Antonio Banderas Facts, Biography, Movies, And More

Social & CommunityLearn more
Social & CommunityLearn more
One of the most amazing Antonio Banderas facts is, it wasn't his first dream to become an actor.

Share this article

As of today, Antonio Banderas is arguably the most famous Spanish actors in the entire world who is also widely known for his philanthropic activities.

The full name or the original name of Antonio Banderas is José Antonio Domínguez Banderas, he eventually went on to be professionally known as Antonio Banderas, using his mother's last name. Antonio Banderas is the son of José Domnguez Prieto and Ana Bandera Gallego, and was born in the Spanish city of Malaga.

Although Antonio Banderas is especially famous for his acting skills and his exceptionally long career which began in Spain, he is also a director, producer and singer who even performed at the 2005 Oscar ceremony. Antonio Banderas turned 61 in August 2021 but continues to be devoted to his love for acting. Most recently in 2019, Antonio Banderas starred in the Pedro Almodovar film 'Pain and Glory'. This Spanish film was released at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival and was heavily appreciated by critics. Antonio played the role of an ageing director in this movie who is also suffering from chronic illness, in the movie his character undergoes flashbacks about his childhood times. For this film, Antonio Banderas went on to win the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actor and also earned his first-ever Academy Award nomination as the Best Actor in a Leading Role. Moreover, Banderas received the European Film Award for Best Actor for his work in the Spanish film, 'Pain and Glory' ('Dolor y Gloria').

Antonio Banderas's Height

Antonio Banderas has a decently built physique and has played multiple kinds of roles throughout his acting career. The Spanish actor was born on August 10, 1960, his birth sign is Leo. He is also one of the most well known Latin actors in the world alongside the likes of Penelope Cruz, Jennifer Lopez and Sofia Vergara.

Antonio Banderas weighs 176 lb (79.8 kg) and has a height of 69 in (175.3 cm). What sets apart Antonio Banderas is, although he earned great fame in Hollywood, he did not forget his roots and continues to work in the Spanish industry as well. Did you know, Antonio Banderas has a younger brother named Juan. A lot of credit for identifying the talent of Antonio Banderas must go to the Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar who spotted Antonio performing at a theater and believed in his potential. Pedro Almodóvar then went on to cast the young actor in his 1982 film 'Labyrinth of Passion' which kicked off the acting career Antonio. From then on, the period '80s marked as a time when a number of films were released directed by Pedro Almodovar and a whole lot of them starred Banderas including his international fame 'Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown' in 1988.

Antonio Banderas's Wife

The personal life of Antonio Banderas has often been in limelight for its topsy curvy conditions. The fun fact here is, Antonio Banderas has been married twice but both times he got divorced, and currently he is officially single. But even though nothing is official, Antonio is known to be with his much younger girlfriend, Nicole Kempel. Despite the fact that there is a 21 year age gap between the both of them, they believe that it doesn't affect their relationship in any way and they do not feel the need to formalize the relations as they already believe to feel married.

Antonio Banderas' love life began when he first got married to Ana Leza, the Spanish actress in the year 1988. Ana Leza and Antonio Banderas were believed to have a happy, peaceful married life until 1995 when the couple got divorced, the reason behind it was Antonio's affair with his then movie colleague, Melanie Griffith. The two were working together for the film 'Two Much' and even though Melanie Griffith too was at that time in a relationship with Don Johnson there were heated rumors about her affair with Antonio Banderas. Melanie Griffith at that time also had a daughter with Don Johnson named Dakota Johnson who has famously known for her work in the film '50 Shades of Grey'. The rumors regarding their love affair turned out to be true as Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith got married in 1996 in London. The very same year, Antonio Banderas had his first daughter with Melanie Griffith, Stella del Carmen Banderas. As a fact, Griffith has a tattoo of the first name of Antonio Banderas on her right arm encircled within a heart. Banderas' directorial debut in 1999, Crazy in Alabama starred both his wife and kid although the film did not receive positive reviews. During their time together, the couple was honored with the Stella Adler Angel Award in 2002 for their philanthropic works. It was in June 2014 when the couple announced their intention to divorce stating it to be 'in a loving and friendly manner', the divorce then went on to become official and public the next year in the month of December.

The wedding ceremony of Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith was a private affair held in London.

Antonio Banderas's Movies

Banderas took interest in movies and theatre from a very young age, Banderas began performing in theatres and on the streets which eventually went on to him getting a spot at the Spanish National Theatre. Antonio Banderas made his acting debut at a theater in Malaga while he was studying at the School of Dramatic Art in Malaga. Interestingly, he once also got arrested for acting in a play written by Bertolt Brecht which was politically censored. It was during these performances in the theatres that he caught the eye of the Spanish director, Pedro Almodóvar.

