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Academy award winner PENÉLOPE CRUZ first attracted international attention in major Spanish movies like JAMÓN, JAMÓN, LA NIÑA DE TUS OJOS and BELLE ÉPOQUE. She is the muse of Director Pedro Almodovar who cast her in TODO SOBRE MI MADRE (ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER), which won the Best Foreign Language Film. Later he cast Cruz in VOLVER and she was nominated for an Oscar® as Best Actress, making her the first Spanish actress ever to be nominated in this category. Most recently, she starred in BROKEN EMBRACES for Almodovar.

Penélope Cruz was born in Madrid, the daughter of Encarna Sánchez, a hairdresser, and her husband Eduardo Cruz, a retailer and auto mechanic. Her younger sister, Monica Cruz, is Spanish dancer and her younger brother, Eduardo, is a singer.

From a young age Cruz studied classical ballet at Spain's National Conservatory, continuing her training with a number of prominent dancers. However, at 15 she changed her mind and became an actress.

In 2000 Cruz made her first American picture, ALL THE PRETTY HORSES with Matt Damon. Later she made VANILLA SKY, an American version of ABRE LOS OJOS. She starred with Matthew McConaughey in the action adventure SAHARA and appeared with her friend, Salma Hayek, in BANDIDAS. Cruz was highly praised for her performance in Woody Allen's VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA as the mentally unstable ex-wife of Javier Bardem. She was nominated for a Golden Globe Award, and won a BAFTA and an Academy Award® as best supporting actress.

Acknowledged as a fashion icon, Cruz and her sister Monica announced they were designing a collection for the Barcelona-based fashion chain, Mango.


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