was born in Houston, Texas on March 5, 1978. Her parents are both Cuban and contributed to an interesting childhood that saw Eva Mendes move to Miami and then to Los Angeles when she was still a young girl. Despite the glitz and glamour of the West Coast, Eva gravitated toward interior design and marketing, not drama. In fact, she was majoring in marketing at CS Northridge and was comfortable with the direction she was heading before opportunity struck when an agent noticed a picture of hers at the house of her photographer neighbor. Obviously, she had a certain je ne sais quoi because the agent convinced Eva to abandon her marketing degree and become an actress full time.
Her very first experience came in music videos such as "Hole In My Soul" by Aerosmith and "Miami" by Will Smith. She followed these up with a few TV appearances, highlighted by roles in Mortal Kombat: Conquest and ER. She also hit the big screen with a role in 1998's Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror.
Eva next appeared in the comedy A Night at the Roxbury, and then after smaller projects, such as My Brother The Pig and The Disciples, resurfaced with a role in Urban Legends: Final Cut in 2000. It was the first of many tough, feisty and sexy vixen roles. In fact, this persona was maintained in the action hit Exit Wounds (with Steven Seagal and DMX) and especially in her most admired performance to date: Denzel Washington's mistress in 2001's Training Day.
Eva took on more responsibility as Mike Epps' girlfriend in 2002's All About the Benjamins and revealed herself to be a beautiful and talented Latina actress. By this time, she had cultivated a strong following of fans who hoped to one day see her name in lights.
This opportunity arrived in 2003. First, she signed on to appear in one of the most anticipated releases of the summer: 2 Fast 2 Furious. This film offers her the most exposure of her short career and is sure to make her a household name. If this wasn't enough, she has three potentially huge hits set for release in 2003. She will be bombarding audiences with appearances in Once Upon a Time in Mexico, the follow-up to 1995's Desperado; Out of Time, as Denzel Washington's partner; and Stuck on You with Greg Kinnear and Matt Damon. All three have the required stars and plots to assure box-office success, which can only be good news for Eva Mendes and her career.