Salma Hayek Biography

Frida Poster 2002
Name: Salma Hayek Jiménez.
Birth date: September 2, 1966.
Birthplace: Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Mexico.
Breakthrough: Starring opposite Antonio Banderas in Desperado in 1995.

Reflected in any Salma Hayek biography is the life of a talented Mexican-born Hispanic woman who has managed to be a successful actress, director, and producer in Hollywood. She is the first Mexican star to play a female lead in an American movie since Dolores Del Río.

This Salma Hayek biography can attest to that and more. Her life is about an upper class Hispanic immigrant who at a young age managed to become one of the top Hispanic artists, all through hard work and of course beauty, one attribute that always helps an actress.

Frida Poster  2002

Frida Poster

The Salma Hayek biography is filled with business successes, among them becoming the top advocate for Latin films through her partnership with MGM and José Tamez which lead to the creation of Ventanazul. Ventanazul is Sakma’s film company specializing in Latino movies that appeal to mainstream audiences. Salma is the president and CEO.

Many of her followers appreciate her candid comments as well as her practicality. This is reflected in an interview she gave for People magazine in 2007 where she openly talks about the pressures society imposes on women: “You’ve got to be beautiful, smart, skinny, tall, rich, successful at your job, married to the right guy – and have genius children. And by the way, you also have to be a nun!”

Childhood And Early years

Any Salma Hayek biography tells you that she was raised in a well-to-do Catholic family. Her father is of Lebanese descent and her mother is of Spanish descent, which may explain her exotic beauty.

As she said in an interview with Inside The Actors Studio, she didn’t really have any struggles growing up as the daughter of an entrepreneur who besides owning hardware stores and a construction business, ended up maintaining some oil refineries in Mexico in her home town, Coatzacoalcos.

Her mother was an opera-singer as reported in the article “The Beautiful Mind of Salma Hayek” that appeared in Razor magazine in 2003.

Ask the Dust Poster 2002

Ask the Dust Poster

At a very young age sexy Salma Hayek “pressured” her father to send her to the U.S. to study. How did she do it? Well… rumors say she told him she would “go on strike” and fail all her classes if he did not do it. Not one Salma Hayek biography can cite the source of these comments but in the Inside The Actors Studio interview she confirms wanting to study abroad after her father didn’t let her go to Mexico City to train as a gymnast.

After two years in Catholic school in Louisiana, the God’s helpers, the nuns, expelled her for playing pranks on them. She went back to Mexico and finished high school. After that she was sent to Texas in the U.S. to live with her aunt.

The next chapter in the Salma Hayek biography shows a decisive move to pursue her dreams. Back in Mexico she enrolled in international relations studies at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. She dropped out of school to follow her dream of becoming an actress.

The Beginning

Salma Hayek confessed in an interview with Inside The Actors Studio that seeing the famous film “Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory” in 1971 sparked her desire to become an actress.

She started playing roles at neighborhood theaters. These roles led to jobs making television commercials, which led to a part in a popular daytime TV series in Mexico called Nuevo Amanecer.

Her big break in Mexico came when she played the title role of “Teresa,” a phenomenally famous soap opera that catapulted her to stardom. But Mexico was not enough for this small Hispanic woman who is only 5’2”. Sexy Salma Hayek left Teresa in 1989, and Mexico in 1991 at the top of her career to conquer Hollywood in what many people called “a crazy move.”

Any Salma Hayek biography that states her fame was an easy task is innacurate. In Los Angeles, she dedicated herself to improving her English and studied acting under famed coach Stella Adler. Salma Hayek soon found out that Hollywood was a tough place, more so for a Hispanic woman trying to make a career in acting.

By late 1993, her career was not impressive at all as she only had played very small parts. She appeared on Dream On in 1990, Nurses and Street Justice in 1991, and The Sinbad Show and a small line in the Allison Sanders film Mi Vida Loca in 1993. She didn’t know her life was about to change.

The Breakthrough

It is difficult to find one biography of Salma Hayek not crediting her first big discovery to a late-night Spanish-language talk show in 1992. That night the famous director Robert Rodriguez watched her on TV and was immediately taken by Salma’s intelligence, beauty and strong opinions about the struggles of being a Latino actress in Hollywood.

Robert Rodriguez asked her to star opposite Antonio Banderas in Desperado in 1995. After this film the sexy Salma Hayek was on the Hollywood map. The critics and moviegoers loved her.

Salma’s Love Life

In 1996, following Desperado’s success Robert Rodriguez gave her another role, now to star in From Dusk Till Dawn opposite to George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino. By the end of 1997 she appeared in Fools Rush In opposite to Matthew Perry, Breaking Up along Russell Crowe, and The Hunchback where she played “Esmeralda.”

