Date of Birth: March 5th 1974
She had a Catholic upbringing and aspired to be a nun. As a child, Mendes was teased about her "buck teeth". She went to Hoover High School in Glendale, California and later attended California State University, Northridge to study Marketing but dropped out to seek an acting career. She studied with Ivana Chubbuck.
Mendes worked her way up through commercials to music videos (including an appearance in Will Smith's video "Miami" and a Pet Shop Boys music video in 1996) to guest roles in television soap operas and supporting film roles. She received her first big-screen break when she appeared in the award-winning and critically-acclaimed Training Day. That performance led to roles in Stuck on You, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, and as the female lead in the comedy Hitch opposite Will Smith. Her role in Once Upon a Time in Mexico also gave her a nomination at the Teen Choice Awards. She has been in multiple major movie projects, the more recent, Ghost Rider, in which she costars along with Nicolas Cage. Mendes next starred alongside Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Wahlberg, and Robert Duvall in the film We Own the Night, which opened on October 12, 2007.
Mendes is a spokesmodel for Revlon. She has also worked in interior design and has written children's books.
Maxim ranked her #7 in its 2007 Hot 100 issue. Mendes also made her second Maxim cover in the November 2007 issue.
Mendes has been in a long-term relationship with film director George Gargurevich. She lives in the Hollywood Hills. When not on the set she loves music, hiking, biking, skiing, mountain climbing and interior design.