Javier Encinas Bardem was born in 1969 in Spain to a family of actors, and appeared in his first picture at age six. As a teenager he was seen in several TV series and also played rugby for the Spanish National Team. Bardem originally wanted to be a painter, but decided he would never be talented and took odd jobs for several years. His work as a stripper led him to a 1992 role as a brawny sex symbol, but since then he has refused similar roles. Although he had already won a number of awards, his breakthrough performance will be considered Before Night Falls. His portrayal of Reinaldo Arenas led Bardem to become the first Spanish actor to be nominated for an Academy Award.

Source: IMDb listing.

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