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Javier Bardem is a Spanish actor, and the first Spaniard to be nominated for an Oscar. He played lead roles in Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Eat, Pray, Love.
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Born on the Canary Islands in 1969, Javier Bardem is a Spanish actor, and the first from his country to be nominated for an Academy Award, as well as the first to win an acting Oscar (Supporting Actor for No Country for Old Men), rather than in the Foreign Language film category. He played led roles in the films Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Eat, Pray, Love. He has a reputation for being sexy.
Actor Javier Encinas Bardem was born on March 1, 1969, in Las Palmas, Canary Islands, Spain. Born into a popular acting family in Spain (his mother, Pilar Bardem, has appeared in several of her son’s movies), Bardem built a considerable reputation among Spanish movie audiences as the sexy star of such steamy films as Las Edades de Lulu (1990, The Ages of Lulu), Jamón, jamón (1992) and Huevos de oro (1993, Golden Balls), all directed by filmmaker Bigas Luna. (The last film also featured fellow up-and-coming Latino actor Benicio Del Toro.) He expanded into more dramatic roles in the mid-1990s, playing a drug addict in Días contados (1994, Numbered Days) and a police detective in El Detective y la muerte (1994, The Detective and Death).
In 1995, Bardem showed considerable comedic talent when he spoofed his heartthrob image in Boca a boca (Mouth to Mouth), playing a struggling young actor who gets a job as a phone sex operator. He reteamed with celebrated Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar (who had cast him in 1991’s Tacones lejanos, or High Heels) in 1997’s Carne trémula (Live Flesh), also featuring Spanish acting star Penélope Cruz. In that film, Bardem had the meaty role of a policeman paralyzed in a shooting accident who ends up marrying the same woman his shooter is in love with.
Bardem made his English-language debut in Perdita Durango (1997), playing Romeo, the lover of the film’s title character, played by Rosie Perez. The film made little impact on critics or audiences. In 1999, Bardem starred with Spanish siren Victoria Abril in Entre las piernas (Between Your Legs).
His performance as the Cuban writer and revolutionary Reinaldo Arenas, who committed suicide (he was suffering from AIDS) in 1990, in Julian Schnabel’s edgy Before Night Falls (2000) earned Bardem the best reviews of his life-and a place on the international radar screen. With several major awards-including the National Board of Review and the National Society of Film Critics’ honors for Best Actor-under his belt, Bardem became the first Spanish actor ever to earn an Academy Award nomination.
Bardem went on to tackle a prominent role in actor John Malkovich’s directorial debut, The Dancer Upstairs (2002). After a supporting role in the Tom Cruise-Jamie Foxx thriller Collateral (2004), he starred as a quadriplegic fighting for his right to die in The Sea Within (2004), which was based on a true story.
In 2007, Bardem appeared in two literary adaptations.
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