Internationally known for his charisma and smoldering good looks, Antonio Banderas is the ultimate manifestation of the Latin heartthrob. Born in Málaga, Spain on August 10, 1960, Banderas wanted to become a professional soccer player until a broken foot sidelined his dreams at the age of fourteen. He went on to enroll in some drama classes, eventually joining a theatre troupe that toured all over Spain. His work in the theatre, and his performances on the streets, eventually landed him a spot with the National Theatre of Spain.
While performing with the theatre, Banderas caught the attention of director Pedro Almodóvar, who cast the young actor in his film debut, Laberinto de Pasione (Labyrinth of Passion) (1982). He went on to appear in the director's La Ley del Deseo (Law of Desire) (1984), making headlines with his performance as a gay man, which required him to engage in his first male-to-male onscreen kiss. After Banderas appeared in Almodóvar's Matador (1986), the director cast him in his internationally acclaimed Mujeres al Borde de un Ataque de Nervios (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown) (1988). The recognition Banderas gained for his role increased two years later when he starred in Almodóvar's controversial Atame! (Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!) as a mental patient who kidnaps a porn star (Victoria Abril) and keeps her tied up until she returns his love.