Penélope Cruz Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Penélope Cruz is a famous Spanish actress born on April 28, 1974. She’s been in a lot of movies, both in Spanish and English, and she’s won some big awards for her acting. You might know her from films like Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and Volver.

She started acting when she was just a teenager and she’s been in the spotlight ever since. One of her big breaks was in a movie called Jamón Jamón when she was only 17. Since then she’s worked with some top directors like Pedro Almodóvar.

One of her most famous roles was in Vicky Cristina Barcelona where she played alongside Scarlett Johansson and Javier Bardem. For that role she won an Academy Award. She’s been nominated for Oscars multiple times for her roles in other movies like Volver and Parallel Mothers.

Apart from acting Penélope Cruz is also known for her marriage to fellow actor Javier Bardem. She’s done some modeling for brands like Mango and L’Oréal and she even designs clothes for Mango with her sister Mónica.

But it’s not all about fame and glamour for Cruz. She’s also involved in charity work. She’s volunteered in places like Uganda and India and she even worked with Mother Teresa for a week. She donated her salary from one of her movies to help Mother Teresa’s mission.

In Hollywood, she’s made history as the only Spanish actress to win an Academy Award and get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Full NamePenélope Cruz Sánchez
Date of BirthApril 28, 1974
Place of BirthAlcobendas, Madrid, Spain
Height5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
SpouseJavier Bardem (m. 2010)
ChildrenLeo And Luna
Net Worth$85 Million

Penélope Cruz’s Early life and Education

Penélope Cruz Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Penélope Cruz was born on April 28, 1974, in a town called Alcobendas in Spain. Her mom Encarna Sánchez worked as a hairdresser and manager while her dad Eduardo Cruz was a mechanic and store owner. She grew up with her sister Mónica, who’s also an actress, and her brother Eduardo who’s a singer. Cruz also has a half-sister named Salma. They were raised in the Catholic faith.

She spent a lot of time at her grandma’s place when she was a kid and had a pretty happy childhood. Cruz loved playing pretend with her friends and often felt like she was acting even then.

Early on, she was all about dance. For nine years, she studied ballet at Spain’s National Conservatory. Then she spent three years doing Spanish ballet and four years studying theater. Cruz credits ballet with teaching her discipline, which came in handy later for her acting career. When she was around ten or eleven, her dad got a Betamax machine, which was a big thing in her neighborhood back then.

Her interest in acting sparked after watching a movie called Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! by Pedro Almodóvar. She tried getting an agent but got rejected a bunch of times for being too young. Despite that, she kept trying until she finally got an audition at fifteen. Her agent, Katrina Bayonas saw something special in her right away, even though she was new to the scene. Sadly, her dad passed away from a heart attack at the age of sixty-two in 2015.


1989–1997: Early work

Penélope Cruz Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

In 1989, when Penélope Cruz was just 15, she started acting in a music video for a Spanish band called Mecano. The video was for their song “La Fuerza del Destino“. Then, between 1990 and 1991, she hosted a talk show called La Quinta Marcha on a Spanish TV channel called Telecinco. This show was for teenagers and was hosted by teenagers. She also acted in an episode of a French TV series called Série Rose in 1991. In that episode, called Elle et Lui, she appeared without clothes.

In 1991, Cruz got her first big movie role in a comedy drama called Jamón, jamón. She played Silvia, a young woman who’s pregnant with her first child and facing some family drama. After appearing topless in this movie Cruz became known as a sex symbol. In an interview later on, she mentioned feeling unprepared for the nudity but had no regrets because it kick-started her career. Despite some initial concerns, Cruz’s performance in Jamón, jamón got good reviews.

From 1993 to 1996, Cruz acted in ten Spanish and Italian movies. When she was 20 she moved to New York for two years to study ballet and English. She admits she started learning English a bit late and only knew basic phrases like “How are you?” and “Thank you” before moving.

