Antonio Banderas

A gifted actor with distinctive looks, Antonio Banderas smoldered his way to an international following with his work for filmmaker and fellow Spaniard Pedro Almodóvar. Following a string of early projects with the iconoclastic director, Banderas attracted international attention as a love-struck kidnapper in Almodóvar's controversial "Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!" (1990). After being introduced to American audiences as the object of Madonna's lust in her documentary "Truth or Dare" (1991) Banderas - despite not speaking English - made his Hollywood acting debut in the drama "The Mambo Kings" (1992). Proving that he was more than just a pretty face, the actor drew raves for his performance as Tom Hanks' devoted lover in the Academy Award-winning AIDS drama "Philadelphia" (1993). The in-demand Banderas quickly cashed in as an action hero in hits like Robert Rodriguez's shoot-'em-up, "Desperado" (1995) and as the titular swordsman in "The Mask of Zorro" (1998) opposite Catherine Zeta-Jones. He made his directorial debut with "Crazy in Alabama" (1999), a comedy-drama starring his then-wife, Melanie Griffith. Banderas also took part in several family features, including Rodriguez's popular "Spy Kids" (2001) franchise and as the voice of Puss in Boots in "Shrek 2" (2004) and its subsequent sequels. For the first time in more than two decades, he reunited with Almodóvar for the psychological thriller "The Skin I Live In" (2011), delivering what some called his strongest work in years. Handsome, charismatic and undeniably talented, Banderas rightfully earned his place as one of cinema's greatest leading men.