- Antonio Banderas is a Spanish-born actor known for portraying Zorro in two films
- He has been married twice in his life and has one biological child
- Antonio’s well-known marriage was to American actress Melanie Griffith
Antonio Banderas, nee José Antonio Domínguez Bandera, is a Spanish-born actor and director who has enjoyed a fruitful Hollywood career. After a devastating soccer injury as a teen took him out of the running for the pro leagues, Antonio, now 62, focused on acting and joined the National Theatre of Spain. From there, he kicked off his professional acting resume in the 1980s by appearing in several Spanish projects. A decade after his first listed acting gig on IMDb, in 1992, he landed his first Hollywood acting role with The Mambo Kings. His name became of household popularity after he starred in 1998’s The Mask of Zorro, which spawned a 2025 sequel, The Legend of Zorro. Today, he has been nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards, five Golden Globe Awards, and an Academy Award.
Antonio has enjoyed a successful love life as well, despite being divored. He has one biological child from his nearly two-decade-long marriage to actress Melanie Griffith, and raised her biological children, Dakota Johnson and Alexander Bauer, as his own. Although Antonio and Melanie divorced in 2015, they still share a great deal of love for one another. Read on to learn about Antonio’s marriages and who he may be seeing now.
Antonio and Ana Leza, an actress born in Madrid, Spain in 1962, were married between 1987 and 1996. The pair tied the knot on July 27, 1987 in the Church of San Nicolás in Madrid after dating for amount six months, according to Vanity Fair Spain.
Antonio can thank Ana for helping him with his English as he broke out into Hollywood in the early 1990s, as she partially became his English teacher. “It helped me translate the script for The Mambo Kings, to work on it, it gave me a lot of confidence. Without her I would not have gotten the role,” Antonio told the publication. Leza added, “It was imperative that I accompany him to the United States, because he didn’t speak a word of English and I speak him fluently.” They had no kids together and very little is known about their private life together.
Ana and Antonio never had kids together, but she went on to welcome two daughters with her current husband, documentarian Dharma Villareal, whom she married in 2000. She quit acting and has been fairly under the radar since she built a new life with Dharma. The pair attempted to open up a restaurant in Madrid in 2003, according to Vanity Fair, but it did not pan out. They have also lived in several locations, including Abu Dhabi, Los Angeles, Madrid, and New York.
Antonio and Melanie Griffith, an American actress born in 1957, were married between 1996 and 2015. Melanie began acting in the 1970s and is known for appearing in a variety of films and television shows in the ’80s and ’90s, including 1986’s Something Wild, 1988’s Working Girl, and 1996’s Mulholland Falls. She is notably the mother of Fifty Shades actress Dakota Johnson, who she had with her first husband, Dan Johnson. They were married for less than a year in 1976. Melanie’s second child, son Alexander, was born during her second marriage to actor Steven Bauer. The marriage lasted from 1981 to 1989.
Melanie’s longest marriage was that to Antonio, which produced their only child, Stella Banderas. Stella, was brought into the world in 1996, is also an actress.
Antonio previously revealed it was love at first sight for him when he first laid eyes upon her at the 1990 Academy Awards. “The first time I went to the Academy Awards after we got a nomination for Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, we got on the red carpet and I saw this blonde woman and I knew her because I saw movies of her, but I didn’t remember [her name] at the time,” he recalled to Vulture in 2019 “So, I said to [Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar], ‘Who is she? Who is she? What is her name?’ Pedro said, ‘That’s Melanie Griffith!’ I said, ‘That’s it. Oh my God.’ Six years later, I was married to her.”
He continued, “Everything happened in those years really fast. My life was fast and fascinating if I actually see it in retrospective. I remember those years as very effervescent and really beautiful.”
As fans may notice, he remembered the life-changing moment after he and Melanie had gone their separate ways. Luckily, they still consider each other family and have remained close friends following their 2015 divorce. “I am not married with Melanie anymore, but she is my family,” the Spy Kids actor gushed to Vulture in the same interview. “She is probably one of my best friends, if not the best friend that I have. My family is there, Dakota, Little Estella and Alexander.”
After their divorce was made public in June 2014, Antonio addressed the situation in an interview with a Spanish television station while promoting his project, Automata, in which Melanie had a part. “It’s been an intense year… Life goes on,” he said, per Hello!. “I admire and respect Melanie first and foremost as a great actress. I have always said that. That’s why she’s in the movie. And she’s also the person that I loved, that I love and will always love.”
Melanie opened up about why their marriage didn’t work in a 2017 chat with Porter. “I think part of the reason my marriage to Antonio fell apart was because I was stuck; nobody else is to blame,” she noted. “It’s just that I personally got stuck and I won’t let that happen again, I want to enjoy life, I want to do whatever I want to do.”
In 2020, Antonio signaled that his relationship with Melanie was still in tact. “I think we are both reluctant to bury 20 years of marriage,” he told El Break de las 7, per Hello!. “We are human beings, we make mistakes and that is the human condition. You have to leave egos aside and not want to prove that you are right or find who’s guilty of what. Because it may be both or neither of you. There is a moment when things are over you have to accept it.”
He also spoke about the family he created with the Body Double actress. “We had a wonderful daughter that we both love and that is the end result of our relationship,” he added. “The most beautiful thing we ever did together.”
Antonio has been dating investment advisor Nicole Kimpel since his split from Melanie in 2014. The pair have enjoyed several public outings and red-carpet events over the years, such as the 2022 Starlite Gala in Marbella, Spain, as seen above.
Although Antonio has not said much about their relationship, he revealed in a 2019 visit on Jimmy Kimmel Live! that Nicole, 41, may have saved his life while he experienced a small heart attack. “My girlfriend, she had a headache and we didn’t have anything in the house. So she went out to buy something, a painkiller or whatever. She bought this aspirin, which is the only thing that she found and she found the maximum one, I think it was five milligrams,” he recalled.
“The next morning, when I started having the symptoms and I clearly knew what was going on, she put one of those aspirins inside of my tongue and that saved my life,” he added. “Yeah. So I had a second chance, and some stuff changed in my life, since then.”Click to Subscribe to Get Our Free HollywoodLife Daily Newsletter to get the hottest celeb news.