Birth Name: José Antonio Dominguez Banderas
Date of Birth: August 10, 1960
Born in Malaga, Spain, a place where rich Britons would go to escape a 95% tax on
inherited wealth, also known as "unearned income," perhaps Antonio was destined to become a darling of the jet set, the wealthy, the gliterazzi, the Hollywood actresses. Of course, we know him as the husband of Melanie Griffith. Some may also remember Madonna propositioning him in
the 1991 film Truth or Dare. The gentleman, by the way, did not take her up on it.
At only 14, Antonio was working at a theater company in Malaga, and a few years later went to Madrid to join the National Theatre of Spain. He made his American film debut in 1992 in The Mambo Kings, having to learn his lines phonetically since he spoke no English at the time.
He continued his career with films that included Interview With a Vampire, adding a magnetic, swarthy charm that captured the hearts of women everywhere. By 1995, Melanie was playing opposite him in Too Much, and carrying her heady romance with this quintessential Latin lover into full public view. They were eventually married and now have a daughter, Stella del Carmen.
Since then, Banderas has appeared in Desperado, Assassins, and Never Talk to Strangers, films that did not do well at the box office. At last Madonna got her wish (in part), as he was cast in the musical Evita. By that time, she was pregnant with Lourdes and claimed she was no longer interested.
In Evita, Antonio's voice was not dubbed; he sang the songs himself, a new
venture for the actor and something he enjoyed thoroughly. Antonio Banderas
appeared in The 13th Warrior (1999), a film based on the book by Michael
Crichton, then went on to star in the highly successfuly Spy Kids trilogy. He went on to appear in the Broadway revival of the musical Nine and received a Tony Award nomination for his performance.
He has also won the hearts of moviegoers by providing the voice of Puss in Boots in the Shrek movies, which spawned an entire feature-film for the character in 2011. Banderas can be also be seen in the recent films The Skin I Live In (2011), Haywire (2012) and Ruby Sparks (2012).