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Salma Valgarma Hayek Jiménez (born September 2, 1966) is a Mexicanmarker actress, director, and television and film producer. Hayek's charitable work includes increasing awareness on violence against women and discrimination against immigrants.

Hayek is the first Mexican national to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress. She is one of the most prominent Mexican figures in Hollywood since silent film actress Dolores del Río. She is also, after Fernanda Montenegro, the second of three Latin American actresses (the other being Catalina Sandino Moreno) to achieve a Best Actress Oscar nomination.

In July 2007, The Hollywood Reporter ranked Hayek fourth in their inaugural Latino Power 50, a list of the most powerful members of the Hollywood Latino community. That same month, a poll found Hayek to be the "sexiest celebrity" out of a field of 3,000 celebrities (male and female); according to the poll, "65 percent of the U.S. population would use the term 'sexy' to describe her". In December 2008, Entertainment Weekly ranked Hayek number 17 in their list of the "25 Smartest People in TV."

Early life

Hayek was born in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruzmarker, Mexicomarker, the daughter of Diana Jiménez Medina, an opera singer and talent scout, and Sami Hayek Dominguez, an oil company executive who once ran for mayor of Coatzacoalcos. Hayek's father is a Mexican of Lebanese descent who emigrated to Mexico Citymarker, while her mother is Mexican and of Spanish descent. Her first given name, Salma, is Arabic for "safe". Raised in a wealthy, devoutly Catholic family, she was sent to the Academy of the Sacred Heart, Grand Coteaumarker, Louisianamarker, at the age of twelve. While there, she was diagnosed with dyslexia. She was also an accomplished gymnast aspiring to compete in the Olympics, but her father prevented her from being recruited by the Mexican national team. The religious sisters running the Academy ejected Hayek, citing behavioral problems, so she returned to Mexico. She was later sent to live with her aunt in Houstonmarker, Texasmarker, where she stayed until she was 17 years old. She attended college in Mexico City, where she studied International Relations at the Universidad Iberoamericanamarker. To the surprise of her family, she dropped out to pursue a career as an actress.



At the age of 23, Hayek landed the title role in Teresa (1989), a successful Mexican telenovela that made her a star in Mexico. In 1994, Hayek starred in the film El Callejón de los Milagros (Miracle Alley), which has won more awards than any other movie in the history of Mexican cinema. For her performance, Hayek was nominated for an Ariel Award.

Early Hollywood acting work

Hayek moved to Los Angelesmarker, Californiamarker in 1991 to study acting under Stella Adler. She had limited fluency in English, which was attributed to her suffering from dyslexia. Robert Rodriguez and his producer wife Elizabeth Avellan soon gave Hayek the break she needed, a starring role opposite Antonio Banderas in 1995's Desperado. The movie caught Hollywood's attention, as moviegoers proved to be dazzled by Hayek as Rodriguez had been. Due to Hayek's loyalty to the director, she would later decline playing the role Catherine Zeta-Jones eventually took in The Mask of Zorro after Rodriguez abandoned the project. She also appeared in the Spy Kids trilogy.

Hayek had a starring part opposite Matthew Perry in the romantic comedy Fools Rush In. She followed her success in Desperado with a brief but memorable role as a vampire queen in From Dusk Till Dawn, in which she performed a table-top snake dance. In 1999, she co-starred in Will Smith's big-budget Wild Wild West, and played a supporting role in Kevin Smith's Dogma. In 2000, Hayek had an uncredited acting part opposite Benicio del Toro in Traffic. In 2003, she reprised her role from Desperado by appearing in Once Upon a Time in Mexico, the final film of the Mariachi Trilogy.

Later Hollywood work: Director, producer and actress

Around 2000, Hayek founded film production company Ventanarosa, through which she produces film and television projects. Her first feature as a producer was 1999's El Coronel No Tiene Quien Le Escriba, Mexico's official selection for submission for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars.

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 was directed by Julie Taymor and featured an entourage of stars in supporting and minor roles (Valeria Golino, Ashley Judd, Edward Norton, Geoffrey Rush) and cameos (Antonio Banderas). The film also marked Hayek's first on screen nude scenes. She earned a Best Actress Academy Award nomination for her performance. This made Hayek, along with Katy Jurado and Adriana Barraza, one of only three Mexican actresses to have been nominated for an Academy Award. The film earned two Oscars.

