Penélope Cruz
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  • Faith: Christian - Catholic
  • Career: Actress
  • Birthday:  April 28, 1974

Penélope Cruz is an actress. Prolific in English and Spanish language movies, she's received various accolades, including an Academy Award and a BAFTA Award, in addition to nominations for a Primetime Emmy Award and four Golden Globe Awards. She made her acting debut on TV at 16 and her feature film debut the following year in "Jamón Jamón." Her subsequent roles included "Open Your Eyes,” "Don Juan,” "The Hi-Lo Country," and "Woman on Top." She's known for her frequent collaborations with Spanish director Pedro Almodovar in "Live Flesh,” "All About My Mother," and "Volver."

For her role in Woody Allen's romantic drama "Vicky Cristina Barcelona," Cruz won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Her other Oscar-nominated roles were in "Volver,” "Nine," and "Paralled Mothers." Other notable movies include "Vanilla Sky,” "Blow,” "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," and "Ferrari." For her role as Donatella Versace in the miniseries "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story," she received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination.

Since 2010, Cruz has been married to Spanish actor Javier Bardem. She's done modeling work for Ralph Lauren, Mango, and L'Oreal, and along with her younger sister Monica, designed clothing for Mango. Cruz has been a house ambassador for Chanel since 2018 and has volunteered in Uganda and India, where she spent one week working with Mother Teresa. She donated her salary from "The Hi-Lo Country" to help fund the late nun's mission. Cruz is the only Spanish actress to have won an Academy Award and to have received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Cruz was born in 1974 in Spain to Encame Sanchez and Eduardo Cruz.

She has two siblings, Monica, who's also an actress, and Eduardo, a singer. She also has a half-sister on her father's side, Salma. Cruz grew up in Alcobendas and spent hours at her grandmother's apartment. She said she had a happy childhood and remembered "playing with some friends and being aware that I was acting as I was playing with them. I would think of a character and pretend to be someone else." Initially, Cruz focused on dance, studying classical ballet for nine years at Spain's National Conservatory. She took three years of Spanish ballet training and four years of theatre at Cristina Rota's school. Cruz said that ballet instilled discipline that proved important in her acting career. When she became a cinephile at 10 or 11, her father bought a Betamax machine, which was quite rare in her neighborhood.

What religion is Penélope Cruz?

Cruz was raised in a Roman Catholic family. When discussing her religion, Cruz said, "I was raised Catholic, but then I discovered Buddhism, and I used to have a boyfriend who was a Scientologist, and they are all good religions that help people. As far as I'm concerned, you can have all three religions at once, and it's okay!"

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