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PENELOPE CRUZ stars as Alejandra, the ravishing Mexican rancher's daughter who becomes involved with John Grady Cole in a dangerous affair. Cruz most recently won acclaim for her role in the spicy romantic comedy "Woman on Top." Prior to that, she starred in Pedro Almodovar's Academy Award-winning film "All About My Mother," which also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film. She previously worked with Almodovar in the director's critically admired 1998 fable, "Live Flesh." A native of Spain, Cruz won last year's Goya Award, the Spanish equivalent of an Oscar, as Best Actress for her role in Fernando Trueba's "The Girl of Your Dreams."

Cruz made her U.S. film debut in 1998, starring with Woody Harrelson and Billy Crudup in Stephen Frears' contemporary western "Hi-Lo Country." Her other film credits include the Oscar-winning comedy "Belle Epoque," "Jamon, Jamon," "Don Juan," "The Man with Rain in his Shoes," "Open Your Eyes," "Twice Upon a Yesterday" and many other Spanish features. She also starred in the made-for- television feature "Framed," co-starring Timothy Dalton. She will next be seen in Ted Demme's "Blow" with Johnny Depp, and in John Madden's "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" with Nicolas Cage. Presently Cruz is in production on "Vanilla Sky" with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz.

Born in Madrid, which she still calls home, Cruz studied classical ballet for nine years and became a star there before moving to New York.


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