Antonio then began acting on the big screen with his debut film, 'Labyrinth of Passion' in 1982. This movie was the first step in a very long bond that he was going to build with Pedro Almodovar. During the 1980s Antonio Banderas spent his time acting in a number of movies which made him rise to fame in Spain but it was his works with the Spanish film director Pedro Almodovar which gave him international recognition and critical appreciation. Some of Antonio Banderas' movies of this period include 'Law of Desire' (1986), 'Matador' (1986), 'Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown' (1988) and 'Tie me Up! Time me Down!' (1990). It is believed that his role in the film 'Tie me Up! Time me Down!' played a pivotal role in him entering the Hollywood. In this Pedro Almodovar movie, Antonio played the role of a mental patient who goes on to kidnap a porn star whose role is played by Victoria Abril and keeps her tied till she returns his love. In 1992, Antonio Banderas starred in his Hollywood debut film, Mambo Kings where he played the role of a struggling musician. Banderas then signed several films such as 'The House of the Spirits' (1993) and Philadelphia where Banderas starred alongside Tom Hanks playing the role of his lover. Owing to the success of this movie, Banderas began to be offered roles which only uplifted his career even further. In 1994, Banderas was seen opposite Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise in the movie Interview with the Vampire. In the following year, Antonio Banderas acted in the Robert Rodriguez film Desperado and shared the screen with Sylvester Stallone in the film Assassins. The year 1996 saw Fernando Trubea, the director cast Antonio Banderas alongside Melanie Griffith for the film 'Two Much' where the two fell in love and eventually married the same year. Throughout his career, Banderas played different kinds of roles to avoid associating himself with a certain kind of character personality, this led to the growth of Banderas' filmography. In 1998, Banderas starred in the film, 'The Mask of Zorro' playing the role of the renowned swordsman Zorro. Some reports claim that Antonio got trained how to handle a sword by an Olympic fencing team to ace his role as Zorro in the film 'The Mask of Zorro'. He was also nominated for the Golden Globe award as the Best Comedy or Musical Actor for his work in 'The Mask of Zorro'. Antonio then went on to play the role of a Muslim man in the 1999 film, 'The 13th Warrior'. With the advent of the 21st century, the actor once again collaborated with Robert Rodriguez and was cast in the movie 'Spy Kids'. Some of the other films Banderas worked in during this period include the likes of 'Original Sin', 'Female Fatale', 'Frida', 'Once Upon a Time in Mexico'. These movies saw the actor sharing the screen with imminent Hollywood personalities such as Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Johnny Depp. The year 2003 saw Banderas' return to musical genre where he received great praise in the Broadway revival of the musical 'Nine', it was based on the earlier released Federico Fellini film 81/2. For his role, Banderas won the Drama Desk award as well as the Outer Critics Circle award. In the upcoming years, Banderas worked in some films as a voice actor such as 'Puss in Boots' in the film 'Shrek 2', 'Shrek the Third' and also 'Shrek Forever After', his role played a pivotal role in popularizing the character in the family film circuit. The second decade of the 21st century witnessed the return of the duo of Antonio Banderas and Pablo Almodovar where the former starred in the horror thriller named 'The Skin I Live In'. The year 2018 was a remarkable one for Antonio Banderas as he featured in the National Geographic series Genius: Picasso where he played the role of the protagonist, Pablo Picasso. His work earned him great praise and a couple of noted accolades as well, Antonio went on to win the Primetime Emmy Award and Screen Actors Guild Award for the same. In 2019, Antonio once again worked with Pedro Almodovar for the film 'Pain and Glory'. Moreover, Antonio Banderas has several projects lined up in the days to come and is set to feature in films like 'Uncharted' and 'Indiana Jones 5'.

Antonio Banderas's Childhood

Antonio Banderas was born in Malaga in 1960 to a Civil Guard police officer and a school teacher. His father's name is José Domínguez Prieto, who passed away in 2008 and Antonio's mother is Ana Bandera Gallego who passed away in 2017. Not a lot of people might expect this, but early in his life, Antonio Bandera did not dream of becoming an actor, he rather aspired to become a professional footballer but owing to a broken foot at the age of 15, he could no longer pursue his childhood dream.

Apart from football, Antonio took a keen interest in arts and films as well. He was a part of the ARA Theatre School which was run by Ángeles Rubio-Argüelles y Alessandri, the wife of filmmaker Edgar Neville. Antonio worked in theatre and street plays and then got his breakthrough role when he worked with Pedro Almodovar. Apart from being a successful actor, singer and producer, he is also a successful businessman. Banderas invested a part of his film earnings in several Andalusian products which he personally promotes in the United States and Spain. At the same time, Antonio is also a part owner of a Spanish winery in Villalba de Duerdo which specializes in producing red and rosé wines. The winery is known by the name of Anta Banderas. As another interesting fact about the Spanish actor, he received an honorary doctorate in May 2010 from the University of Malaga and an honorary degree in 2000 from Dickinson College.


Written By

Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

Was this article helpful?

Get The Kidadl Newsletter
1,000's of inspirational ideas direct to your inbox for things to do with your kids.

By joining Kidadl you agree to Kidadl’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and consent to receiving marketing communications from Kidadl.