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Adriana Barraza

A popular actress in Spanish-language television, Adriana Barraza received rave reviews and numerous award nominations for her work as the illegal immigrant forced to look after two American-born children when they are abandoned in the desert, in the prestigious and thought-provoking film Babel (2006), directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu. Barraza had previously worked with Iñárritu when she portrayed Octavio's (Gael García Bernal) mother in the film Amores Perros (2000).

In addition to her work in front of the camera, Barraza is also a distinguished acting coach, director and drama teacher, working on a number of different films and television series, including the longrunning Mujer, casos de la vida real (as a director and actress), and as director of the soap operas Locura de amor, El manantial and Cómplices al rescate. In addition to acting, Barraza found time to work as the coach of neutral accent on Prisionera and the Adam Sandler film Spanglish (2004). Her other feature credits as an actress include the films La paloma de Marsella (1999), La primera noche (aka The First Night, 1998) and its sequel La segunda noche (1999).

She also served as vice president of neutral accent and acting development for the Telemundo Network. Despite her success in the Spanish-speaking entertainment world, Barraza was hardly a known figure in Hollywood. All that changed when she was chosen by Iñárritu to play Amelia, an illegal immigrant who crosses the border for her son's wedding, only to be abandoned in the scorching Sonoran desert with two American children in her care. Iñárritu initially auditioned hundreds of bilingual actresses, looking for that elusive combination of determination and vulnerability that Amelia embodied. It was his wife, Maria Eladia, who suggested Barraza. The filmmaker gave props to his actress for delivering the goods under punishing desert conditions, admitting that his actress almost suffered from heatstroke on the set.

Film critics across the board singled out Barraza's work in the film almost as much as they did Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett's contributions. Come awards season, the Hollywood Foreign Press agreed, bestowing a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture on Barraza, raising her profile with American audiences. She also received a nod from the Screen Actors Guild Awards, earning a nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role. But nothing compared to the elation of receiving her first Academy Award nomination when she joined Cate Blanchett, Abigail Breslin, Jennifer Hudson and Rinko Kikuchi in the Best Supporting Actress category.

Barraza recently made a guest appearance on the NBC drama ER and co-starred opposite Luke Wilson, George Lopez and Radha Mitchell in the Lakeshore Entertainment film Henry Poole Is Here, directed by Mark Pellington. Barraza also completed work on the Sally Potter-directed film Rage, in which she stars opposite Dame Judi Dench, Jude Law, Steve Buscemi, John Leguizamo and Dianne Wiest.


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Adriana Barraza Facts

OccupationActress
BirthdayMarch 5, 1956 (58)
SignPisces
BirthplaceToluca, Mexico

Selected Filmography

From Prada To Nada
Drag Me to Hell
And Soon The Darkness
Henry Poole Is Here
Burning Palms
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