Boots, Shrek 2 (animated), DreamWorks, 2004.
Alejandro Murrieta/Zorro, The Legend of Zorro (also known as Zorro 2 and Zorro Unmasked), Columbia, 2005.
Himself, Champion (documentary), The Film Emporium, 2005.
Diaz, Bordertown, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 2006.
Pierre Dulaine, Take the Lead, New Line Cinema, 2006.
Voice of Puss in Boots, Shrek the Third (animated; also known as Shrek 3), DreamWorks/Paramount, 2007.
Film Song Performer:
(With Los Lobos) "Cancion del Mariachi (Morena mi corazon)," Desperado (also known as El Mariachi 2 and Pistolero), Columbia/TriStar, 1995.
"Y me dejastes tirado en la calle," Once upon a Time in Mexico (also known as El Mariachi 3), Columbia, 2003.
Crazy in Alabama, Columbia, 1999.
El camino de los ingleses, Sogepaq, 2006.
Some sources cite Banderas as the director of Malaga Burning: An American Woman's Eyewitness Account of the Spanish Civil War (also known as Malaga Burning), 2000.
Crazy in Alabama, Columbia, 1999.
Forever Lulu (also known as Along for the Ride and Loving Lulu), Millennium Films, 2000.
El camino de los ingleses, Sogepaq, 2006.
Television Appearances; Series:
Joaquin, Fragmentos de interior, Television Espanola (TVE, Spain), beginning c. 1984.
Television Appearances; Miniseries:
Benito Mussolini (title role), Il giovane Mussolini (also known as A Man Named Benito and Joven Mussolini), Radio Television Espanola (RTVE) and Ra-diotelevisione Italiana, 1993.
Television Appearances; Movies:
Antonio, La mujer de tu vida: La mujer feliz, [Spain], 1988.
Morales Pittman, The White River Kid (also known as White River), Starz!, c. 2000.
Pancho Villa, And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself, HBO, 2003.
Some sources cite an appearance in Grand Avenue, HBO, 1996.
Television Appearances; Specials:
Rosendo Juarez, "La otra historia Rosendo Juarez," Cuentos de Borges I (also known as Borges Tales, Part I and Borgia Tales, Part I), [Argentina], 1991.
(Uncredited; in archive footage) Friar Jose, Un sueno de cine. Homenaje a Ana Belen (documentary), [Spain], 1995.
Himself, A New Madonna: The Making of "Evita" (documentary), MTV, 1996.
Himself, I Love Lucy's 50th Anniversary Special (also known as I Love Lucy—50th Anniversary Special), CBS, 2001.
Himself and performer in archive footage, All about Desire: The Passionate Cinema of Pedro Almodovar (documentary; also known as All about Desire), Channel 4 (England), 2001.
Himself, Inside the Actors Studio: 10th Anniversary Special, Bravo, 2004.
(In archive footage) Die Geschichte des erotischen Films (documentary), [Germany], 2004.
(In archive footage) Unsere Besten—Das grosse Lesen (documentary), [Germany], 2004.
Himself, Behind the Mask of Zorro (documentary), History Channel, 2005.
Himself, El cine en las venas (documentary), Television Espanola (TVE, Spain), 2005.
(In archive footage) Himself, 50 y mas, Television Es-panola, 2005.
(Uncredited; in archive footage) Himself and Ricky, El Almodovar que nadie conoce (documentary), Canal+ Espana (Spain), 2006.
Television Appearances; Awards Presentations:
(Uncredited) Presenter, The 64th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1992.
Presenter, The 66th Annual Academy Awards Presentation, ABC, 1994.
The 1996 NCLR Bravo Awards, 1996.
X premios Goya, 1996.
Presenter, The 54th Annual Golden Globe Awards, 1997.
Presenter, The 55th Annual Golden Globe Awards, 1998.
Presenter, The 70th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1998.
Premio Donastia a Anthony Hopkins, 1998.
