Eva Mendes (born March 5, 1974) is an American actress. She began acting in the late 1990s, and became known after a series of roles in several major Hollywood films, including 2 Fast 2 Furious, Hitch, Training Day, Ghost Rider and We Own the Night.
Mendes was born in Miami, Florida, to Cuban parents and was raised in Los Angeles by her mother after her parents' divorce; Mendes has said that her mother "suffered so much to make my life OK" during her early years. Her father was a car salesman and her mother, also named Eva, is now an elementary school principal. She is the youngest of four children (she has two sisters and a brother). She was raised Roman Catholic and aspired to be a nun. As a child, Mendes was teased about her "buck teeth".
Mendes never saw herself as an actress while she was young and decided to pursue other interests. She attended Hoover High School in Glendale and later attended California State University, Northridge to study marketing, but dropped out after wanting to begin an acting career. She studied with Ivana Chubbuck.
One day Mendes caught the eye of an agent who convinced her to pursue acting more steadily. She worked her way up through commercials to