From almost being a professional soccer player, the now 50-year-old actor conquers Hollywood with his charm as Spanish hunk.
Celebrations are in order - it's Antonio Banderas' 50th birthday! The star was born Jose Antonio Dominguez Banderas in Spain 50 years ago today, August 10 and dreamed of being a professional soccer star until a broken foot ended his sporting dreams - and put him on the path to Tinseltown.
After launching his acting career on the Spanish stage, Banderas found fame in Hollywood with roles in hit movies including "Desperado", "The Mask of Zorro" and the "Shrek" franchise, making him one of Spain's most successful exports. Now, as Banderas reaches a new milestone, WENN takes a look back at his life with 10 fascinating facts about the birthday boy:
- Banderas' father, Jose Dominguez, was an officer with Spain's military police force, the Guardia Civil.
- The actor had a promising soccer career cut short at the age of 14 when he broke a bone in his foot. But he still follows the game, and reportedly supports Spanish teams Real Madrid and Malaga CF.
- He has his own range of men's and women's fragrances, which he personally smell-tests before they go on sale.
- He has an honorary doctorate from Dickinson College, Pennsylvania.
- Banderas' legacy in showbiz was assured in 2005 when he joined the ranks of celebrities with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
- He has been married twice - his first union to Ana G. Leza ended in divorce, and he went on to wed actress Melanie Griffith in 1996. They have a 14-year-old daughter, Stella.
- He's a huge fan of moviemaker Orson Welles - his favourite films are Touch of Evil and The Magnificent Ambersons.
- A keen singer, Banderas recorded a duet with Britain's Michael Ball - their version of "Me and My Shadow" features on Ball's 2003 album "A Love Story".
- He is an astute businessman - the actor owns a 50 per cent stake in the Anta Banderas winery in Spain, which specializes in red wine and rose.
- In 2008, he was given the San Sebastian International Film Festival's Lifetime Achievement Award.