Penelope Cruz may be turning 42 on 28 April but there's no denying that the buxom beauty is still one of the sexiest women in the film industry. But her large bedroom eyes and pout are not the only things that launched the actress into one of the top celebrity circles in Hollywood, not to mention the Latin film industry.

After spending years studying classical ballet, the Woman On Top actress finally got her break in a Spanish pop video and later went on to earn the title of "sex symbol" after she appeared topless in the Spanish comedy Jamón Jamón opposite Javier Bardem.

Since then Cruz has acted in a number of Italian and English films as well and received positive reviews for her performances. Here's a list of the birthday girl's top five films.


Cruz starred alongside Salma Hayek in this action comedy set in Mexico. The film didn't make much of a mark on the box office and neither did it get positive reviews but over time it has gained a large fan following.

La niña de tus ojos (The Girl of Your Dreams)

Her role as Spanish actress Macarena Granada who becomes Joseph Goebbels' obsession, in the true-life historical drama won Cruz the award for best actress at the Goya Awards.

Vicky Christina Barcelona

She won an Oscar for best supporting actress for the Woody Allen film in which she plays Maria Elena alongside Rebecca Hall, Scarlett Johansson and former co-star Bardem, who she went on to marry in 2010.


Cruz continued to exude that sense of wild sexuality that won her an Oscar for Vicky... in the film Elegy opposite Ben Kingsley.


Following the story of a young mother, her daughter and sister, Volver is a mix of crime, drama, comedy and mystery regarding relationships between the three and the two sisters' deceased mother who comes back for a visit.