Celebrate Eva Mendes’ Birthday With Her Best Looks [SLIDESHOW]

(Photo credit: Damien Meyer/AFP/Getty Images)

Caelin Mills Contributor
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The lovely Eva Mendes turns 44 today!

Although Mendes was born in Miami, she was raised in Glendale, California after her parents’ divorce. She first considered joining the convent after her Catholic upbringing, but decided to pursue acting instead after studying marketing in college.

Eva Mendes became a household name beginning with her massive role in the 2001 crime thriller “Training Day.” It wasn’t her first film — she had previously appeared in films like “Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror” and “A Night at the Roxbury” — but it was the one that put her on the map.

Since then, she has starred in major films such as “Stuck on You” and “Hitch,” which makes her one of the first minority female leads in a blockbuster romantic comedy.

In addition to acting, Mendes has a successful modeling portfolio as well, starring in music videos for artists such as Aerosmith, Will Smith and The Strokes. She has served as the spokesperson for Revlon and posed for Calvin Klein, PETA, Reebok and Pantene.

Along with all of these great accomplishments, Mendes has two children with her boyfriend (and popular heartthrob) Ryan Gosling. Happy birthday, Eva!

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Caelin Mills