20 of Our Favorite Celebrities From Spain

Penelope Cruz

Spain has given us many things: delicious food, beautiful architecture, and a language that’s both melodic and romantic. But perhaps the country’s greatest gift to the world is its people: passionate, outgoing, and always up for a good time. And while we could go on and on about all the reasons we love Spain and its people, today we’re going to focus on just one: the celebrities. From Penelope Cruz to Victoria Abril, Spain has produced some of the most talented, stunning, and successful celebrities in the world. Here are just 20 of our favorites.

20. Victoria Abril (actor)

Victoria Abril is a Spanish actress who has appeared in several films and television shows both in her native country and internationally. She began her career as a child actor and has since starred in such films as Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! and High Heels. Abril has also been nominated for several prestigious awards, including a Goya Award (Spain’s equivalent of the Oscars) and a BAFTA Award.

19. Maribel Verdú (actor)

You may not recognize the name, but you will certainly know the face. Maribel Verdú is one of Spain’s most successful and prolific actors, with over 100 credits. She has appeared in some of the country’s most iconic films, including “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “Y Tu Mama Tambien.” Maribel Verdú is also a four-time Goya Award winner, the Spanish equivalent of the Oscars.

18. David Aja (Artist)

David Aja was born in Madrid, Spain, in 1977. Aja is a comic book artist who has worked on some Marvel Comics titles, including The Amazing Spider-Man, Daredevil, and Hawkeye. Aja has won several awards, including an Eisner Award and a Harvey Award. He is married to Pilar, and they currently reside in Valladolid, Spain.

17. Esther Cañadas (Model)

Esther was born on 1st March 1977 in Albacete, Spain. She went to New York to pursue her modeling career when she was just 18 years old. This Spanish model is considered one of the most beautiful women globally. She has graced the covers of Elle, Vogue, and Harper’s Bazaar and has also done campaigns for Gucci, Givenchy, and Oscar de la Renta.

16. Isaac Albéniz (Composer)

Isaac Albéniz was a Spanish composer, pianist, and conductor best known for his piano works based on folk music from Spain and Latin America. He was also a significant force in the development of Spanish nationalistic music. Albéniz was born in Camprodon, Catalonia, in 1860. His father, a singer and guitarist taught him music from an early age. Albéniz showed great talent as a pianist and composed his first work, a march, when he was eight.

15. Diego Velázquez (painter)

You may not know Diego Velázquez, but you’ve seen his work. The Spanish artist was one of the most important painters of the Spanish Golden Age. His work can be found in some of the most famous museums globally, including the Prado Museum in Madrid and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. But Velázquez was more than just a great artist–he was also a true renaissance man. In addition to being an incredible painter, he was also an accomplished poet, sculptor, and architect.

14. Fernando Alonso (Motorsports racing driver)

Fernando Alonso is a Spanish Formula One racing driver and a two-time World Champion driving for McLaren-Honda. He is often regarded as one of the most significant Formula One drivers in the sport’s history. Fernando is the first Spanish driver to win a Formula One World Championship, and he is also the youngest driver to win the title. His other achievements include winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans three times in a row (from 2018 to 2020) and becoming the only driver to win the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indianapolis 500, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

13. Federico García Lorcab (playwright, poet, and theatre director)

Federico García Lorca was born in Fuente Vaqueros, a small town in the province of Granada, southern Spain, on June 5, 1898. In 1922, he published his first book of poetry, Impresiones y paisajes (Impressions and Landscapes). Over the next decade, García Lorca wrote several more books of poetry and plays, essays, and articles. He also became increasingly interested in the study of music and folklore. Sadly, García Lorca’s life was cut short by the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936. He was arrested by Nationalist forces and executed on August 19, 1936. He was just 38 years old. Despite his untimely death, García Lorca’s work continues to be widely read and performed throughout the world. He is considered one of the most significant Spanish authors of the 20th century.

12. Julio Iglesias (Singer)

This Spanish singer was born in Madrid in 1943. His father, Dr. Julio Iglesias Puga, was a doctor who served as a physician in the Spanish National Guard during the Spanish Civil War. His mother, María del Rosario de la Cueva y Perignat, was a homemaker. Julio Iglesias has eight children, including Enrique Iglesias. Iglesias began his career in the early 1970s when he released his first album in 1971 and succeeded in several European countries, Latin America, and the Soviet Union. Iglesias has received numerous awards and honors, including the Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, the Legend Award at the Latinos de Corazón Awards, and the Gold Medal of Merit in the Fine Arts from the Spanish government. He was also inducted into the Miami Walk of Fame and the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

11. Paco Rabanne (Fashion designer)

Born Francisco “Paco” Rabaneda y Cuervo in the Basque city of Pamplona, Paco Rabanne is one of the most influential fashion designers of the late 20th century. He is known for his avant-garde style and inventive use of new materials, such as metal and plastic. Rabanne’s designs were often controversial, but they always managed to make a statement. Some of his most famous designs include the 1969 “Paper Dress,” which was made entirely of paper, and the 1974 “Pleated Metal Dress,” which was made of pleated sheets of gold metal.

