17 MARCH 2008

It no doubt brought back memories for Antonio Banderas' recently bereaved mum Ana as she watched her son take part in an Easter parade in Spain this week. But there to help her through the emotional moment - the first family occasion the Banderas' have marked without Antonio's dad Jose - was her daughter-in-law Melanie Griffith.

In a touching gesture of support the actress - who has been a pillar of strength for her husband and his relatives since her father-in-law passed away two months ago - placed a reassuring hand on her mother-in-law's elbow, and stayed crouched at her side for the duration of the ceremony.

The family are in Antonio's Malaga hometown to celebrate Easter, known as Semana Santa. And as usual they watched the traditional Easter Week processions in which Antonio plays a part. In Spain the holiday is ritual-filled, with local people carrying heavy floats bearing statues of Jesus or the Virgin Mary through their towns and cities to mark Holy Week.

The Zorro actor cut a more somber than usual figure as he donned a traditional costume to join other participants as they made their way through the centre of Malaga. Clearly determined not to let the event be marked by sadness he raised a smile before pulling on a black hood to take up his position at the front of the parade.

Photo: ©
The actress was there to support her mother-in-law Ana during Easter celebrations - the first family occasion since Antonio's father Jose Domínguez passed awayPhoto: © Rex
Photo: ©
Antonio donned a traditional costume as he joined locals in his Malaga hometown to take part in a parade to mark Holy WeekPhoto: © Rex
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