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Javier Bardem celebrates 49th birthday ahead of wife Penélope Cruz’s big night

Happy birthday Javier Bardem! The Spanish actor turned 49-years-old on Thursday, March 1. The dad-of-two will have a lot to celebrate this week with his wife Penélope Cruz being honored with the prestigious César Award at France’s Academy of Arts and Techniques of Cinema’s ceremony on Friday, March 2 — making her the first Spanish actress to receive the award since it was first presented in 1976.

The private stars, who share four-year-old daughter Luna and seven-year-old son Leo, have stepped out for a number of joint public appearances as of late to promote their film Loving Pablo. The movie is the first time Javier and Penélope, 43, have shared the silver screen as a couple. The actor recently admitted that working with his wife of nearly eight years made him grow as an actor. “She’s obviously an actress that I get along well with,” Javier said. “It’s easy, but at the same time there’s an extra challenge of going beyond the personal and diving into the fictional and it’s scary because it forces you to go the extra step, but it also makes you grow as an actor.”

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