Cruz Sánchez is the first Spanish actress to be nominated for an Academy Award
for Best Performance by an Actress. She has been performing on screen, on TV and
in the movies, since she was a toddler. By the 1990s Penelope Cruz was the leading
lady of Spanish Cinema, dubbed the "Spanish enchantress." She has also
found success in Hollywood, starring in movies like Vanilla Sky, in which
she played the same role she did in the successful Spanish original, Abre los
ojos. Offscreen, Penelope Cruz has long been involved in humanitarian work.
She and other Spanish celebrities set up the nonprofit Sabera Foundation, which
helped homeless girls in Calcutta, and in 1997 volunteered for 2 months in Uganda.
Starting in 2005 she has also been a United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)
partner, making public service announcements and advocating for support of WFP's
work to help feed the 800 million people who face hunger and starvation and stop
the deaths of 24,000 people who die each year because of hunger.