Penelope Cruz was born on 28th April 1974 in Madrid, in Spain. She would perform re-enactments of TV commercials as a child, for her family's amusement. Cruz studied Spanish Ballet for three years, as well as learning jazz dance at Cristina Rota's school in Madrid.
Her first hit the limelight when she appeared in a pop video for the Spanish pop group La Mecano. She also worked as a presenter on the teen programme La Quinita Marcha, as well as appearances in the French erotic series Serie Rose.
Her debut film appearance came in Jamon, Jamon, a Spanish comedy, also starring Javier Bardem. She then starred in Belle Époque, which won an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. In 1997, Cruz then appeared in Open Your Eyes, alongside Eduardo Noriega.
She also starred in Vicky Cristina Barcelona, a Woody Allen film, with Javier Bardem, Rebecca Hall and Scarlett Johansson. Penelope Cruz won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, becoming the first Spanish actress to win the award. In 2009, Cruz worked with Almodovar once again, in Los Abrazos Rotos, along with Rossy de Palma and Blanca Portillo.