In 1997, Cruz starred in several movies. One was a Spanish comedy called Love Can Seriously Damage Your Health, where she played Diana, a big fan of the Beatles member. She tries but fails to meet him. Another film was Pedro Almodóvar’s Live Flesh, where she appears in the opening scene as a prostitute giving birth on a bus.

She also appeared in a movie called A Corner of Paradise as Doña Helena. Cruz’s last movie in 1997 was a Spanish sci-fi drama called Open Your Eyes. She played Sofia, the love interest of the main character. This movie got good reviews but wasn’t a commercial hit. A critic praised Cruz’s performance comparing it to a scene in a Hitchcock movie.

1998–2000: Early American film roles

In 1998, Penélope Cruz acted in her first American movie, playing the role of Billy Crudup’s girlfriend in a western film called The Hi-Lo Country. She later said that understanding English was tough during filming. Unfortunately, the movie didn’t do well with critics or at the box office. But Kevin Lally, a reviewer, thought Cruz did a better job in this role than in her previous ones.

That same year, Cruz was also in two other movies: Don Juan and The Girl of Your Dreams. In The Girl of Your Dreams, she played a singer named Macarena Granada, part of a Spanish film group that goes to Nazi Germany during the Spanish Civil War. Critics liked her acting, with one saying it proved she was more than just a pretty face. She won awards for her role.

In 1999, Cruz acted in All About My Mother, directed by Almodóvar. She played a pregnant nun with AIDS. The movie did well with critics and at the box office.

In 2000, Cruz starred in Woman on Top as Isabelle, a chef with motion sickness. Critics praised her and her co-star’s performances. She also appeared in All the Pretty Horses as Alejandra, Matt Damon’s love interest. Some critics loved their acting, while others weren’t as impressed.

2001–2005: Breakthrough

Penélope Cruz Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

In 2001, Penélope Cruz had some big roles in movies. She was in Vanilla Sky and Blow. In Vanilla Sky, she played Sofia Serrano, who was in love with Tom Cruise’s character. The movie got mixed reviews but made a lot of money. Critics liked Cruz’s acting. In Blow, she played Mirtha Jung, the wife of Johnny Depp‘s character. This movie also got mixed reviews but made a good amount of money. Some critics praised Cruz’s talent.

She was also in Don’t Tempt Me as Carmen Ramos, but it didn’t do well. Critics thought she wasn’t a good fit for her role. In Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, she played Pelagia. This movie didn’t get good reviews, but it made some money.

In 2002, she had a small part in Waking Up in Reno, which wasn’t liked by critics and didn’t make much money. In 2003, she was in Gothika and Fanfan la Tulipe. Critics didn’t like her performance in Fanfan la Tulipe.

In 2004, Penélope Cruz appeared in Noel and Head in the Clouds. Critics had mixed feelings about these movies, but they didn’t do well at the box office. She also starred in Don’t Move and won awards for her performance.

In 2005, she was in Sahara, where she played Dr. Eva Rojas. The movie didn’t do well financially, and some critics thought Cruz’s acting was just okay. She was also in Chromophobia and Don’t Move, where her performances got mixed reviews.

2006–2009: Worldwide recognition

Penélope Cruz and Salma Hayek starred together in the funny cowboy movie Bandidas in 2006. Critics called them a powerful duo, saying they were the best part of the movie. That same year, Cruz got praise for her role as Raimunda in Volver, a movie by Pedro Almodóvar. Critics said she was amazing and down-to-earth, even though she played a tough character. She won awards for this role and was nominated for big awards like the Golden Globe and the Academy Award, making her the first Spanish actress ever to be nominated.

In 2007, Cruz was in a movie called Manolete, where she played Antoñita “Lupe” Sino. Critics didn’t like the movie much, though. Another film she did that year was The Good Night, where she played two different characters. Critics said she did a great job showing the differences between the characters.

The next year, in 2008, Penélope Cruz starred in Elegy alongside Ben Kingsley. Critics thought she was fantastic, even though they didn’t like the movie much. She also appeared in Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona, where she played a wild character named María Elena. Everyone loved her performance, and she won several awards for it.

