She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2008 for playing volatile painter María Elena in Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
Penélope and her younger sister Mónica Cruz have designed clothing for Mango.
At 20, she went to live in New York for two years at Christopher and Greenwich to study ballet and English between films.
She recalls learning English "kind of late" only knowing the dialogue she had learned for the casting beyond that, she could only say, "How are you?
She was born in Alcobendas, Madrid on April 28, 1974.
She is listed on Free Ones since 2001 and is currently ranked 3552th place.