María Adánez is one of the best comedy actresses of her generation, having starred in three of the most successful comedy shows in Spanish TV history. With roles in more than 20 films, she is considered a leading actress in Spain. Her theatre career is also prolific, with nominations and awards in all her dramatic performances.
She started acting at the age of 6 in a film directed by Angelino Fons (“Mar Brava”), and later starred in various films with directors José Luis Garci (Oscar winner for “Volver a empezar” in 1982), Mariano Ozores, and José Luis García Sánchez (co-writer of “Belle époque”, Oscar winner in 1993), among others.
María was in the first sitcom to be aired on Spanish TV: “Farmacia de Guardia”, directed by Antonio Mercero (Emmy award winner in 1973 with “La cabina”). The show was the most successful series on TV for over five years, and collected numerous prizes and awards, as well as record viewers. She became even more popular after TV hit soap “Pepa y Pepe” with Verónica Forqué (one of the “Al- modovar girls”). They were the most charismatic TV family in Spain in the 90s. This inspired director Manolo Iborra to make a film with the same actors (“El tiempo de la felicidad”), but placing the family in a totally different setting: Ibiza in the hippy 70s, in what would be María’s first box office hit.
Shortly afterwards, María starred in films such as “Chá-chá-chá” (1997), another box office hit, and “Entre las piernas” (1999), with Javier Bardem and Victoria Abril. Her first leading movie roles were in “Tiempos de azúcar” directed by Juan Luis Iborra, “Todo menos la chica” (Chus Delgado) and “X” (Luis Marías). She also featured in the movie based on Manuel Rivas’ novel “El lápiz del carpintero” (2002) with Tristán Ulloa and Luis Tosar.
Maria’s most significant TV success to date is “Aquí no hay quien viva” (2003). She received recogni- tion for her work in this show from her colleagues in the Spanish Actors Guild (Unión de Actores) with the award for Best TV Actress (Mejor Actriz de Televisión). The show was acclaimed as one of the best TV shows ever and received many prizes and awards, including the “Premio Ondas”, the Span- ish TV Awards (2003) and Best TV Show in Spain (2005), among others.
Her continued success on TV brought about new challenges in the theatre. María starred in the play “The Shop Around the Corner“ based on Ernst Lubitsch’s film. Reviews praised María’s work and referred to her as the “Spanish Meg Ryan” inspired by the remake hit movie “You’ve Got Mail” by Tom Hanks. She was also nominated for this character in the Mayte Theatre Awards.
In 2005, María met theatre director Miguel Narros, one of the most important directors in Spain. Un- der his direction, she played the leading actress in Oscar Wilde’s “Salomé” and August Srtindberg’s “Miss Julie”. A solid professional collaboration was established between María and Mr. Narros, whom she sees as her Mentor. She was nominated at the Mayte Theatre Awards (Best Theatre Actress) for her performances as Abigail Williams in “The Crucible” (2008) and as Julie in “Miss Julie” (2009).
María’s charismatic voice was chosen twice by DreamWorks Animation to dub Renée Zellweger in the Spanish versions of “Shark Tale” (2004) and “Bee Movie” (2007). US director Donald Petrie (“How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days”, “Miss Congeniality”) travelled to Spain in 2008 to cast two Spanish actresses for the movie “My life in ruins” starring Nia Vardalos and Richard Dreyfuss. María played Spanish divorcée Lena in the romantic comedy which premiered in May 2009 and is her debut red carpet ap- pearance in Hollywood.