10. Pep Guardiola (Professional football manager)

Pep Guardiola is a professional football manager who is currently the head coach of Manchester City. He is widely regarded as one of the best managers in the world. Born in Barcelona, Pep started his playing career with the Catalan club’s famed La Masia academy. He went on to play for the first team for more than a decade, captaining the side to victory in the 1992 European Cup. After retiring from playing, Guardiola became a coach. He led Barcelona B to promotion to the Spanish second division and then took over the first team in 2008. Under his guidance, Barcelona became one of the most successful teams in history, winning many trophies in just four years. In 2012, Guardiola moved to Bayern Munich, where he won other trophies, but he later took to Manchester City in 2016 and led the club to Premier League titles, according to Wikipedia.

9. El Cid (Prince of Valencia)

El Cid is one of the most iconic Spanish figures in history. El Cid ‘s real name was Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, and he was born in Vivar, a town located in the province of Burgos. He lived during the 11th century and rose to fame after leading the Christian army to victory against the Moors in the Battle of Valencia. His legend has been popularized in many works of art, including the famous Spanish epic poem, El Cantar de Mio Cid. After his death, he became a legendary figure in Spanish folklore and was revered as a national hero.

8. Rafael Nadal (Spanish tennis player)

Rafael Nadal is a Spanish professional tennis player widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. On June 3, 1986, he was born in Manacor, Mallorca, Spain. His father, Sebastián Nadal, was a businessman who owned an insurance company and a glass and window company while his mother, Ana María Parera, was a housewife. Nadal has a younger sister named María Isabel. According to Wikipedia, he has won 20 Grand Slam singles titles, the most of any male player in history. Nadal has also won an Olympic gold medal in singles and helped lead Spain to victory at the Davis Cup five times.

7. Antoni Gaudí (Architect)

Antoni Gaudí was a Spanish architect who is considered one of the most influential figures in the history of architecture. He was born in Reus, Catalonia, on June 25, 1852. Gaudí’s unique style was influenced by his interests in nature, geometry, and the Arts and Crafts movement. He is best known for his work on the Sagrada Família, a large Catholic church in Barcelona that is still unfinished. Other notable works by Gaudí include the Palacio Güell, the Park Güell, and the Casa Milà. Gaudí died in Barcelona on June 10, 1926.

6. Antonio Banderas (Actor)

If you were a fan of the movie “The Mask of Zorro,” you’re already familiar with Antonio Banderas. Born in 1960 in Málaga, Banderas began his career as an experimental theater group member. His first film role was in “Laberinto de pasiones” in 1982. Banderas has won numerous awards, including a Golden Globe and an Honorary César. This Spanish actor has had an illustrious career in both Spain and Hollywood. In addition to “The Mask of Zorro,” some of his other notable movies include “Desperado,” “Interview with the Vampire,” “Evita,” and “Puss in Boots.”

5. Francisco Franco (Former head of state)

Born in Ferrol, Galicia, on December 4, 1892, Francisco Franco was a Spanish general who rose to power during the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s. He eventually became the dictator of Spain, ruling from 1939 until he died in 1975. During his lifetime, Franco was a controversial figure, and his legacy remains so today. He is known for his role in the Spanish Inquisition and his repressive regime, which saw the imprisonment and death of many political opponents. However, he is credited with modernizing Spain and bringing it into the 20th century.

4. Miguel De Cervantes (writer)

Miguel de Cervantes was a Spanish writer best known for his novel Don Quixote. Published in 1605, Don Quixote is considered one of the most influential works of literature ever written. Born in 1547, Cervantes began his literary career in the 1580s. He wrote many plays, poems, and short stories, but Don Quixote made him famous. While Cervantes isn’t as well-known outside of Spain as some other celebrities on this list, he is one of the critical Spanish figures in history.

3. Salvador Dalí (Artist)

Born in the small town of Figueres, Dalí is one of the most celebrated artists of the 20th century. His work is often surreal, and he is perhaps best known for his painting “The Persistence of Memory,” which features melting clocks. Dalí was also a skilled filmmaker, and his short film “Un Chien Andalou” is considered a classic of the genre. He has been described as one of the most influential artists of the Surrealist movement.

2. Pablo Picasso (Sculptor and painter)

Pablo Picasso was a Spanish sculptor and painter who is one of the most well-known artists of the 20th century. He is known for co-founding the Cubist movement and his unique art style. Picasso was born in Malaga, and his most famous work includes the paintings “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” and “Guernica.” He spent most of his life in France and died in 1973 at 91 as stated in his Wikipedia profile.

1. Penelope Cruz (Actress and Model)

Penelope Cruz is a Spanish actress and model. She began her acting career in 1992 with the Spanish film Jamón, jamón, which was followed by a number of roles in films such as Belle Epoque, Open Your Eyes, All About My Mother, Volver, Nine and Broken Embrace. Cruz achieved international recognition for her role in the 2001 film Vanilla Sky, in which she played the girlfriend of Tom Cruise’s character. She has since appeared in films such as Blow, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, and Volver. She was awarded the Academy Award for Best Actress in 2019 for Vicky Cristina Barcelona Supporting Role. Cruz has been involved with charities such as Amnesty International and has been a World Food Programme (WFP) advocate.


These are just a few of our favorite Spanish celebrities. Spain has produced some truly remarkable people, from artists to actors to writers. All the celebrities mentioned earlier have had a significant impact on their respective fields, and they continue to inspire people worldwide.

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