Antonio Banderas - Desperado

In his native Spain, he was known as an actor of the highest caliber who partook in very avant-garde and sexually charged films. 

Antonio was born Jose Antonio Dominguez Bandera on August 10, 1960 in Malaga, Spain. He has a younger brother, Francisco, who looks after his business affairs in Spain. Antonio was married to Spanish actress, Ana Leza, for 8 years, and is now married to actress Melanie Griffith, the daughter of actress Tippi Hedren. Antonio and Melanie have a gorgeous little daughter named Estella (Stella), and two children of Melanie's from previous marriages.

When he was young, Antonio wanted to play soccer professionally, but he broke his foot at age 14. He turned to the theater, studying at the School of Dramatic Art and working with an independent theater company in Malaga. He supported himself as a waiter and advertising model before making his stage debut in 1981. 

At age 19, he moved to Madrid and after some months of struggle and near starvation, became an ensemble member of the prestigious National Theater of Spain, where he stayed on through 1986. It was while he was working in the theater that Antonio met Pedro Almodovar, with whom he made several Spanish movies. International acclaim came to Banderas in films such as Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988) and Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1989). 

He made his American debut in 1992 (as a young Cuban musician in The Mambo Kings). He couldn't speak any English when he made Mambo Kings, and learned all of his lines phonetically, sound by sound, without knowing anything that he was saying. It spite of this, he was a standout in this film. It wasn't until he appeared in another Oscar- winning film (as Tom Hanks' lover in Philadelphia) that American audiences began to recognize him. His next films, The House of the Spirits, Of Love and Shadows, Interview With The Vampire, Miami Rhapsody, strengthened that recognition and led to leading roles in films such as Desperado, Assassins, and Never Talk To Strangers. During the filming of Two Much, he became romantically involved with his co-star, Melanie Griffith. His divorce from Ana Leza was completed in 1996. He and Melanie were married in May of 1996 and had a baby, Estella, in September.

With the sequel to his prize-winning independent previous film, "El Mariachi," director Robert Rodriquez joins the ranks of Sam Peckinpah and John Woo as a master of slick, glamorized ultra-violence in "Desperado". A continuation of "El Mariachi," where an itinerant musician, looking for work, gets mistaken for a hitman and thereby entangled in a web of love, corruption, and death. This time, he is out to avenge the murder of his lover and the maiming of his fretting hand, which occurred at the end of the earlier movie. However, the plot is recapitulated, and again, a case of mistaken identity leads to a very high body count, involvement with a beautiful woman who works for the local drug lord, and finally, the inevitable face-to-face confrontation and bloody showdown.