Eva Mendes biography
Born on March 5, 1974, in Miami, Florida, actress Eva Mendes is of Cuban descent. Her big breakthrough came playing Denzel Washington's wife in the film Training Day (2001). Her other hits include Stuck on You (2003) and Hitch (2005). Maxim, AskMen.com and People magazine have acknowledged Mendes for her beauty, and she has been the face for Revlon and Calvin Klein ads.
Eva Mendes was born on March 5, 1974, in Miami, Florida, and is of Cuban descent. At age 10, Mendes and her older brothers and sisters moved to Los Angeles with their mother after her parents divorced.
"I was poor. I came from a lower-middle-class family, so I would imagine all kinds of things. I thought I was going to be an astronaut and an opera singer when I was really little. Then I thought about being a movie star when I saw Annie. I was seven then," Mendes told the Sydney Morning Herald.
As a child, Mendes aspired to be a nun. As she grew older, her path changed when a Hollywood casting agent saw her photos in a friend's portfolio. Mendes, then a marketing major at California State University in Northridge, dropped out in 1997 to pursue an acting career.
Mendes's sexy looks landed her in music videos such as Will Smith's Miami and Aerosmith's Hole in My Soul. Her first major acting role came in 1998, in the direct-to-video film Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror. During this period she also starred in several other movies, such as A Night at the Roxbury (1998), Mortal Kombat: Konquest (1998), My Brother the Pig (1999) and Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000).
Mendes caught the public's eye for a nude scene she did while playing Denzel Washington's wife in the film Training Day (2001). The newly minted sex symbol told the Daily News, "After Training Day came out, people were not only recognizing me, they were responding to my character."
With her profile rising, Revlon took notice and signed her on as its spokesmodel in 2002. Mendes then appeared in All About the Benjamins before again co-starring with Washington, this time in the 2003 film Out of Time. That same year she appeared in a string of movies that met with commercial success, such as 2 Fast 2 Furious with Paul Walker, Desperado, Once Upon a Time in Mexico with Johnny Depp and Stuck on You with Matt Damon.
Mendes teamed up with Will Smith in the 2005 comedy film Hitch. The film opened at No. 1, and the duo became the first minority actors to play leads in a hit romantic comedy. Mendes went on to act in many more films, including The Wendell Baker Story (2005), Trust the Man (2006), Ghost Rider (2007) and We Own the Night (2007), among others.
In 2007, Cosmopolitan named Mendes its Fun Fearless Female of the Year. The next year, Calvin Klein tapped her as its new face and body in its sexy and provocative ads.
The actress continued take on film roles over the next few years, such as The Spirit (2008), The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans (2009), The Other Guys (2010), Fast Five (2011) and Girl in Progress (2012).
Along with fame came personal challenges. In 2008 Mendes checked into Utah's Cirque Lodge rehab center for undisclosed issues. Her long-term relationship with filmmaker George Augusto ended in the late 2000s, but since September 2011 she has found new love in dating actor Ryan Gosling.
Mendes said she doesn't need marriage and kids to feel fulfilled. "I believe in commitment wholeheartedly, but the institution of marriage doesn't appeal to me. Maybe I would consider the idea if gays were allowed to get married," she told the Sydney Morning Herald. She continued, "I'm certainly not thinking about being a mum at the moment. I can't imagine it. I'm too selfish, but I really want to get a pet pug."
Though she is no longer in her 20s, the public continues to acknowledge the actress's beauty. Maxim has included Mendes in its Hot 100 issue (No. 7 in 2007, No. 11 in 2010), and she was voted into AskMen.com's "Top 99 Most Desirable Women" in 2008 (No. 4) and 2009 (No. 1). She also made People magazine's 2012 "Most Beautiful at Every Age" list.