The 1999 ALMA Awards, 1999.
Presenter, The 57th Annual Golden Globe Awards, 2000.
Presenter, The First Annual Latin Grammy Awards, 2000.
Presenter, Hispanic Heritage Awards, 2000.
Presenter, My VH1 Music Awards, VH1, 2000.
Presenter, The 72nd Annual Academy Awards Presentation, ABC, 2000.
The Fifth Annual ALMA Awards, 2000.
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards '02, Nickelodeon, 2002.
The 74th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 2002.
Performer, The 57th Annual Tony Awards, CBS, 2003.
Himself, The 2004 Teen Choice Awards, Fox, 2004.
Presenter, The 61st Annual Golden Globe Awards, NBC, 2004.
The 56th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, ABC, 2004.
(In archive footage) Alberto, 49 premis Sant Jordi de Cinematografia, 2005.
(In archive footage) Himself, Premio Donostia a Willem Dafoe, 2005.
Performer, The 77th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 2005.
Presenter, XX premios Goya, 2006.
Television Appearances; Episodic:
Guest host, La tarde, 1987.
Himself, El martes que viene, 1990.
Himself, The Word, 1992.
Himself, De tu a tu, 1992, 1993.
Himself, Primer plano, 1995.
Himself, Lo + plus, 1995, 2004.
Himself, Caiga quien caiga, Telecino (Spain), 1997, 1998.
Himself, Mundo VIP, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001.
Hollywood Squares (also known as H2 and H2: Hollywood Squares), syndicated, 1998.
Himself, "The Films of Alan Parker," The Directors, Encore, c. 1998.
Himself, The Rosie O'Donnell Show, syndicated, multiple episodes in 1998, 1999, 2001.
Himself, The Late Show with David Letterman (also known as The Late Show and Late Show Backstage), CBS, 1998, multiple episodes in 2001, 2004, 2006.
Himself, Clive Anderson All Talk, BBC, 1999.
Himself, La noche abierta, 1999.
Himself, "La blanca paloma," La gran ilusion, 2000.
Himself, "Two Much," La gran ilusion, 2000.
Himself, Howard Stern (also known as The Howard Stern Radio Show), syndicated, 2000.
Himself, Inside the Actors Studio, Bravo, 2001.
Himself, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, NBC, 2001, 2005.
Himself, "Antonio Banderas," Revealed with Jules Asner, E! Entertainment Television, 2002.
Himself, "Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever," HBO First Look, HBO, 2002.
Himself, The Daily Show (also known as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Global Edition), Comedy Central, 2002.
Himself, "Antonio Banderas: Hollywood Conquistador," Biography (also known as A & E Biography: Antonio Banderas), Arts and Entertainment, c. 2002.
Himself, The View, ABC, 2002, multiple episodes in 2003, 2004.
Himself, "Once upon a Time in Mexico," HBO First Look, HBO, 2003.
Himself, Banzai, Fox, 2003.
Himself, Informe semanal (also known as Semanal in-formativo), 2003.
Himself, Tinseltown TV (also known as Tinseltown.TV), International Channel, 2003.
Himself, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, NBC, 2003, 2006.
Himself, "Melanie Griffith," Biography (also known as A & E Biography: Melanie Griffith), Arts and Entertainment, 2004.
(In archive footage) Himself, "Mi primera vez en El Show de Christina," El show de Cristina (also known as Cristina), Univision, 2004.
Himself, "Shrek," VH1 Goes Inside, VH1, 2004.
Himself, "Shrek 2: Twice upon a Time," HBO First Look, HBO, 2004.
Himself, Ahora, 2004.
Himself, Eigo de shabera-night, NHK (Japan), 2004.
Himself, Enough Rope with Andrew Denton, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2004.
Himself, La noche con Fuentes y Cia, 2004.
Himself, Mondo Thingo, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2004.
Himself, The Oprah Winfrey Show (also known as Oprah), syndicated, 2004.
