An Argentine native who spent her formative years exiled to Spain, Cecilia Roth was a regular in Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar's early films and a star in Argentina long before she became an international critics' darling as the title character in Almodóvar's Oscar-winner All About My Mother (1999). Born in Buenos Aires, Roth lived in Spain during Argentina's 1970s-early-'80s repressive military regime. Roth began acting during her years as an expatriate, earning her first major film role in Ivan Zuleta's cult film Arrebato (1979). After playing a bit part in Almodóvar's outrageous, if unpolished, Pepi, Lucy, Bom (1980), Roth starred as the unsubtly named Sexilia in the director's sex farce Labyrinth of Passion (1982). Roth also played small roles in Almodóvar's Dark Habits (1984) and What Have I Done to Deserve This? (1984), and co-starred with a young Antonio Banderas in expat Argentine director Rodolfo Kuhn's El Senor Galindez (1984). An established actress, Roth returned to Argentina in the mid-'80s and became a national star of TV, stage, and film. Though she appeared in director Adolfo Aristarain's Argentine-U.S. thriller The Stranger (1987), Roth eschewed an English-language career, instead starring in a range of Argentine films during the 1980s and 1990s. Further revealing the depth of her talent, Roth played Franz Kafka's sister in Los Amores de Kafka (1989); starred in Aristarain's South American version of a Western A Place in the World (1992); and played a judge/investigator in the hit detective drama Cenizas del Paraiso (1997). Roth subsequently won Spain's Best Actress award for her performance in Aristarain's challenging family drama Hache (1997). Reuniting with Almodóvar and Dark Habits cohort Marisa Paredes, Roth gained even more attention for her lead role in the director's multiple award-winning comic drama All About My Mother (1999). As Manuela, the mother of a deceased teen son, Roth's restrained yet palpable grief infused Manuela's strange search for the birth father with emotional resonance, anchoring Almodóvar's story of redefined families and female resilience. After All About My Mother's international success, Roth co-starred with Javier Bardem in the Spanish romantic drama Segunda Piel (2000).