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Antonio Banderas: 1960—: Actor, Director

Married Melanie Griffith

In 1995 Banderas became romantically involved with Melanie Griffith while working on the film Two Much.

He had been married to Ana Leza since 1988, but their eight-year marriage soon ended. Banderas and Griffith were married after a whirlwind romance in May of 1996. They welcomed the birth of their first child, Estella del Carmen, the following September. So far, their marriage has managed to endure the wrath of the tabloids and the paparazzi. "Until I met Melanie, everything was quiet." he told John Miller of the Express On Sunday, "It was after we got together that it exploded."

Even with the stress of media attention, Banderas continued to work aggressively in the 1990s, making a string of critical missteps, including The 13th Warrior and Play it to the Bone, as well as some successes, including The Mask of Zorro, a critically acclaimed action romp that brought him rave reviews as the swashbuckling hero. He was the first Spaniard to play the Spanish hero Zorro, who had previously been portrayed by Douglas Fairbanks on film and by Guy Williams on television. After a series of movies that had portrayed him as the macho leading man, Zorro allowed Banderas to restore the element that made him so appealing in Almodovar's films: his sense of humor.

He made his Hollywood directorial debut in 1999 with Crazy in Alabama, a civil rights drama about a woman who kills her husband to get out of an abusive marriage, and then heads for Hollywood, leaving her seven kids behind in Alabama. The film starred his wife, and the couple's daughter, Stella, had a bit part. The film was panned by the critics.

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Brief BiographiesBiographies: Miguel Angel Asturias: 1899-1974: Writer to Don Berrysmith Biography - Grew up in the Pacific NorthwestAntonio Banderas: 1960—: Actor, Director Biography - Struggled As An Actor, Made American Film Debut, Married Melanie Griffith, Developed Eclectic Style