Salma Valgarma Hayek Jiménez was born in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Mexico, on September 2, 1966. Her father, Sami Hayek, was a wealthy businessman and her mother, Diana Jiménez, was an opera singer and a talent scout.
In 1989, she landed the title role in “Teresa”, a Mexican soap opera. This role catapulted her to fame in Mexico, but that was not enough for Salma. She wanted to make films and left the show and Mexico in 1991 to go to Los Angeles and chase her dream.
After being typecast and only landing small bit parts, Hayek voiced her frustrations on a late night talk show. Director, Robert Rodriguez saw the show and cast Salma Hayek in her break out role opposite Antonio Banderas in “Desperado”.
Salma Hayek has also been credited for her directing, producing, and singing work. She is currently an executive producer for the hit television show, “Ugly Betty”.
Since 1993, Salma Hayek has had roles in over 30 movies, including her role in “Wild Wild West” in which she was nominated for an American Latino Media Arts(ALMA) Award for Outstanding Actress in a Feature Film. She is currently filming the movie “Grown Ups”, in which she plays Adam Sandler’s wife. Chris Rock and Kevin James are also in the film, which will be released in 2010.
Salma Hayek is one of only three Latin American actresses to be nominated for a Best Actress Oscar, the other two nominees are Fernanda Montenegro and Catalina Sandino Moreno. She can also boast that she was the first Mexican nationalist to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress.
Hayek and François-Henri Pinault confirmed in March 2007 that they were expecting a child. She gave birth to her daughter, Valentina Paloma Pinault, in Los Angeles, California on September 21, 2007. In 2008, Hayek and Pinnault announced that they were no longer a couple. This separation did not last. They eventually reconciled and were married on February 14, 2009, in Paris.
Salma Hayek testified before the United States Senate Committee in July 2005, supporting the re authorization of the Violence Against Women Act. In 2006, she made a donation of 25,000 dollars to a battered women’s shelter in Coatzacoalcos, Mexico. She made another donation of 50,000 dollars to anti-domestic violence groups based in Monterey.
After her daughter was born, Salma Hayek became inspired to help mothers around the world. She joined forces with UNICEF and Pampers to help alleviate the spread of maternal and neonatal tetanus. She is also a strong supporter of the benefits of breastfeeding. During a trip to Sierra Leone, Hayek showed just how important this cause is to her, by breastfeeding a baby for a mother who could not produce breast milk to breastfeed the baby herself.
This dyslexic Mexican and American actress has beat the odds and made her dreams come true. To learn more about Salma Hayek’s current and future work, visit the IMDB.