Himself, Otro rollo con: Adal Ramones (also known as Otro rollo), 2004.
Himself, Rove Live, Ten Network (Australia), 2004.
Himself, This Morning (also known as This Morning with Richard and Judy), Independent Television (England), multiple episodes in 2004.
Himself, "Wetten, dass …? aus Dresden," Wetten, dass …?, 2005.
Himself, Corazon, corazon, Television Espanola (TVE, Spain), 2005.
(In archive footage) Zorro, Corazon, corazon, Television Espanola, 2005.
(In archive footage) Cinema mil, Televisio de Catalunya (TV3, Spain), multiple episodes in 2005.
Himself, The Film Programme (also known as Film 2005), BBC, 2005.
Himself, Getaway (also known as United Travel Getaway), Nine Network (Australia), 2005.
Himself, La noche del 10, 2005.
Himself, Live with Regis and Kelly, syndicated, 2005.
(In archive footage) Himself, Magacine, [Spain], multiple episodes in 2005 Himself, Miradas 2 2005.
Himself, On ne peut pas plaire a tout le monde (also known as O.N.P.P., ONPP vu de la loge, ONPP vu de la plage, ONPP vu du bocal, and ONPP vu du desert), 2005.
Himself, Parkinson, Independent Television, 2005.
Himself, Por la manana, 2005.
Himself, Richard & Judy, Channel 4 (England), 2005.
Himself, Today (also known as NBC News Today and The Today Show), NBC, 2005.
Himself, Corazon de …, Television Espanola, multiple episodes in 2005 and 2006.
Himself, Noche hache, 2005, 2006.
Himself, "Take the Lead," HBO First Look, HBO, 2006.
Himself, El loco del la colina, Television Espanola, multiple episodes in 2006.
Guest host, Saturday Night Live (also known as NBC's "Saturday Night," Saturday Night Live '80, SNL, and SNL 25), NBC, 2006.
Appeared in VH1 All Access: Show Us Your Tats (also known as All Access: Celebrity Tattoos and VH1 All Access), VH1; in El show de Cristina (also known as Cristina), Univision; and in other programs.
Television Appearances; Other:
Himself, Andalucia te quiere, Television Espanola (TVE, Spain), 2006.
Television Work; Movies:
Executive producer, The White River Kid (also known as White River), Starz!, c. 2000.
Jesus Christ Superstar (rock opera), [Spain], c. 1975.
Historia de los Tarantos (also known as Los Tarantos), c. 1981.
La hija del aire (also known as The Daughter of the Air), [Spain], c. 1981.
Edward II, c. 1984.
Singer, Andrew Lloyd Webber: The Royal Albert Hall Celebration (concert; also known as Andrew Lloyd Webber's 50th Birthday and Andrew Lloyd Webber's 50th Birthday Celebration), Royal Albert Hall, London, 1998.
Cohost, Broadway under the Stars (concert), Bryant Park, New York City, 2003.
Guido Contini, Nine (musical), Roundabout Theatre Company, Eugene O'Neill Theatre, New York City, 2003.
Singin' in the Rain Forest Concert (benefit concert), Carnegie Hall, New York City, 2004.
Member of ensemble of the National Theatre of Spain, Madrid, Spain. Performed with a traveling theatre troupe.
Himself, Howard Stern (also known as The Howard Stern Radio Show), 2000.
Himself, 10 More Minutes … Anatomy of a Shootout, Columbia/TriStar, 1998.
Himself, People Like Us: Making "Philadelphia," Columbia/TriStar Home Video, 2003.
Himself, The Anti-Hero's Journey, Columbia/TriStar Home Entertainment, 2004.
Himself, Meet the Cast of Shrek 2, DreamWorks Home Entertainment, 2004.
Himself, The Music of Shrek 2, DreamWorks Home Entertainment, 2004.
Voice of Puss in Boots, Far Far Away Idol (animated), DreamWorks Home Entertainment, 2004.
Albums; with Others:
Andrew Lloyd Webber, Andrew Lloyd Webber: Now & Forever (box set; also known as Now & Forever), Decca, 2001.
Nine—The Musical (cast recording; also known as Nine), PS Classics, 2003.
Singles; with Others:
(With Los Lobos) "Cancion del Mariachi (Morena mi corazon)," 1995.
(With Los Lobos) "Cancion del Mariachi (Morena mi corazon)," 1995.
Film Music; Songs:
"Y me dejastes tirado en la calle," Once upon a Time in Mexico (also known as El Mariachi 3), Columbia, 2003.
Contemporary Hispanic Biography, Volume 3, Gale Group, 2003.
Cable TV, March, 1998, pp. 18-19.
Cosmopolitan, November, 1996, p. 234.
Entertainment Weekly, October 6, 1995, p. 22; May 31, 2000, p. 12.
Harper's Bazaar, August, 1995, p. 150.
Interview, May, 1990, pp. 114-19.
Movieline, August, 1998, pp. 44-51, 84-85, 95.
Newsweek, September 4, 1995, p. 58.
Out, February, 2001, pp. 42, 44.
People Weekly, April 1, 1996, p. 114; May 19, 2003, p. 125.
Starlog, August, 1998.
TV Guide, April 24, 2005, p. 15.
Washington Post, October 28, 2005, pp. 41, 44.
Banderas, Antonio: 1960—: Actor, Director
Antonio Banderas: 1960—: Actor, director
Antonio Banderas made a quick transition from little-known Spanish actor to Hollywood heartthrob with his 1992 American film debut in The Mambo Kings. Though he seemed to have come from nowhere, he had already made a name for himself in his native Spain, having acted in more than 30 films. He never considered himself a sex symbol during the early part of his career, but his American debut paved the way for a series of macho roles. Yet, whether playing a bullfighting student who faints at the sight of blood in Matador or a hitman in Assassins, Banderas has managed to maintain his box office allure and still produce an eclectic and respected body of work.
Jose Antonio Dominguez Banderas was born in Malaga, Spain, on August 10, 1960, to Jose, a government employee, and Ana, a school teacher. He was named for his father and for his mother's beloved brother Antonio. His brother, Francisco, was born just eighteen months later. Banderas grew up in a middle-class household and had an authoritarian upbringing. "My parents were very strict with me, but not to the point where I'm complaining," he told Cindy Pearlman of The Chicago Sun-Times. "It was necessary because I was a wild boy." He excelled in sports and dreamed, like most young Spanish boys, of becoming a professional soccer player. His aspirations were crushed, however, when he broke his foot playing soccer. It was then that he began to think seriously about becoming an actor.
Struggled as an Actor
Banderas enrolled in drama classes at the School of Dramatic Arts in Malaga—against the wishes of his parents, who imagined a more traditional career for their son—and joined an independent theater group. After years of suppression under Spanish dictator Franco's regime, independent theater was beginning to take root. The group traveled all over Spain with little financial support and often performed on the streets, sometimes hassled by the police and drunken onlookers. In 1981, at the age of nineteen, he moved to Madrid to further his acting career. It wasn't long before he won a place as an ensemble member in the esteemed National Theater of Spain, becoming the youngest member of the company. Being a struggling young actor, he also worked as a waiter and took small modeling jobs.
After one theater performance, he was introduced to radical young film director Pedro Almodovar. At the time, Almodovar was one of the most outrageous and talented of an emerging breed of cinematic pioneers, and he approached Banderas to help him forge a new film industry. They joined forces and made several acclaimed and sexually provocative movies beginning in the 1980s, such as Labryinth of Passion, Matador, and Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! During this time he was also busy working with other Spanish directors, such as Felix Rotaeta and Rafael Moleón, making more conventional films such as The Stilts, The Pleasure of Killing, and Baton Rouge. Banderas had become a well-known actor in Spain, but it was the 1988 Almodovar hit Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown that earned him international attention and a prestigious Spanish film award nomination for Best Lead Actor.