In 1998 she starred alongside Mike Myers as “Anita Randazzo” in the movie 54, about the legendary NYC nightclub Studio 54. This same year Revlon approached the Salma Hayek to sign her as its spokesperson, an amazing offer she did not reject.

In 1999 she participated in Dogma as “Serendipity.” The same year, her production company –Ventanarosa, brought us El Coronel No Tiene Quien Le Escriba, based on the novel of Colombian Nobel Prize winner Gabriel García Márquez. This film was selected as Mexico’s official entry for best foreign film at the Cannes Film Festival.

The new millennium started on a positive note and the Salma Hayek biography was getting more impressive. She co-produced and starred in her dream movie “Frida,” released in 2002. The film portrayed the life of the acclaimed Mexican painter Frida Khalo who was married to the muralist Diego Rivera. Reviews about her role were phenomenal.

Frida won the German Golden Camera Award, and two U.S. Academy Awards -for makeup and musical creation, out of six nominations including best actress for Hayek. She also won a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture in the drama category, a nomination for a British Academy Award, and a Screen Actors Guild nomination.

Frida gave Salma Hayek the ability to show her real talent allowing her to transcend above her sex symbol status. Ironically, Hayek has admitted that while the movie Frida was a high point in her career, financially it was not a winning proposition for her.

In 2003 the sexy Salma Hayek worked again with Robert Rodriguez in “Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over” and the last film of his Mexican trilogy, “Once Upon a Time in Mexico.” Antonio Banderas and Salma received top billing and the film garnered big box-office returns.

When Showtime approached her to direct the movie “The Maldonado Miracle” she initially turned down the offer. Later on, she was awarded an Emmy as outstanding director for her work on this movie that was released in January 2003.

In 2004 Salma Hayek was one of the most photographed women, which caught the attention of multimillion dollar cosmetic brand Avon. Avon Foundation News reported in June 2004 that Salma was now its spokesperson against domestic violence. This human touch in her career was another great achievement to add to the Salma Hayek biography.

In 2004 she also played the love partner of Pierce Brosnan in the comedy “After The Sunset,” directed by Brett Ratner. This year she made a mark in Hollywood becoming the highest paid Latina, earning about $20 million per year in film contracts alone.

Salma directed a music video for Prince called Te Amo Corazón –I Love You Sweetheart. In a PRNewswire story released in December 2005 Prince said: “Salma is the most thoughtful, attentive director I have ever worked with. An absolute joy.”

In 2006 the Salma Hayek biography continued to include important achievements, especially after she became the executive producer of the American version of the popular Colombian novela (soap opera), Yo Soy Betty, La Fea –Ugly Betty.

The original Yo Soy Betty, La Fea soap opera captivated Hispanic audiences from 1999 to 2001. The new series aired in September 2006 on ABC, and won a Golden Globe in 2007 for Best Comedy or Musical Series as well as a Golden Globe, Emmy and Screen Actors Guild Award for best actress for
star America Ferrera.

Bandidas Poster  2006

Bandidas Poster

“Bandidas” was also a movie she co-stared with her very good friend Penelope Cruz. The movie drew poor reviews with some of them citing lack of creativity, and describing it as boring.

In 2007 Todd Robinson directed “Lonely Hearts,” a film where Salma plays the role of a partner in crime to a man-Raymond Fernandez played by Jared Leto-who meets single rich women through ads.  Also the same year, sexy Salma Hayek participated in the musical film “Across The Universe” directed by Julie Taymor. The cast includes notable entertainers such as Bono, Eddie Izzard and Diana Fuch.

Her love life is one aspect in the Salma Hayek biography that seems to draw a lot of attention.  In an interview with Cristina Saralegui in 2004 about the movie “Breaking Up,” Salma Hayek admits to not knowing if she will ever be arried. And… who says she has to be? As she mentioned in the interview, there are many choices and all of them good, therefore choosing has become a real difficult decision.

In 1999 sexy Salma Hayek started dating actor Edward Norton. Many in Hollywood were betting on the couple’s marriage. The couple split up in 2003 after a four-year relationship.

In 2003 she dated Josh Lucas until 2004. Salma is currently married to French businessman Francois-Henri Pinault. He is the CEO of the firm that owns Gucci and Yves Saint Lauren and his family fortune is estimated at $7 billion. He was previously married and has two children.

New York Daily News columnist Ben Widdicombe first reported that Salma Hayek and her fiancé Pinault were engaged and expecting their first child in March 2007. Salma Hayek gave birth to a baby girl, Valentina Paloma Pinault on Friday September 13, 2007. The hapiness didn’t last and the couple was divorced in July 2008.

This Salma Hayek biography is simply put, the fascinating story of a sex symbol and a smart business woman.

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