Occupation : Actress, model
Birth Date : 28 April 1974
Birth Place : Madrid, Spain
Birth Name : Penelope Cruz Sanches
Nationality : Spanish
Sex : F
Height : 5' 5˝\"
Education : secondary studies (dropped out)
National Conservatory in Madrid, Spain (majored in Classical Ballet)
Cristina Rota's School in Nueva York (4 years of theater)
Relationship : Matthew McConaughey (actor; b. November 4, 1969; dating since summer 2004; met while filming Sahara), Tom Cruise (actor; b. July 3, 1962; dated 2001-January 2004), Matt Damon (actor; b. October 8, 1970; briefly dated during filming All The Pretty Horses)
Father : Eduardo Cruz (auto mechanic)
Mother : Encarna Cruz (hairdresser, manager)
Sister : Monica Cruz (professional flamenco dancer; TV star; born in 1977)
Brother : Eduardo Jr (born in 1985)
Claim to fame : as Alejandra in All the Pretty Horses (2000)
Fan Mail :
9830 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Penelope Cruz Sanchez was born in Madrid, Spain, on April, 28, 1974. Raised along with brother Eduardo and sister Monica, Penelope was always fond of the arts, particularly ballet and jazz. Her passion for dance led to her decision to abandon traditional schooling, focusing her time and energy instead on the graceful art of ballet.
"Pe," as she is nicknamed, may not have her high school diploma, but she is very much educated. Before making the transition to acting, Penelope had completed nine years of classical ballet training, three years of Spanish ballet training and four years of theater at Cristina Rota's New York school
Penelope has a brother named Eduardo and sister named Mónica. She broke into acting in 1992. That year, she had starring roles in Jamón Jamón and Belle Epoque, two very disparate films. The former cast her as the desperately poor daughter of a village prostitute, while the latter featured her as one of four lusty daughters of a wealthy man in pre-Franco Spain. Belle Epoque proved to be a huge success, winning nine Goya Awards (the Spanish equivalent of an Academy Award) and an Oscar for Best Foreign Film. Its success gave Cruz a dose of international recognition, and after starring in a number of Spanish films, she enhanced this recognition in 1997 with the Sundance entry Abre los Ojos. That same year, she had a brief but memorable role in Pedro Almodóvar's Carne Trémula.
In 1998, Cruz had her first starring role in an English language film, playing Billy Crudup's Mexican-American love interest in Stephen Frears' The Hi-Lo Country. She had another go at English later that year in the Spanish-British romantic comedy Twice Upon a Yesterday, which cast her as a Spanish barmaid living in London. In 1999, she returned to Spain to collaborate once again with Almodóvar on Todo Sobre Mi Madre, a wildly acclaimed film that premiered at Cannes that year.
The next two years would prove to be a critical turning point in both Cruz's personal and professional life, with increasingly visible roles in large-scale Hollywood productions as well as a developing relationship with one Tinseltown's most popular leading men. Gaining notice for her roles in All the Pretty Horses in 2000 and Blow the following year, it appeared as if Cruz's career had suddenly kicked into overdrive. After starring alongside Nicholas Cage in Captain Corelli's Mandolin in 2001, Cruz dove back into familiar territory with director Cameron Crowe's re-make of Abre Los Ojos, Vanilla Sky (2001). Developing a close relationship with lead Tom Cruise as his much publicized break-up with Nichole Kidman drew to a close, the pair soon found themselves the center of considerable speculation as rumors flew and they soon became Hollywood's hottest new couple.