Monica Bellucci was born September 30, 1968, in the village of Citta di Castello, in Umbria, Italy.
Initially pursuing a career as a lawyer, Monica decided to start modeling in order to help pay for her tuition while at the University of Perugia. But of course, the glamorous life of a model -- which consists of traveling and big money -- tempted Monica away from her law studies.
In 1988, she moved to one of Europe's fashion centers, Milan. There, she signed with Elite Model Management, and found plenty of modeling work.
By 1989, Monica was making it big in Paris, as well as across the Atlantic in New York. But although she had achieved huge success in so little time as a model, what with posing for Dolce & Gabbana and French Elle, Monica thrived for something more. She made the transition to acting -- a very popular trend that models Laetitia Casta, James King and Ines Sastre have also done successfully -- and began taking acting classes.
Then in 1990, she made her debut in television, with a role in the film Vita con I figli, as well as the film Briganti (a.k.a Bandits: Love and Liberty), that same year. In 1991, Monica starred as Francesca in the film La Riffa, and made her American film debut with the role of Dracula's Bride, in 1992's Bram Stoker's Dracula, co-starring Winona Ryder.
Roles began to pour in for the Italian beauty. After a role in Ostinato destino, she was cast as I Mitici (a.k.a. The Heroes) in 1994 and Palla di neve in 1995. She also starred as Pharaoh's Wife in the made-for-TV movie, Joseph.
But it was her role in the 1996 film, L'Appartement , that earned Monica her acting accolades. Her role as Lisa earned her a Cesar nomination (French equivalent of the Oscar) in the Most Promising Young Actress category, and made sure her name was known in European critics' circles.
In 1996, Monica was cast in Come mi vuoi (a.k.a As You Want Me), as well as in Dobermann and Mauvais genre. After roles in more European films such as L'Ultimo capodanno, A los que aman, and Méditerranées, she starred in Comme un poisson hors de l'eau.
Luckily, American audiences were able to catch a glimpse of the stunning brunette in the drama, Under Suspicion, as Gene Hackman's trophy wife. She then starred as Laura in the French film, Franck Spadone and in Le Pacte des loups.
Monica Bellucci was recently seen in the title role of Malèna, where captivated moviegoers with her talent and beauty.
She is currently working on the film Astérix & Obélix: Mission Cléopatre, based on the popular French cartoon strip, where Monica stars as the seductive Cleopatra.
After her role in 2003's Tears of the Sun, Monica Bellucc stared as Persephone in the highly anticipated sequels to 1999's The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions.