Salma Hayek is a Mexican-American actress, born to Spanish-Lebanese parents. She was born into a wealthy Roman Catholic family from Mexico. As a child, she was inspired to become an actress after watching the movie, ‘Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.’ She felt ready to step into the world of movies after attending Mexico City's ‘Universidad Iberoamericana.’ Her first assignment as an actress was in the Mexican telenovela, ‘Teresa.’ After coming to Hollywood, she was cast opposite Antonio Banderas in the movie ‘Desperado.’ It was followed by roles in ‘Fools Rush In’ and ‘Wild Wild West’ among others. She reprised her role from ‘Desperado’ in ‘Once Upon a Time in Mexico’ and later started her own production company called ‘Ventanarosa.’ Her first production was the Mexican movie ‘El Coronel No Tiene Quien Le Escriba,’ which became Mexico's official entry at the ‘Oscars’ in the ‘Best Foreign Film’ category. She was also the executive producer of ‘Ugly Betty.’ Her guest role as Sofia Reyes in ‘Ugly Betty’ won her a nomination for ‘Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series’ at the 59th ‘Primetime Emmy Awards.’ She has also endorsed products like ‘Revlon’ and ‘Avon’ and has launched her own line of cosmetics, skincare, and hair care products called ‘Nuance.’ She has lent her support to raise funds for vaccines against maternal and neonatal tetanus.
Childhood & Early Life
Salma Hayek was born on September 2, 1966, in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Mexico, to Diana Jiménez Medina, an opera singer, and Sami Hayek Dominguez, a well-to-do businessman.
She was raised in a wealthy Roman Catholic family in Mexico. At the age of 12, she went to the US to study at the ‘Academy of the Sacred Heart’ in Louisiana. She was diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia when she was in school.
She returned to Mexico to study international relations at the ‘Universidad Iberoamericana.’ It was back then that she decided to pursue acting seriously.
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In 1989, Salma Hayek landed the title role in the Mexican telenovela, ‘Teresa.’ The telenovela made her a star in Mexico. Following this, she moved to Los Angeles, California, to study acting under Stella Adler.
She starred opposite Antonio Banderas and performed the song ‘Quedate Aquí’ in the 1995 movie, ‘Desperado.’ ‘From Dusk Till Dawn’ saw her perform a snake dance as part of her role as a vampire queen.
The following years saw her in the Matthew Perry-starrer ‘Fools Rush In’ (1997), Will Smith-starrer ‘Wild Wild West’ (1999), and Kevin Smith’s ‘Dogma’ (1999). In ‘Dogma,’ she played Serendipity for which she was nominated for ‘Golden Raspberry Award’ for ‘Worst Supporting Actress.’
In the 2001 movie ‘Time of the Butterflies,’ which was based on Julia Alvarez’s book of the same name, she played the role of Minerva, one of the Mirabal sisters.
In 2003, she appeared in ‘Once Upon a Time in Mexico’ wherein she reprised her role from ‘Desperado.’ She also recorded ‘Siente mi amor,’ which played during the end credits of the movie.
Hayek was the executive producer of the television series ‘Ugly Betty’ which ran from 2006 to 2010. She also guest-starred as Sofia Reyes, the role that won her a nomination for ‘Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series’ at the 59th ‘Primetime Emmy Awards.’
Her skills as a comedic actress were revealed in ‘Grown Ups’ which also starred Adam Sandler. She later reprised her role as Sandler’s wife in ‘Grown Ups 2’ in 2013. She also lent her voice for the movie ‘Puss in Boots.’
Hayek directed Jada Pinkett Smith in the music video ‘Nada se compara’ in 2012.
In 2014, Salma Hayek played the title role in the action-thriller movie ‘Everly.’ In the same year, she was also seen in the rom-com 'Some Kind of Beautiful.' The movie also starred Pierce Brosnan and Jessica Alba.
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In 2015, Salma Hayek was part of the European dark fantasy film 'Tale of Tales.' The film was based on the collections of tales by Italian poet and Courtier, Giambattista Basile. In the film, Salma played the character of Queen of Longtrellis.
In 2017, she starred in three movies, namely 'Beatriz at Dinner,' 'How to Be a Latin Lover,' and 'The Hitman's Bodyguard.' She was nominated for the 'Independent Spirit Award’ for ‘Best Female Lead' for the movie 'Beatriz at Dinner.'
She served as a spokesperson for ‘Revlon’ and later for ‘Avon’ cosmetics. She also launched her own line of cosmetics, skincare, and hair-care products called ‘Nuance.’
She has worked with ‘P&G’ and ‘UNICEF’ to raise funds for vaccines against maternal and neonatal tetanus.
Salma Hayek starred in the 1994 award-winning Mexican movie ‘El Callejón de los Milagros’ (Miracle Alley). She was nominated for the ‘Ariel Award’ for her performance.
In 2000, she founded her own production company, ‘Ventanarosa.’ ‘El Coronel No TieneQuien Le Escriba,’ Mexico’s official entry at the ‘Oscars’ for ‘Best Foreign Film,’ was her first movie as a producer.
In 2002, Hayek co-produced, starred, and performed the Mexican folk song ‘La Bruja’ with the band ‘Los Vega’ in the film ‘Frida.’ Her performance earned her an ‘Academy Award’ nomination in the ‘Best Actress’ category.
Awards & Achievements
The 2003 movie ‘The Maldonado Miracle,’ which was produced and directed by Hayek, won her a ‘Daytime Emmy Award’ for ‘Outstanding Directing in a Children/Youth/Family Special.’
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Other awards won by her include ‘Glamour’ magazine’s ‘Woman of the Year Award,’ ‘Producers Guild of America Celebration of Diversity Award,’ and ‘Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honour,’ France.
Personal Life & Legacy
In March 2007, Salma Hayek confirmed her engagement to French billionaire François-Henri Pinault and revealed her pregnancy. She gave birth to daughter Valentina Paloma Pinault in September.
Hayek and Pinault announced that they have broken off their engagement in 2008, but later reconciled and got married on Valentine’s Day, the next year. They got married a second time in Venice.
On December 13, 2017, Salma Hayek came up with an op-ed in the ‘New York Times,’ in which she gave details of the harassment and abuse that Harvey Weinstein wrecked on her during the production of the movie ‘Frida.’
In 2019, the Pinault family pledged US $113 million to support the reconstruction efforts of ‘Notre Dame Cathedral’ in Paris, France.
16 portraits of this beautiful actress depicted as the Aztec goddess, Itzpapalotl, were displayed at the ‘Blue Star Contemporary Art Center’ in San Antonio, Texas. The portraits were painted by muralist George Yepes and filmmaker Robert Rodriguez.
An advocate of breastfeeding, this actress breastfed a hungry baby, whose mother could not produce milk, while on a ‘UNICEF’ mission to Sierra Leone. Her action was a gesture to reduce the stigma attached to breastfeeding.