After a childhood practicing ballet quite seriously, Penelope Cruz beats 300 girls in a talent agency competition in 1989 and within two years had hosted a Spanish TV talk show and tackled her feature film debut in El Labertinto Griego. Playing lusty (and topless) Sylvia in Jamon, Jamon and virginal Luz in Belle Epoque allowed her to show her range in 1992. In 1997, she connected with director/frequent collaborator Pedro Almodovar for the first time for Live Flesh. She also starred in All About My Mother, which won the director Best Foreign Picture in 2000, and 2006’s Volver, a role which allowed her to become the first Spanish Best Actress nominee. In 1998, a year before she won a Goya (Spanish Academy Award), she exported herself and landed her first American film, The Hi-Lo Country, which was quickly followed by Woman On Top, All The Pretty Horses, Vanilla Sky, Blow and Sahara. She won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 2009 for her spirited scene-stealer in Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona and the Academy recognized her with a nomination in the same category the following year for the musical Nine. The brunette beauty moonlights as a face of Ralph Lauren and L’Oreal and as a designer with her younger sister for Mango. Offscreen, the Spanish spitfire, who dated Tom Cruise and Matthew McConaughey, wed fellow Oscar winner — and Vicky Cristina costar – Javier Bardem in July 2010. They welcomed son Leo in January 2011 and is currently expecting baby number two.
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