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ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO

ANTONIO BANDERAS (El Mariachi) is one of the leading international stars of his generation. He earned critical praise and a Best Actor Golden Globe nomination for his acting and vocal talents as Che Guevara, opposite Madonna, in Alan Parker's 1996 big-screen adaptation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice musical Evita. He earned a second Golden Globe nomination for the title role in the box office hit The Mask of Zorro opposite Anthony Hopkins and Catherine Zeta-Jones. In 1999, he made his directorial debut with Crazy in Alabama starring Melanie Griffith and, recently, he made his Broadway musical debut in "Nine" for which he was nominated for a Tony Award as Best Actor in a Musical. He won the Drama Desk award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Drama League Award and the Theater World Award for his performance in "Nine."

Banderas recently appeared in Brian de Palma's Femme Fatale and Robert Rodriguez's Spy Kids trilogy of films. He also had a cameo in the biopic Frida starring Salma Hayek. Upcoming is Imagining Argentina with Emma Thompson and the title role in "Starring Pancho Villa as Himself."

Born in Malaga, Spain, Banderas attended the School of Dramatic Art in his hometown and, upon graduation, began his acting career at a small theater company based there. He moved to Madrid in 1981 and became an ensemble member of the prestigious National Theater of Spain, where he remained through 1986.

In 1982, Banderas was cast by writer/director Pedro Almodovar in Labyrinth of Passion, beginning a professional collaboration between the two that would continue through four more films including Matador, Law of Desire, Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown and Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! During this time, Banderas also acted in more conventional Spanish dramas including The Stilts, The Pleasure of Killing and Baton Rouge.

The international success of Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown and Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! brought Banderas to the attention of American audiences and led to his American film debut in 1992 as a young Cuban musician in The Mambo Kings. At the time he was cast in the movie, Banderas spoke no English and had to learn all of his dialogue phonetically.

The Mambo Kings provided Banderas with a springboard to significant supporting roles in four major productions in two years, Philadelphia, House of the Spirits, Interview with the Vampire and Miami Rhapsody. His first starring role in an American film was in the 1995's Desperado, also for Robert Rodriguez. Among his additional film credits are Never Talk to Strangers, Assassins, Four Rooms, Two Much, The 13th Warrior, Original Sin, Play it to the Bone and Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever.

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