In 2009, Cruz voiced a character in the movie G-Force and also appeared in Broken Embraces and Nine. She got praised for her acting in Broken Embraces, even though the movie didn’t do too well. In Nine, she played the mistress of the main character and got nominated for awards for her performance.

Overall, Penélope Cruz showed her talent in many different roles throughout these years, winning awards and impressing audiences and critics alike.

2010–2015: Established actress

Penélope Cruz Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Penélope Cruz had a couple of big moments in Hollywood in the early 2010s. In 2010, she showed up in Sex and the City 2 as a banker for a quick scene. Even though the movie made a lot of money, critics didn’t like it much.

Then she landed a major role in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides as Angelica, a woman from Jack Sparrow’s past who’s not too happy with him. She got the part because the director thought she was perfect for it. She trained hard for two months, even though she found out she was pregnant during filming. They had to adjust her costumes and sometimes used her sister as a double for risky scenes. The movie made over a billion dollars worldwide. Before it even came out, Cruz got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, making her the first Spanish actress to have one.

In 2012, she did a commercial for Nintendo and appeared in Woody Allen’s movie To Rome with Love as a clever prostitute. Critics had mixed feelings about the movie, but they liked her performance. She also starred in Twice Born as a woman revisiting her past.

2013 saw Penélope Cruz in The Counselor as the only innocent character in a story about drug dealing. The movie didn’t do so well with critics, but it made some money. She also had a cameo in Pedro Almodóvar’s comedy I’m So Excited, which didn’t get rave reviews but made decent money.

In 2015, she produced and starred in a Spanish drama called Ma Ma as a mother dealing with breast cancer. Even though the movie didn’t get great reviews, people praised her acting, which got her nominated for a Goya award.


Penélope Cruz’s acting journey in 2016 started with the movie Zoolander 2, where she played a secret agent alongside Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson. Despite her enthusiasm for the project, the movie didn’t impress critics much. She also appeared in Grimsby a British spy comedy but her role didn’t quite shine as expected. Another project The Queen of Spain didn’t garner much praise either, though it did earn some award nominations.

The next year, she starred in Loving Pablo where she portrayed Virginia Vallejo opposite her husband Javier Bardem. The movie, based on Vallejo’s memoir received mixed reviews. She also had a supporting role in Murder on the Orient Express which did well financially but didn’t bring anything new to the table according to critics.

In 2018, Cruz made her TV debut in American Crime Story where she portrayed Donatella Versace earning her critical acclaim and an Emmy nomination. She also appeared in Everybody Knows which premiered at Cannes to positive reviews.

Jumping to 2021, Penélope Cruz starred in two films, Official Competition and Parallel Mothers, both premiering at the Venice Film Festival. Parallel Mothers received high praise, particularly for Cruz’s performance, earning her a Volpi Cup and her second Oscar nomination.

In 2022, Cruz appeared in The 355, a spy action film, and acted in two other projects, L’immensità and On the Fringe the latter of which she also produced. Her performance in L’immensità garnered praise, likening her to a modern-day Sophia Loren.

Looking ahead, she’s set to star in Ferrari a biopic alongside Adam Driver and Shailene Woodley, portraying Enzo Ferrari’s wife, Laura. In 2023, Cruz became a brand ambassador for Emirates, featuring in their advertisements.

Public image

Penélope Cruz Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

In 2006, Penélope Cruz started working with a French cosmetics company called L’Oréal. She helps promote their hair dye and mascara, and they pay her $2 million every year. She’s also been in ads for Mango and had a deal with Ralph Lauren in 2001. Cruz and her sister even designed clothes for Mango in 2007, inspired by a famous actress, and summers in a fancy place called St Tropez.

People like Cruz’s looks. She’s been on lists like Maxim’s “Hot 100” and Empire magazine’s “100 Sexiest Movie Stars.” has put her on their “Most Desirable Women” list multiple times. She became the face of a fragrance by Lancôme in 2010, taking over from Kate Winslet. They picked her along with Julia Roberts and Kate Winslet as their top models. The photos for the campaign were taken in Paris.

In 2010, she edited a French fashion magazine and chose bigger models for a photo shoot. A famous director even called her his muse. She was on the cover of a magazine in 2010 but only agreed to do it if they didn’t show her pregnant belly. A survey in 2011 said people wanted bodies like hers. Men’s Health and Esquire have both put her on lists of the hottest women.


Penélope Cruz has given money and time to help people in need. She’s done this in different countries like Nepal, Uganda, and India. In India, she worked with Mother Teresa at a clinic for people with leprosy. This experience inspired her to start a foundation for homeless girls in India. She even sponsors two young women there. When she made money from her first Hollywood movie, she gave it all to Mother Teresa’s mission.

In the early 2000s, she went to Nepal to take pictures of Tibetan children. These photos were shown in an exhibition attended by the Dalai Lama. She also took pictures of young people at the Pacific Lodge Boys’ Home, many of whom had been in gangs or struggled with addiction.

She was also active in supporting the fight against AIDS. When Penélope Cruz was pregnant, she helped light up the Empire State Building in New York City with red lights on International AIDS Day in 2010. This was part of a campaign to make people aware of AIDS and try to stop it from spreading.

In 2012 and 2018, she posed for ads that were against using fur in fashion, supporting PETA’s campaign.

Personal life

Penélope Cruz Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Penelope Cruz the famous actress is married to another actor Javier Bardem who is from Spain. They first acted together in a movie called Jamón Jamón in 1992, which was a big moment in her career. They also starred in Vicky Cristina Barcelona in 2008. Later on, they appeared together in The Counselor in 2013 and Everybody Knows in 2018. They started dating in 2007 and got married in July 2010 in a small ceremony in the Bahamas. They have two kids: a son named Leo born in 2011 in Los Angeles and a daughter named Luna born in 2013 in Madrid. After having kids, Cruz became a supporter of breastfeeding in public.

Before Bardem, Penélope Cruz was in a relationship with Tom Cruise for three years after they acted together in Vanilla Sky in 2001. However, they broke up in January 2004. In 2003, Cruz had to deal with a magazine called New Idea which published false things about her relationship with Cruise. She sued them, and they had to apologize, pay her legal fees, and donate money to a charity she chose.

Her friends call her Pe. Besides acting, Cruz owns a clothing store in Madrid and has also worked on designing jewelry and handbags with her sister for a company in Japan.

In 2009, she supported a director named Roman Polanski who was facing legal trouble related to a case from 1977. She signed a petition arguing that arresting filmmakers like Polanski could harm the tradition of film festivals. Cruz’s agent is Hylda Queally, who also represents Cate Blanchett and Kate Winslet.


Penélope Cruz is a big name in the movie world. Here are some of her top achievements:

At the 79th Academy Awards in 2006, she was nominated for Best Actress for her role in Volver.

She won the Best Supporting Actress award at the 81st Academy Awards in 2008 for her part in Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

In 2009, at the 82nd Academy Awards, she was nominated again for Best Supporting Actress for Nine.

Recently, at the 94th Academy Awards in 2021, she was nominated for Best Actress for Parallel Mothers.

Not just that, she’s also been recognized with two British Academy Film Award nominations, four Golden Globe Award nominations, a Primetime Emmy Award nomination, five Screen Actors Guild Award nominations, and fourteen Goya Award nominations.

Plus, she won the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actress in 2006 for Volver and the Venice International Film Festival’s Volpi Cup for Best Actress in 2021 for Parallel Mothers.

Penélope Cruz Biography, Career, Net Worth, And Other Interesting Facts

Net Worth

Penélope Cruz Net Worth is estimated to be $85 Million as of 2024, according to Celebrity Net Worth.