Date of Birth: September 2, 1966
Place of Birth: Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Mexico
Height: 5' 2"
Best Known For: Desperado, Frida
|Salma Hayek Biography
Salma Hayek Jiménez (born September 2, 1966) is an Academy Award-nominated Mexican actress. The most successful Latin American actress in Hollywood since Carmen Miranda, Hayek has appeared in more than thirty films, and is arguably the most important Mexican star in Hollywood today. She is a feminist whose charitable work includes increasing awareness on violence against women and discrimination against immigrants.
Hayek was born in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Mexico to Lebanese father Sami Hayek (oil company executive) and Spanish mother Diana Jimenez (opera singer). Raised in a wealthy, devoutly Catholic family, she was sent to the Academy of the Sacred Heart, Grand Coteau, Louisiana, at the age of 12. She was also an accomplished gymnast, with aspirations of becoming an Olympic competitor.
After leaving the school due to alleged behavioral problems with the religious sisters who ran the school, Hayek returned to Mexico for a period, but then she was sent to Houston, Texas, to live with her aunt, where she stayed until she was 17. She subsequently moved to Mexico City for college, where she studied International Relations. To the chagrin of her family, she decided to drop out in order to pursue a career as an actress.
At the age of 23, Hayek landed the title role in Teresa (1989), a successful telenovela (Mexican soap opera) which earned her star status in her native country. Later, in 1994, Hayek starred in El Callejón de los Milagros (The Alley of Miracles), which has won more awards than any other movie in the history of Mexican Cinema.
Despite limited fluency in English, Hayek moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1991 to study acting with the hopes of starting a career in Hollywood. Robert Rodriguez and his then producer wife Elizabeth Avellan soon gave Hayek the break she needed, starring opposite Antonio Banderas in 1995's Desperado. This movie brought Hayek to Hollywood's attention, as moviegoers proved to be as dazzled with Hayek as Rodriguez had been.
She followed her success in Desperado with a brief but memorable role in From Dusk Till Dawn. In 1999, she co-starred in Will Smith's big-budget Wild Wild West and played a supporting role in Kevin Smith's Dogma.
Frida, co-produced by and starring Hayek, was released in 2002. Hayek played Frida Kahlo, and Alfred Molina played her unfaithful husband, Diego Rivera. The film also featured an entourage of stars in supporting roles, including Antonio Banderas, Ashley Judd, Geoffrey Rush, Edward Norton and Valeria Golino. Her performance won her a Best Actress Academy Award nomination.
Following Frida, in 2003 Hayek reprised her role from Desperado by appearing in the final film of the Mariachi Trilogy, Once Upon a Time in Mexico. That same year she produced and directed the The Maldonado Miracle, a Showtime movie which won her a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing in a Children/Youth/Family Special.
Hayek is an executive producer of Ugly Betty, television series airing around the world since September 2006. Hayek adapted the series for American television with Ben Silverman, who acquired the rights and scripts from the Colombian Telenovela Yo Soy Betty La Fea in 2001. Hayek guest-starred on Ugly Betty as Sofia Reyes, a magazine editor. She also had a cameo playing an actress in the telenovela within the show. The show quickly became a ratings hit and won a Golden Globe Award for Best Comedy Series in 2007. Hayek's performance as Sofia has resulted in a nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series at the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards.
Hayek has also been credited as a song performer in three movies. The first was Desperado for the song "Quedate Aquí." In Frida she performed with band Los Vega the Mexican folk song "La Bruja." She also recorded "Siente mi amor," which played during the end credits of Once Upon a Time in Mexico.
In April 2007, Hayek finalized negotiations with MGM to become the CEO of her own Latin themed film production company, Ventanazul. The following month she signed a two year deal with ABC to develop projects for the network through her production company, Ventanarosa.Hayek dated fellow actor Edward Norton from 1999-2003, and Josh Lucas from 2003-2004. In March 2007, Hayek confirmed she was expecting her first child with fiance and PPR CEO François-Henri Pinault. On September 21, 2007, Hayek gave birth to daughter Valentina Paloma Pinault at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
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