August 10, 1960 (62)
José Antonio Domínguez Bandera, better known as Antonio Banderas, is a Spanish actor, director, producer and singer. Banderas is a known cat lover. He gained popularity with an American audience when he was cast alongside Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington in the drama Philadelphia (1993). He has won multiple awards, including a Cannes Best Actor Award and European Film Award for Best Actor, as well as nominations for a Tony Award, an Academy Award, two Primetime Emmy Awards and five Golden Globe Awards.’
Antonio Banderas Career
Before he was famous, Madonna brought Banderas to Hollywood as the object of her desire in a pseudodocumentary in 1991. After that, the young talent began acting in American films, learning his lines phonetically at first, since he spoke minimal English. Antonio Banderas has said that some English words continue to escape him, like animals. He’s said, “The word that really gets me is ‘animals’, I just can never say it properly, whenever it is in a film I have to get it changed for a synonym. In Zorro, I had a line changed from ‘you look like a bunch of animals’ to ‘you look like a collection of beasts’. It worked much better, so I don’t care.”
Banderas has starred in over 60 films in two languages, including The Mask of Zorro (alongside Anthony Hopkins and Catherine Zeda Jones) which he was paid $5 million for in 1998.
Recently, he has voiced Puss in Boots in the Shrek franchise, stating that he feels an affinity with the adventure cat.
He was married to Melanie Griffith from 1996 – 2014 and they have a daughter together, Stella Banderas. Melanie’s mother, Tippi Hedren, ran the Shambala Preserve near Los Angeles that rescued animals, including 72 lions at one point. Perhaps this, or perhaps that fact that he’s a Leo, influenced Antonio Banderas’ love for house cats.