Salma Hayek Jiménez (born September 2, 1968) 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.
Early life and career in Mexico
Hayek was born in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Mexico to a Lebanese
father and a Mexican mother of Spanish descent. 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, which has won more awards than
any other movie in the history of Mexican Cinema.
Career in Hollywood
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 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
Frida, co-produced by Hayek, was released in 2002. Starring Hayek
as Frida Kahlo, and Alfred Molina as 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.
In 2003 she reprised her role from Desperado by appearing in the
final film of the Mariachi Trilogy, Once Upon a Time in Mexico.
In December 2005 she directed a music video for Prince, titled
"Te Amo Corazon" ("I love you, sweetheart").
Hayek dated fellow actor Edward Norton for four years, between 1999
and 2003, and then Josh Lucas from 2003 until 2004. Concerning marriage
Hayek has said, "Women have been taught that in order to have
a place in the world, an identity, they must marry and have children.
If that's the life you truly want, great. But for many women, marriage
is only about needing the world to know that someone desires them
enough to say, 'Here's a contract to prove that I love you and will
commit to you for the rest of my life.' For these women, no contract
equals no validation - and, thus, no reason for existing."
Currently Hayek is single and has homes in Los Angeles and Mexico.
Hayek is now fluent in English, Spanish, Arabic, and Portuguese.
Recently, she has developed an interest in Spiritual affairs. In
2005 she attended the Ramtha School of Enlightment.
Lonely Hearts (2006)
Ask the Dust (2006)
Sian Ka'an (voice) (2006)
After the Sunset (2004)
The Maldonado Miracle (2003) (Director)
Once Upon A Time In Mexico (2003)
Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (2003)
In the Time of the Butterflies (2001)
La Gran Vida (2000)
Chain Of Fools (2000)
Wild Wild West (1999)
El Coronel No Tiene Quien le Escriba (No One Writes to the Colonel,
The Faculty (1998)
The Velocity Of Gary (1998)
Sistole Diastole (1997)
Breaking Up (1997)
The Hunchback (TV) (1997)
Fools Rush In (1997)
Follow Me Home (1996)
From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
Fair Game (1995)
El Callejón de los Milagros (Midaq Alley, 1995)
Roadracers (TV) (1994)
The Sinbad Show (series) (1993)
Mi Vida Loca (1993)
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