Marisa Paredes
Birth Date:
April 3, 1946
Birth Place:
Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Famous for:
Her role in 'Todo Sobre Mi Madre' (1999)
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All About My Mother


Multiple award-winning Spanish actress Marisa Paredes has created a thriving career in Spain and Europe since entering show business in the 1960s. Although she has collaborated with numerous celebrated international filmmakers, the performer is probably best remembered for her work with Spain's flamboyant Pedro Almodóvar. Starting out with “Dark Habits” (1983), the couple's affiliation in “High Heels” (1991) won Paredes a number of awards, including a Sant Jordi Award, a Fotogramas de Plata Award and a Spanish Actors Union Film Award, and for her notable portrayal of a writer in “The Flower of My Secret” (1995), she again nabbed a Fotogramas de Plata Award and a Sant Jordi Award in addition to a Karlovy Vary International Film Festival Award and a Premio ACE Award. Still under the direction of Almodóvar, Paredes delivered a brilliant scene-stealing turn as diva actress Huma Rojo on the critically-heralded, Oscar-winning drama “All About My Mother” (1999), for which she nabbed a Santa Fe Film Critics Circle Award and a Premios ACE Award. Other noteworthy projects include Agustí Villarong's “Tras El Cristal” (1987), Arturo Ripstein's “Deep Crimson” (1996), Raoul Ruiz's “Three Lives and Only One Death” (1996) Roberto Benigni's “Life is Beautiful” (1997), Guillermo del Toro's “The Devil's Backbone” (2001) and Francesca Joseph's “Four Last Songs” (2007). Paredes has also acted in several television programs and on stage.

In 1996, Paredes was given the National Film Award by the Spanish Ministry of Culture. She also received a Career Award from Sant Jordi, a Cinemania Award from Ondas, a Taormina Arte Award at the 2003 Taormina International Film Festival and a Nacho Martínez Award at the 2007 Gijón International Film Festival. Marisa became a member of the jury at the 2000 Berlin International Film Festival and from 2000 to 2003, and served as President of the Spanish Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Off camera, Paredes is a philanthropist. In 1999, she earned praise for her charitable work after preserving the Crayola Crayon factory in Lehigh, Pennsylvania.

Paredes is the wife of writer, director and producer Antonio Isasi-Isasmendi and the mother of actress María Isasi.

Madrid Native

Childhood and Family:

María Luisa Paredes Bartolomé, professionally known as Marisa Paredes, was born on April 3, 1946, in Madrid, Spain. She studied acting at the Dramatic Arts Conservatory in Madrid.

Marisa is married to Spanish scriptwriter, director and producer Antonio Isasi-Isasmendi (born on March 22, 1927). The couple has one daughter, María Isasi (born on September 29, 1975), who is an actress.

The Flower of My Secret


Marisa Paredes kicked off her acting career in the 1960s while still a student at Madrid's Dramatic Arts Conservatory. The 14-year-old girl had an unaccredited part in the José María Forqué crime/drama “091 Policia al Habla” (1960) and emerged as a teen idol across Spain after that movie. She continued to appear in a number of films like the comedy “Los economicamente debiles/The Less Well-Off” (1960), “Cradle Song” (1961), “The Awful Dr. Orlof “ (1962), “Life Goes On” (1965), Fernando Fernán Gómez's “Salvajes en Puente San Gil, Las” (1966), the western “Requiem for a Gringo” (1968), “Señorito y las seductoras, El” (1969), “Blood Pie” (1971), “Abismo” (1972), “Larga noche de julio” (1974) and “Rafael en Raphael” (1975).

Paredes made her early television appearances in episodes of “Tiempo y hora” (1966-1967), “Historias para no dormir” (1967) and “Doce caras de Juan, Las” (1967). She landed more stable work in the drama series “Novela” (1966-1976, as Doña Xima), “Teatro de siempre” (1967-1971), “Hora once” (1972) and “Ficciones” (1972-1973) and picked up a 1974 Antena de Oro Award for her performance in the series “Estudio 1.” A prolific stage actress, Paredes acted in various plays throughout the 1960s and 1970s, including José López Rubio's “Esta noche tampoco” (1961), Alfonso Paso's “Rebelde” (1962), Albert Camus' “Los justos” (1963), Miguel Mihura's “Milagro en casa de los López” (1964), “English Spoken” (1968), “La estrella de Sevilla” (1970), “El engaño” (1971) and James Kirkwood's “Posdata: tu gato ha muerto” (1979).

Following a supporting role opposite José Pedro Carrión and Patricia Adriani in Emilio Martínez Lázaro's “Sus Anos Dorados/Their Golden Years” and playing Zoila Gómez in the Fernando Trueba-directed comedy “Opera Prima” (both 1980), Marisa began her affiliation with director/writer Pedro Almodóvar in the comedy/drama “Dark Habits” (1983). Four years later, she was handed the Onda Madrid Prize for her fine turn as Griselda, the wife of a Nazi concentration camp doctor, in the Fantasporto Film Festival-screened “Tras El Cristal” (1987), which was penned and directed by Agustí Villaronga, and for her scene-stealing role in the 1987 José Sacristán film “Cara de acelga/Silver-Beet Face,” the actress received a Goya nomination. She remained busy and was seen in a 1984 production of “La gata sobre el tejado de zinc caliente,” by Tennessee Williams, and such TV miniseries as “Mayorazgo de Labraz, El” (1983) and “Goya” (1985).

