Descendant of the conservative Spanish politician Antonio Maura, Carmen lead an art gallery and appeared in various roles in night- clubs. With Tigres de papel (1977) she had her first successful appearance on the movie screen and thereafter she worked at the theatre, the movies and in TV productions. Although she played dramatic roles, too, her most important genre has always been the comedy, e.g. Coarse Salt (1984), Sé infiel y no mires con quién (1985) or Dear Nanny (1986). She has worked regularly with the Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar, from the film Pepi, Luci, Bom and Other Girls Like Mom (1980) (taking in Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988) for which she was awarded the European Film Award "Felix" as best actress) to, currently Volver (2006).
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