They are the Brad and Angelina of Spain – the country’s most heavyweight acting couple.
But despite the huge public interest in Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem, the extremely private pair have chosen to conduct their romance out of the spotlight.
We take a look at their story, which began back in 1992, when they met filming Jamon Jamon.
While Javier wooed a young Penelope on the big screen, it would be another 15 years before love blossomed for the duo in real life
When the pair began filming Vicky Cristina Barcelona in 2007 reports were circulating that Javier was the real-life love of Scarlett Johansson.
But these were quashed when Scarlett’s partner Ryan Reynolds turned up on set. The real behind-the-scenes love story – Javier and Penelope’s romance – was confirmed when pictures of the two sharing passionate kisses in the surf on a sundrenched beach in the Maldives were published exclusively in HELLO! in October later that year
By the time they were promoting the movie with Woody Allen the news of their pairing was out. But they were careful not to do draw attention to themselves on the red carpet with overt displays of affection
But to family and friends such as Salma Hayek this was clearly more than a casual romance. The Latina beauty invited Javier as Penelope’s plus one when she married in Venice during a weekend of celebrations
There was a surprise in store for fans when the couple – who usually shun red carpet events – enjoyed a very public date at the 2010 Goya Awards – Spain’s Oscars.
The lovebirds were pictured laughing and smiling together at the ceremony – the first time they’ve been out together at a major event on home turf
Further evidence that the couple were ready to take their love into the spotlight was Penelope’s presence at the premiere of her beau’s film Biutiful at the Cannes Film Festival that same year.
Mindful of not stealing the limelight from her love, Penelope let him walk the red carpet alone, though she was later pictured leaving the screening by his side.
A sure sign that their relationship was about to move up a gear was Javier’s romantic declaration of love for his girlfriend in his acceptance speech for his beat actor trophy at the close of Cannes.
“I owe you a lot and I love you so much,” he told Penelope, without taking his eyes off her for a moment. The brunette beauty looked as surprised as the rest of the audience – giving her boyfriend a tender smile while her eyes filled up with tears.
It was a surprising gesture for the actor, who like Penelope – has never spoken about their romance
Then came their Hollywood debut as a couple, at the 2010 Oscars.
Unlike the previous year – when both attended the ceremony but were careful not to be pictured together – Javier never left her side for a moment.
And when Robin Williams read out the name of the best supporting actress winner Monique, the camera focused in on Penelope, revealing she had been waiting for the result with Javier’s hand firmly in her own
The usually camera-shy lovers were completely transformed when they attended an LA Lakers basketball match a few months later.
With the photogenic pair’s laughter and kisses taking attention away from the on-court action, many fans expected an engagement would be forthcoming.
But the announcement they received in July went a step further, with Penelope’s spokesperson confirming they had tied the knot
Proud Javier was at Penelope’s side again when she received a star on the Hollywood walk of fame surrounded by fellow acting friends including Johnny Depp
Their joy was palpable a month later when they attended the Oscars, wher Javier was nominated for Biutiful.
The notoriously private couple seemed more at ease in the public glare than ever before
Just after the couple celebrated their second wedding anniversary, there were rumours they had an extra special reason to celebrate.
Reports in the Spanish press claimed Penelope was three months pregnant with a little brother or sister for baby Leo
Two months later the couple had some more good news to share. Their representative confirmed that Penelope was four-and-a-half months pregnant with their first baby.
The overjoyed pair welcomed baby Leo Encinas Cruz on January 22, 2011