At a Glance . . .
Born Jose Antonio Dominguez Banderas on August 10, 1960, in Malaga, Spain; son of Jose and Ana; married Ana Leza, 1988 (divorced, 1996); married Melanie Griffith, 1996; children: Estella del Carmen (second marriage). Education: Attended the School of Dramatic Arts, Spain's national theater company.
Career: Actor in more than 70 films. European film appearances include Labyrinth of Passion, Closed Case, 27 Hours, The Law of Desire, Baton Rouge, and Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! English-language films include The Mambo Kings, Philadelphia, The House of Spirits, Assassins, Four Rooms, Evita, The Mask of Zorro, and Spy Kids. Directed film Crazy in Alabama, 1999; named world ambassador of tourism (with Melanie Griffith) of Spain's Andalucia region, 2002.
Awards: Golden Apple Award for Male Discovery of the Year, 1995; ALMA Award for Outstanding Actor in a Feature Film, 1998; Imagen Foundation Lasting Image Award, 1999; European Film Audience Award, 1999; ALMA Award for Outstanding Actor in a Feature Film, 1999; European Film Award for Outstanding European Achievement in World Cinema, 1999; ALMA Award for Best Director, 2000; Anthony Quinn Award for Excellence in Cinema and the Arts, 2002.
Address: Agent— Creative Artists Agency, 9830 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90212.
Made American Film Debut
In 1992 American director Arne Glimcher cast Banderas opposite Armand Assante in The Mambo Kings, even though Banderas knew very little English. Determined to conquer the language barrier and break into the U.S. film industry, Banderas learned all of his lines phonetically and took intensive lessons at a Berlitz school. His efforts paid off when he delivered a stunning and deep rendering of his lines, winning high praise for his performance.
His breakthrough Hollywood role was in the highly acclaimed 1993 film Philadelphia, in which he played Tom Hanks's sympathetic gay lover. Banderas received monumental praise for his role in the film. Soon, offers started to roll in, including a part in The House of Spirits, and the role of Armand in the high-profile production of Interview With the Vampire, starring alongside Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt.
His first leading role in an American film came in 1995 when he teamed up for the first time with filmmaker Robert Rodriguez in Desperado. Banderas formed a lasting relationship with Rodriguez that led to the making of 1995's Four Rooms, a four-director experimental comedy that cast Banderas as a father trying to keep his children in line. This film would inspire his character in Spy Kids, another Rodriguez film shot several years later. During the 1990s Banderas worked at a breakneck pace, completing work on Miami Rhapsody, Never Talk to Strangers, and his biggest budget film yet, the $75 million Assassins, in which he starred alongside Sylvester Stallone. But it was the 1996 musical extravaganza Evita that surprised audiences the most. The musical, based on the Andrew Lloyd Webber Broadway phenomenon, showcased Banderas's eclectic style and gambling spirit when he sang and danced opposite Madonna as Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara.
It wasn't long before Banderas commanded more than $1 million for a film and was being labeled the Latin lover. It was quite a long way from his days as a struggling actor in Madrid, when he played numerous gay roles. Banderas enjoyed the success, but was careful not to embrace his new image. "I don't think there is a guy that plays more gay characters than I have done in my life," he told Diane Sawyer in an ABC television Primetime Live interview. "I mean, that doesn't feed the Latin lover. So I never was careful of trying to—to keep an image and explode that image." Still, he has continued to be named to such lists as People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People in the World and Entertainment Weekly's "It" list, which described him as "five-alarm Tabasco-hot."
Married Melanie Griffith
In 1995 Banderas became romantically involved with Melanie Griffith while working on the film Two Much.
