Carmen Maura

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Carmen Maura

Carmen Maura en 20 minutos.jpg
Carmen García Maura

(1945-09-15) 15 September 1945 (age 73)
Years active1969–present

Carmen García Maura OAXS (born 15 September 1945) is a Spanish actress. In a career that has spanned six decades, Maura is best known for her collaborations with noted Spanish film directors Pedro Almodóvar and Álex de la Iglesia.

Early life[edit]

Maura was born in Madrid to Salvador Garcia Santa-Cruz and Carmen Maura Arenzana. Her great-grandfather was the Count of Fuente Nueva de Arenzana, who lived in the Palace of Arenzana in Madrid, currently the embassy of France. Her other great grandfather from her mother´s side was the artist Bartolome Maura Montaner, brother of Antonio Maura, a former prime minister of Spain on five occasions and a noted orator.

Maura studied philosophy and literature at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. From 1964 to 1970, she was married to a lawyer, Francisco Forteza, with whom she has two children, Carmen and Pablo.


Maura began her career as a cabaret singer. Maura's film career was launched in 1970 with an appearance in the film The Man in Hiding. This was followed by a major role in the 1977 film Tigres de papel. Although Maura has played dramatic roles, she is often noted for her comedic roles in films like Sal gorda (1984), Sé infiel y no mires con quién (1985) or Tata mía (1986).

Maura appeared in the first film by Pedro Almodóvar, Pepi, Luci, Bom y otras chicas del montón, in 1980. They went on to collaborate on five additional films in the 1980s, the last of which was Women on The Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988), for which she was awarded the European Film Award "Felix" for best actress.

Maura and Almodóvar appeared to have had a falling out after Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.[1] They did not work together for over a decade, but joined forces again in 2006 for Volver. 'Volver' means 'Return' in Spanish, and one of the many returns the title alludes to is Maura's return to Almodovar's movies. The female cast of "Volver" won a collective prize for Best Actress at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival.[2]

Maura also appeared in 800 Bullets where she played the mother of the boy who is the main character of the story. Kevin Severson is her son.

Maura is cited as a gay icon for the role of a transsexual she played in Almodóvar's Law of Desire,[3] strengthening her image as a strong woman who is never afraid to break through boundaries.

Maura has won more Goya Awards for Best Leading Actress than any other actress in the history of Spanish film.

She won the "Locarno Excellence Award" in 2007 for all her cinematographic career.

Maura has worked under the orders of major directors like Almodovar, Ford Coppola, Amos Gitai, Yasmina Reza, Alejandro Agresti, Carlos Saura, Étienne Chatiliez and Alex de la Iglesia.


Awards and nominations[edit]

Cannes Film Festival[edit]

Year Nominated work Category Result
2006 Volver Best Actress Won

César Award[edit]

Year Nominated work Category Result
1996 Happiness Is in the Field Best Supporting Actress Nominated
2012 The Women on the 6th Floor Best Supporting Actress Won

Goya Awards[edit]

Year Nominated work Category Result
1989 Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown Best Actress Won
1991 ¡Ay Carmela! Best Actress Won
1994 Shadows in a Conflict Best Actress Nominated
2000 Lisbon Best Actress Nominated
2001 Common Wealth Best Actress Won
2007 Volver Best Supporting Actress Won

Locarno Festival[edit]

Year Nominated work Category Result
2007 Locarno Excellence Award Won

San Sebastián International Film Festival[edit]

Year Nominated work Category Result
2000 Common Wealth Best Actress Won

Fotogramas de Plata[edit]

  • 2007-Nominated: Best Movie Actress for Volver (2006)
  • 2001-Won: Best Movie Actress for La comunidad (2000).
  • 1999-Won: Best TV Actress for A las once en casa (1998).
  • 1994-Nominated: Best Movie Actress for Sombras en una batalla (1993)
  • 1993-Nominated: Best Movie Actress for "La reina anónima" and also Entre el cielo y la tierra (1992)
  • 1991-Won: Best Movie Actress for ¡Ay Carmela! (1990)
  • 1991-Nominated: Best TV Actress for La mujer de tu vida (1990)
  • 1989-Won: Best Movie Actress for Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios (1988)
  • 1988-Nominated: Best Movie Actress for La ley del deseo (1987)
  • 1987-Nominated: Best Movie Actress for Tata mía (1986) and also Matador (1986)
  • 1986-Nominated: Best Movie Actress for Sé infiel y no mires con quién (1985) and Extramuros (1985)
  • 1985-Won: Best Movie Actress for ¿Qué he hecho yo para merecer esto? (1984)
  • 1982-Won: Best Performance in a Television series for Esta noche (1981)



  1. ^ Joe Meyers, Connecticut Post (2007-09-02). Almodovar box set a must for film buffs Archived September 12, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2008-06-14.
  2. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Volver". Retrieved 2009-12-13.
  3. ^ The Guardian (August 13, 2006). 'Sex was my way of coping with death' (interview with Pedro Almodóvar). Retrieved on 2008-06-14.
  4. ^ Boletín Oficial del Estado

External links[edit]