Spanish-born actress Paz Vega studied at the Centro Andaluz de Teatro stage school before getting her first break on the Spanish TV series Menudo es Mi Padre. Her screen presence and acting ability were just as apparent as her beauty, and she soon appeared on the series Más Que Amigos, as well as in the films Perdón, Perdón and Zapping. Vega arrived on the scene as a recognizable name and face in 1999 with a role on the domestic sitcom 7 Vidas, also known as the "Spanish Friends." At the age of 23, Vega had become a star, and director Mateo Gil took such notice of her that he gave her a substantial role in his slick thriller Nadie Conoce a Nadie. She soon afterward made waves with a provocative title role in the erotic drama Lucía y el Sexo -- winning her a Goya award (the Spanish equivalent of an Oscar) and effectively making her a sex symbol overnight. Vegatackled several high-quality and high-profile roles in the following few years, including a battered wife in Sólo Mía and scientist in the award-winning Hable con Ella. Her arrival in Hollywood came in 2004, however, with a role in the Adam Sandler dramatic comedy Spanglish. The film had only a modest run at the box office, but U.S. audiences were taken with the Spanish beauty. She was soon afterward offered a role in Oliver Parker's old-Hollywood thriller Fade to Black, playing Italian actress Lea Padovani.
Biography by Cammila Collar
- Father was a bullfighter in Spain.
- Took her stage name, Vega, from her grandmother's last name.
- Studied journalism before focusing on her acting career.
- Made her TV debut on the Spanish series Menudo es mi padre.
- Was the first actress to earn two Goya Award nominations for two different roles in two different categories in the same year: she was nominated for best leading actress for Sólo Mía and won best new actress for Lucía y el Sexo.
- Made her English-language debut opposite Adam Sandler in 2004 drama Spanglish, despite not previously knowing any English.
- Became the face for L'Oreal Spain in 2011.
- Supports the non-profit organization Global Impact.