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ANTONIO BANDERAS, one of the leading international actors of his generation, earned critical praise and Best Actor Golden Globe nominations for roles in "Evita," opposite Madonna and "The Mask of Zorro," opposite Anthony Hopkins and Catherine Zeta Jones. In 1999, he made his debut as a director with "Crazy in Alabama," starring Melanie Griffith.

Banderas will next be seen in another Robert Rodriguez film, "Once Upon a Time in Mexico," also starring Johnny Depp and Willem Dafoe. He also stars in "Ecks vs. Sever" with Lucy Liu and in Brian de Palma's "Femme Fatale" in addition to playing a cameo role in "Frida," starring Salma Hayek.

Born in Malaga, Spain, Banderas attended the School of Dramatic Art and, upon graduation, began his acting career working in a small theater company. 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." It was the first of five films Banderas would do with Almodovar, the others being "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. He made his film debut here 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 leading role in an American film came in 1995 with "Desperado." Other film credits include "Never Talk to Strangers," "Assassins," "Four Rooms," "Two Much," and "The 13th Warrior."

He recently starred opposite Angelina Jolie in "Original Sin" and in "Play it to the Bone," with Woody Harrelson.


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