The most ubiquitous Spanish actress of her generation, Victoria Abril remains best known to international audiences for her collaboration with filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar. She also moonlighted as a singer, issuing her debut LP, Putcheros, in 2005. Born Victoria Merida Rojas in Madrid on July 4, 1959, she later studied dance at the Conservatory of Madrid before launching her television career at age 14 on series including Uno, Dos, Tres...Responda Otra Vez and Los Libros. After a handful of supporting roles, Abril was cast as a male-to-female transsexual in Vincente Aranda's 1977 drama Cambio de Sexo, the first in a series of provocative, sexually charged performances. In the decade to follow, she made no fewer than 31 additional films, many of them abroad including a string of projects in France, where she eventually made her home. Abril first teamed with Almodóvar in 1989's ¡Atame!, starring opposite Antonio Banderas as a drug-addicted porn star. The film was an international hit, generating significant controversy abroad for its frank eroticism, and two years later the actress reunited with the director for the melodrama Tacones Lejanos. Abril and Almodóvar parted ways following 1993's Kika, and the following year she made her stateside debut in Barry Levinson's poorly received comedy Jimmy Hollywood. She returned to Spain to headline 1995's Nadie Hablará de Nosostras Cuando Hayamos Muerto, earning Spain's Goya Award for her portrayal of an alcoholic prostitute. That same year, Abril starred in the Golden Globe-nominated romantic comedy Gazon Maudit. By now Spain's highest-paid actress, she maintained her international visibility via roles in films spanning from 1997's The Astronaut's Wife to 2000's 101 Reykjavik, curtailing her prodigious output in the years to follow. In 2005, Abril released Putcheros, an album influenced by jazz and bossa nova sensibilities. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi