Spanish Acad to pin medal on Banderas

Spain's most famous export honored

MADRID — Antonio Banderas will receive this year’s Gold Medal from the Spanish Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences “in recognition of his work propagating Spanish culture during a fruitful international career.”

Banderas’ plaudit is something of a departure. Gold Medal is normally given to a vet for lifetime achievement.

Thesp is applauded in Spain for his lack of Hollywood pretension when he returns to his homeland and his will power. Actor left Spain knowing very little English yet managed to carve out a career Stateside mixing roles that draw on his Hispanic origins, including “Zorro” and “Evita,” with others in which his ethnic background is secondary, such as “Philadelphia.”

Award may also rep a suggestion from the Academy that its members would be delighted for Banderas to be involved in more homegrown fare.

Thesp has one longstanding Spanish project — “Tarantula” — that would team him with Pedro Almodovar and Penelope Cruz.

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