He had been married to Ana Leza since 1988, but their eight-year marriage soon ended. Banderas and Griffith were married after a whirlwind romance in May of 1996. They welcomed the birth of their first child, Estella del Carmen, the following September. So far, their marriage has managed to endure the wrath of the tabloids and the paparazzi. "Until I met Melanie, everything was quiet." he told John Miller of the Express On Sunday, "It was after we got together that it exploded."
Even with the stress of media attention, Banderas continued to work aggressively in the 1990s, making a string of critical missteps, including The 13th Warrior and Play it to the Bone, as well as some successes, including The Mask of Zorro, a critically acclaimed action romp that brought him rave reviews as the swashbuckling hero. He was the first Spaniard to play the Spanish hero Zorro, who had previously been portrayed by Douglas Fairbanks on film and by Guy Williams on television. After a series of movies that had portrayed him as the macho leading man, Zorro allowed Banderas to restore the element that made him so appealing in Almodovar's films: his sense of humor.
He made his Hollywood directorial debut in 1999 with Crazy in Alabama, a civil rights drama about a woman who kills her husband to get out of an abusive marriage, and then heads for Hollywood, leaving her seven kids behind in Alabama. The film starred his wife, and the couple's daughter, Stella, had a bit part. The film was panned by the critics.
Developed Eclectic Style
Deviating from his usual sexy roles, in 2001 Banderas re-teamed with Rodriguez on a family movie, Spy Kids, in which he lampooned his Latin lover image and played the role of a patriarch in a family of spies. The movie was Banderas's biggest financial success up to that point, grossing $113 million and increasing his clout in Hollywood. This was his sixth film with Rodriguez and would guarantee their future working relationship. Just a year later, Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams, was released on the coattails of the first film's success. Banderas has been fully aware that Hollywood rewards moneymaking and not talent. He told Ron Dicker of The Hartford Courant, "That's beautiful for the studio and probably for your career in some way because they value you for the money you produce, not what you are as an actor."
Banderas continued to juggle a full schedule of eclectic projects. He released four new films in 2002, with supporting roles as the painter David Siqueiros in the successful Frida Kahlo biography Frida, and as a photographer in Brian DePalma's box office bomb Femme Fatale. He also had a leading role in Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, an espionage-action film that received dismal reviews. His 2003 films included Desperado II: Once Upon a Time in Mexico and Imagining Argentina, a political thriller.
Banderas credits Pedro Almodovar with his overall success. "Almodovar is the most important person in my career," he told Roger Moore of The Orlando Sentinel. "I am in America, making movies, because of him. He made me. Americans saw me first through his movies. He is the guilty one, the reason I am here."
Banderas's success in Evita also led to another Broadway role in a 2003 revival of the 1982 Tony-winning musical Nine, based on Federico Fellini's autobiographical film Eight and a Half. "I need to take a risk in my life," Banderas told Moore of the Orlando Sentinal. "That is what I love to do. Everything has to have some risk in it. Since my time with Almodovar, when nobody else dared to play gay characters, I learned there is much to gain by taking chances." For Banderas, this attitude seems to have paid off.
Labyrinth of Passion, 1982.
The Stilts, 1984.
The Pleasure of Killing, 1987.
Baton Rouge, 1988.
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, 1988.
Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, 1990.
The Mambo Kings, 1992.
The House of Spirits, 1993.
Interview with the Vampire, 1994.
Miami Rhapsody, 1995.
Never Talk to Strangers, 1995.
Four Rooms, 1995.
Two Much, 1996.
The Mask of Zorro, 1998.
The 13th Warrior, 1999.
Play It to the Bone, 1999.
Spy Kids, 2001.
Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams, 2002.
Femme Fatale, 2002.
Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever,, 2002.
Desperado II: Once Upon a Time in Mexico, 2003.
Imagining Argentina, 2003.
Chicago Sun-Times, August 4, 2002.
Express on Sunday, August 25, 2002.
Hartford Courant, August 11, 2002.
Hollywood Reporter, May 16, 2002.
InStyle Magazine, October 2002.
Orlando Sentinal, August 9, 2002. South Florida Sun-Sentinel. August 7, 2002.
Additional information for this profile was obtained through a transcript of Primetime Live, ABC News, August 1, 2002.
—Kelly M. Martinez
Nationality: Spanish. Born: José Antonio Dominguez Banderas in Malaga, 10 August 1960. Family: Married 1) the actress Ana Leza 1988 (divorced 1996); 2) the actress Melanie Griffith 1996, daughter. Education: Began four-year course of studies in classics at Malaga's School of Dramatic Art, 1974. Career: 1980—moved to Madrid in search of professional career as actor; 1981—stage debut with Spain's National Theatre in Los Trantos; 1982—film debut in Laberinto de Pasiones, the first of five films for director Pedro Almodóvar; 1992—U.S. film debut in The Mambo Kings. Agent: Creative Artists Agency, 9830 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA 90212, U.S.A.
Films as Actor:
Laberinto de Pasiones (Labyrinth of Passion) (Almodóvar) (as Sadec); Pestañas Postizas (False Eyelashes) (Belloch); Y Del Seguro, Libranos Señor (And Surely Set Us Free Lord) (del Real)
El Señor Galindez (Mr. Galindez) (Khun) (as Eduardo)
El Caso Almería (The Almería Case) (Costa); Los Zancos (The Stilts) (Saura) (as Alberto)
Caso Cerrado (Closed Case) (Arecha); Réquiem por un Campsino Español (Requiem for a Spanish Peasant) (Betriu) (as Paco); La Corte de Faraon (The Court of the Pharaoh) (Sánchez) (as Friar José)
27 Horas (27 Hours) (Armendáriz); Puzzle (Comeron); Matador (Bullfighter) (Almodóvar) (as Angel Giménez)
Así Como Habían Sido (The Way They Were) (Linares) (as Damian); La Ley del Deseo (The Law of Desire) (Almodóvar) (as Antonio Benitez)
El Placer de Matar (The Pleasure of Killing) (Rotaeta); Baton Rouge (Moleón) (as Antonio); Mujeres al Borde de un Ataque de Nervios (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown) (Almodóvar) (as Carlos); Bajarse al Moro (Going South Shopping) (Colomo) (as Alberto)
Si Te Dicen Que Caí (If They Tell You That I Fell) (Aranda) (as Marcos); La Blanca Paloma (The White Dove) (Minon) (as Mario)
¡Atame! (Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!) (Almodóvar) (as Ricki); Contra el Viento (Against the Wind) (Perinan) (as Juan)
Terra Nova (New Land) (Salvo); Truth or Dare (In Bed with Madonna) (Keshishian) (as himself); Cuentos de Borges I (Borges Tales Part I) (Vera) (as Rosendo Juárez)
The Mambo Kings (Glimcher) (as Nestor Castillo); Una Mujer Bajo la Lluvia (A Woman in the Rain) (Vera) (as Miguel)
¡Dispara! (Outrage; Shoot!) (Saura) (as Marcos); Philadelphia (Jonathan Demme) (as Miguel Alvarez); The House of the Spirits (August) (as Pedro)
Interview with the Vampire (Neil Jordan) (as Armand); Of Love and Shadows (Kaplan) (as Francisco)
Miami Rhapsody (Frankel) (as Antonio); Never Talk to Strangers (Hall) (as Tony Ramírez); Assassins (Richard Donner) (as Miguel Bain); Desperado (El Mariachi 2) (Rodríguez) (as El Mariachi); "The Misbehavers" ep. of Four Rooms (as the Father)
The Mask of Zorro (Campbell) (as Alejandro Murrieta/Zorro)
The 13th Warrior (McTiernan) (as Ahmad Ibn Fadlan); The White River Kid (Glimcher) (as Morales Pittman); Play it to the Bone (Shelton) (as Cesar Dominguez)
Original Sin (Cristofer) (as Louis Varga); The Body (McCord) (as Matt)
Spy Kids (Rodriguez)
By BANDERAS: articles—
Interview with Frederick Kaufman, in Interview (New York), May 1990.
Interview with Alex McGregor, in Time Out (London), May 20, 1992.
Interview with Roald Rynning, in Time Out (London), March 9, 1994.
On BANDERAS: articles—
Bethany, Marilyn, "Banderas Plays On," in Premiere (New York), March 1994.
Ryan, James, "Antonio's Secret," in Vogue (New York), January 1995.
Johnson, Hillary, "My Antonio," in Harper's Bazaar (New York), August 1995.
Ansen, David, "A Neo-Latin Lover," in Newsweek (New York), 4 September 1995.
Gelman-Waxner, Libby, "My Antonio," in Premiere (New York), November 1995.
* * *
In the tradition of Rudolph Valentino, whom the actor was to have portrayed in Nagisa Oshima's abortive 1992 film, Hollywood Zen, Antonio Banderas, with his sensuous, seductive charm and his black, curly hair, has become the Latin Lover for the 1980s and 1990s. "Is that man beautiful or what?" asks Madonna in Truth or Dare, and through his ambivalent on-screen attitude towards both gay and straight sex, Banderas has been able to persuade women and men to endorse Madonna's opinion. He must be the only actor to have graced the covers of the national gay publication, The Advocate (8 February 1994) and GQ (December 1995).
Banderas made "an irrational decision" to become an actor after seeing the performers appear nude in a 1974 Spanish production of Hair. And that same openness in regard to sex and nudity has been a prevailing factor in his career. He made his debut in Pedro Almodóvar's Labyrinth of Passion, playing a gay terrorist who French kisses and fondles the genitals of leading man Imanol Arias. In Almodóvar's The Law of Desire, which helped make Banderas an international star, the actor gives an extraordinary performance as a young man losing his virginity to a director with whom he is besotted and whom he later dominates to the point of obsession. The seduction sequence in which the Banderas character is anally penetrated with the camera fixed in close up on the actor's face is remarkable not only for the thoughts that the viewer perceives as passing through his mind but also for the physical position in which Almodóvar has placed his performer. In that The Law of Desire is, apparently, semiautobiographical, one can only agree with the critics who suggested that Banderas had become Jose Dallesandro to Almodóvar's Warhol.
It is Almodóvar who nurtured Banderas's career, casting him as a bullfighting student who faints at the sight of blood in Matador, and as the former psychiatric patient whose obsession with a porno actress leads to S&M and bondage in Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! The professional relationship with Almodóvar obviously led to the actor's casting in a gay role in his second feature, False Eyelashes, but his later Spanish films gave Banderas wider scope for his talents. At least three, Requiem for a Spanish Peasant, If They Tell You That I Fell, and The Court of Pharaoh, deal with Spain's fascist era. His willingness to experiment on screen with any role led Banderas to accept leading roles in the first films of directors Enrique Belloch, Pedro Costa, Juan Caño Arecha, Andrés Linares, Felix Rotaeta, and Rafael Moleón.
The American films are not the equal of those from Spain. Banderas's casting as a Cuban in The Mambo Kings was ill-conceived, as have been efforts to present him as an action hero in Assassins and Desperado. He was wasted in the small role of Tom Hanks's lover in Philadelphia. All that Banderas's American work has done is advance his image as a sex symbol. In 1992, People magazine named him one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World, and that same year, at the Academy Awards presentation, Billy Crystal described the actor as "the sexiest man alive," as Banderas presented an award with Sharon Stone (with whom he co-starred in a Freixenet champagne advertisement, directed by Bigas Luna). Unfortunately, as Caryn James wrote in the New York Times (21 October 1995), reviewing Never Talk to Strangers, Banderas and a mediocre script is "not an odd situation these days," and as the actor begins to look haggard and show signs of aging, it is obvious that a major career reevaluation is needed.