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Spanish actress Penelope Cruz is known for her roles in such films as Vanilla Sky, Captain Corelli's Mandolin and Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
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Fully in command and on top of her career, she took on the role of a control freak and successful chef in Woman on Top (2000). That same year, she played the romantic lead in Billy Bob Thornton's Western All the Pretty Horses. Both films garnered critical success.
Cruz's next film, Abre Los Ojos,
caught the attention of director Cameron Crowe and film icon Tom Cruise. Impressed by the script and the actress, the duo created an American remake of the film: Vanilla Sky (2001). The movie helped make Cruz a crossover success, and her ensuing relationship with co-star Tom Cruise put her firmly in American headlines.
Cruz went on to further prove she could hold her own among heavy-hitting actors in 2001, when she starred opposite Johnny Depp in the film Blow. That same year, she appeared in Captain Corelli's Mandolin; her performance earned her a European Film Award nomination for best actress. Cruz's next film, Waking Up in Reno (2002), featured her alongside Billy Bob Thornton and Patrick Swayze. The romantic comedy about two couples headed to a Monster Truck show received little box office attention.
In 2005, Cruz appeared in Sahara, a comedic adventure film. Not long into filming, the actress began a year-long relationship with her Sahara co-star, Matthew McConaughey. The couple later split, reportedly citing conflicting film schedules.
Returning to Spanish-language filmes, Cruz appeared in Bandidas (2006) with friend and co-star Salma Hayek. That same year, she starred in Volver, another Almodóvar film; the director had held the role specifically for Cruz, and her performance earned her an Academy Award nomination for best actress. A year later, Cruz won her first Academy Award (best actress in a supporting role) for the Woody Allen film Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008).
Cruz reunited with Almodóvar a year later for the film Los Abrazos Rotos (Broken Embraces), released in 2009. That same year, she had a supporting role in the musical Nine, starring Daniel Day-Lewis as a famous Italian director. Cruz played Carla, the director's mistress and only one of the many women in his life. The film, adapted from the Broadway show, was directed by Rob Marshall and also featured Nicole Kidman, Judi Dench and Sophia Loren.F or her portrayal of Carla in the film, Cruz received an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress.
Turning to comedy, Cruz had a role in 2010's Sex in the City 2, starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon. In 2011, she reunited with Johnny Depp for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
In July 2010, Cruz married her Vicky Cristina Barcelona co-star, Spanish actor Javier Bardem. The couple had begun dating early into filming, in 2007. Cruz and Bardem welcomed their first child, son Leo Encinas, in January 2011. Two years later, on July 22, 2013, a 39-year-old Cruz gave birth to her second child with Bardem, a daughter named Luna Encinas, in Madrid, Spain.
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