The 1990s saw Paredes in the Xavier Villaverde thriller “Continental” (1990) and starring as Becky del Páramo in the drama “Tacones lejanos/High Heels” (1991), her second collaboration with filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar. For her acting, Paredes was handed a Sant Jordi for Best Spanish Actress, a Fotogramas de Plata for Best Movie Actress, a Spanish Actors Union Film for Lead Performance, as well as a Gramado Film Festival's Golden Kikito and Cartagena Film Festival's Golden India Catalina for Best Actress. Paredes scored another victory when Almodóvar cast her in the leading role of a harassed author in the drama “Flor de mi secreto, La/The Flower of My Secret” (1995). The role brought the actress a Fotogramas de Plata, a Sant Jordi, a Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and a Premio ACE.

The native daughter of Madrid next costarred as the wife of Marcello Mastroianni in the French production “Three Lives and Only One Death” (1996), directed by Raoul Ruiz, teamed up with Mexican director Arturo Ripstein for the 1996 crime/drama “Deep Crimson,” based on the same tale as “The Honeymoon Killers” (1969), and portrayed Madre di Dora, the mother-in-law of Roberto Benigni, in the brilliant “Vita è bella, La/Life is Beautiful” (1997), which was directed by Benigni. After the Italian movie, from which she jointly nabbed a Screen Actors Guild nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Cast, she made her U.S. debut in the supporting role of Doña Consuelo in Nick Hamm's “Talk of Angels” (1998), starring Polly Walker and Vincent Perez.

Paredes was next reunited with Pedro Almodóvar for the 1999 drama “Todo sobre mi madre/All About My Mother,” which won an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2000. Also in 1999, she was praised for her portrayal of Lola in Arturo Ripstein's “Coronel no tiene quien le escriba, El/No One Writes to the Colonel,” opposite Fernando Luján.

Paredes played Carmen in the Guillermo del Toro thriller “Espinazo del diablo, El/The Devil's Backbone” (2001), acted alongside her real daughter María Isasi in the drama “Salvajes” (2001), worked with director/writer Álvaro del Amo for the drama “Preciosa puesta de sol, Una” (2003) and starred as Clara in the French language “Dans le rouge du couchant” (2003), directed by Edgardo Cozarinsky. She was next seen in Pablo Malo's “Frío sol de invierno” (2004), Manuel Gómez Pereira's “Reinas/Queen” (2005), Manoel de Oliveira's “Espelho Mágico/Magic Mirror” (2005), Francesca Joseph's “Four Last Songs” (2007, starred Stanley Tucci, Rhys Ifans and Jena Malone) and the nine-minute drama “Camino de Ana, El” (2007). She resurfaced on the small screen in the comedy film “Después de la lluvia” (2007).

Recently, Paredes played the role of Charlotte in a 2008 stage production of “Sonata de otoño,” by Ingmar Bergman. She is set to appear in three upcoming films: the Italian drama “Uomo che ama, L',” the romance “Tuya,” and the Portuguese-produced drama “1ª Vez 16 mm” (all 2008).


  • Gijón International Film Festival: Nacho Martínez Award, 2007

  • Taormina International Film Festival: Taormina Arte Award, 2003

  • Ondas: Cinemania Award, 2003

  • Sant Jordi: Career Award, 2002

  • Santa Fe Film Critics Circle: Best Supporting Actress, “Todo sobre mi madre/All About My Mother,” 2000

  • Premios ACE: Cinema - Best Supporting Actress, “Todo sobre mi madre/All About My Mother,” 2000

  • National Film Award (Spain): 1996

  • Sant Jordi: Best Spanish Actress (Mejor Actriz Española), “Flor de mi secreto, La/The Flower of My Secret,” 1996

  • Premio ACE: Cinema - Best Actress, “Flor de mi secreto, La/The Flower of My Secret,” 1996

  • Karlovy Vary International Film Festival: Best Actress, “Flor de mi secreto, La/The Flower of My Secret,” 1996

  • Fotogramas de Plata: Best Movie Actress (Mejor Actriz de Cine), “Flor de mi secreto, La/The Flower of My Secret,” 1996

  • Spanish Actors Union Film: Lead Performance (Protagonista Cine), “Tacones lejanos/High Heels,” 1992

  • Sant Jordi: Best Spanish Actress (Mejor Actriz Española), “Tacones lejanos/High Heels,” 1992

  • Gramado Film Festival: Golden Kikito, Best Actress (Melhor Atriz), “Tacones lejanos/High Heels,” 1992

  • Fotogramas de Plata: Best Movie Actress (Mejor Actriz de Cine), “Tacones lejanos/High Heels,” 1992

  • Cartagena Film Festival: Golden India Catalina, Best Actress (Mejor Actriz), “Tacones lejanos/High Heels,” 1992

  • Antena de Oro (Spain): Television, “Estudio 1,”1974

  • Fotogramas de Plata: Best TV Performer (Mejor intérprete de televisión), 1969

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© Sony Pictures Classics
© Sony Pictures Classics
© Sony Pictures Classics
© Sony Pictures Classics