||Eva Mendes can rightfully claim to be both a Texan belle and a Latin bombshell. The actress, who was born into a Cuban family in Houston, got her big break in the gritty crime thriller Training Day which saw her starring opposite Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke. Since then she has made a series of high-profile appearances, including Once Upon A Time In Mexico, Stuck On You and Hitch.
It's been quite a ride for the 5ft 7in star, especially considering she never intended to become an actress. Eva was studying marketing at California State University when her neighbour, who was a photographer, asked her to pose for his portfolio. Some time later an agent stumbled across the picture and, after seeking her out, managed to convince the pretty student she should consider an altogether more glamorous career path.