Elena Montero or Elena de la Vega is a fictional character from The Mask of Zorro, the feisty daughter of the original Zorro (Anthony Hopkins) and lover to his student (Antonio Banderas). This was the star making role for tall (5'8"), shapely Welsh actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, who managed to compliment her dark hair and dark eyes with a pitch perfect Spanish accent.
The Mask of ZorroEdit
When the evil Raphael invades Don Diego's (Hopkins) home, one of his men kills her mother by accident. Raphael kills the soldier, has Don Diego imprisoned and takes the infant Elena as his own daughter.
As a beautiful, 21 year old adult with no knowledge of her true family, Elena first encounters the second Zorro (Banderas) when he steals some horses on his first night out and again, without realizing it, when he is hiding as a confessional priest and again when he is posing as an aristocrat and shares a passionate dance with him.
She sees him again when he breaks into her false father's home to steal plans and confronts him in the stable, wearing an angelic white bodice and armed with a sword, demanding he return what he has stolen. When he politely refuses, she challenges him to a duel. Having had the proper instruction from the age of four, she holds her own well and manages to disarm Zorro and forces him back. But Zorro manages to retrieve Eléna's own sword and cuts off her bodice, leaving her topless and in nothing but her underwear. With a humiliated gasp, she tries to cover her cleavage with Zorro's hat, but she soon finds herself in his arms. They kiss for a moment, her attraction grows and she leans in for more, but Zorro steps back, takes back his hat, bids her goodbye, and proceeds outside. While Alejandro/Zorro sets off to save the mine workers, Diego heads to Montero's mansion to confront his old nemesis. At last, Montero recognizes Diego and realizes the identity of the new Zorro. Montero believes that Diego has come to punish him for the illegal mine, but his confident manner fades when Diego, with a sword to Montero's neck, orders him to call for Eléna. Eléna comes down to see her 'father' apparently being held hostage by a man she has only known as a servant. Eléna recognises the name Diego de la Vega and asks the two men what flowers used to hang on her crib. Montero then holds a gun to Diego's head and says he would shoot him even in front of his own daughter, forcing him to stand down. As he is lead away by guards, Diego turns to Eléna and tells her that the flowers were romagna. This convinces Eléna that she is possibly his daughter rather than Montero's, and she later helps him escape. They then head to the mine to assist Alejandro. At the mine, Zorro encounters Captain Love as he is trying to transfer the gold. Zorro defeats the guards and then engages Love, as an unseen Montero prepares to shoot him from a distance. However, Diego arrives at the last moment and knocks Montero's shot off balance, before engaging him by the sword. After disarming Montero, Diego is free to kill him, but Eléna appeals for him to stop. Montero then takes Eléna hostage with a gun to make Diego drop his sword, which he does. Montero then shoots Diego, seriously wounding him, but he is able to continue to fight.
In the end, Zorro impales Love with the Captain's own sword, while Diego sends Montero off a cliff, dragged by a moving cart of gold, which crushes him and Love, killing them both. Eléna frees the captive workers before explosives set by Love to wipe out the evidence of the mine can go off. Zorro helps Eléna free the slaves just as the mine is destroyed by a spectacular explosion. Diego, whose gunshot wound is mortal, endorses Alejandro as the next Zorro and encourages a union between him and Eléna, who finally accepts him as her father and Diego informs his daughter that she is exactly like her mother: same mouth, eyes, spirit, and a Zorro who loves her. He dies in their arms and is given a grand funeral. Alejandro and Eléna marry and rebuilt the de la Vega family mansion and have a son whom they name Joaquin, in honor of Alejandro's brother, and Zorro returns as the defender of the People of California.
The Legend of ZorroEdit
In the second film, it is revealed that Alejandro took the last name de la Vega as a form of diguise (since Alejandro Murrieta is an outlaw), and thus Elena now bears the name of her father.