"In the Time of the Butterflies," is a 2001 feature film based on the Julia Álvarez book of the same name, covering the lives of the Mirabal sisters.

In the movie, Salma Hayek plays one of the sisters, Minerva, and Edward James Olmos plays the Dominican dictator Rafael Leónidas Trujillo whom the sisters opposed. Marc Anthony plays a brief role as Minerva's first love, and as the motivation for her later revolutionary activities.

In 2003, Hayek 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. In December 2005, she directed a music video for Prince, titled "Te Amo Corazon" ("I love you, sweetheart") that featured her good friend Mia Maestro.

Hayek is an executive producer of Ugly Betty, a 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 Colombianmarker telenovela Yo Soy Betty La Fea in 2001. Originally intended as a half hour sitcom for NBC in 2004, the project would later be picked up by ABC for the 2006–2007 season with Silvio Horta also producing. 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 resulted in a nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series at the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards.

In April 2007, Hayek finalized negotiations with MGM to become the CEO of her own Latin themed film production company, Ventanarosa. The following month she signed a two year deal with ABC to develop projects for the network through her production company, Ventanarosa.

Hayek is developing and producing La Banda, a Spanish-language romantic comedy set in Mexico, written by Issa Lopez.

Hayek recently had a guest stint on 30 Rock as Elisa, the nurse for Jack Donaghy's mother, for whom Jack falls.

Hayek will star as the wife of Adam Sandler in Grown Ups, which also co-stars Chris Rock and Kevin James.

Singing credits

Hayek has 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. She also contributed to Happiness is a Warm Gun in "Across the Universe" as the singing nurses.

Promotional work

Hayek has been a spokesperson for Avon cosmetics since February 2004. She formerly acted as spokesperson for Revlon in 1998. In 2001, she modeled for Chopard and was featured in 2006 Campari adverts as photographed by Mario Testino. On April 3, she helped introduce La Doña, a watch by Cartier inspired by fellow Mexican actress María Félix.

Hayek was also featured in a series of Spanish language commercials for Lincoln cars. Consequently, sales of the Lincoln Navigator among Hispanics increased by twelve percentage points.

In Art

In spring 2006, The Blue Star Contemporary Art Center in San Antoniomarker, Texasmarker displayed 16 portrait paintings by muralist George Yepes and filmmaker Rodriguez of Hayek as Aztec goddess Itzapapalotl.

Personal life

Hayek is a naturalized U.S. citizen. She dated actor Edward Norton between 1999 and 2003, and then Josh Lucas in 2003. She is a good friend of Spanish actress Penélope Cruz and co-starred with her in the 2006 film Bandidas. Hayek studied at Ramtha's School of Enlightenment. Her brother, Sami Hayek, is a designer with his own line of products at Target and clients that include Louis Vuitton, Brad Pitt, and the Mexican Government.

On March 9, 2007, Hayek confirmed she was expecting her first child with PPR CEO François-Henri Pinault. On September 21, 2007, she gave birth to daughter Valentina Paloma Pinault at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angelesmarker, Californiamarker. On July 18, 2008, Hayek and Pinault announced the end of their engagement. They later reconciled and were married on Valentine's Day, 2009 in Parismarker. On April 25, 2009, they were married a second time in Venicemarker.


On July 19, 2005, Hayek testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary supporting reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. In February 2006, she donated $25,000 to a Coatzacoalcos, Mexico, shelter for battered women and another $50,000 to Monterreymarker based anti-domestic violence groups.

Since the birth of her daughter, Hayek has worked to help mothers in developing nations worldwide, teaming up with Pampers and UNICEF to help stop the spread of life-threatening maternal and neonatal tetanus. She is a global spokesperson for the Pampers/UNICEF partnership 1 Pack = 1 Vaccine to help raise awareness of the program.

Hayek also advocates breastfeeding, because of its benefits, including building stronger infant immune systems. During a UNICEF fact-finding trip to Sierra Leonemarker, she breastfed a hungry week-old baby whose mother could not produce milk.


  • Recipient of Glamour magazine Woman of the Year Award in October 2001.
  • Recipient of Producers Guild of America Celebration of Diversity Award in 2003.
  • Recipient of Harvardmarker Foundation Artist of the Year Award in February 2006.
  • Recipient of Time Magazine 25 Most Influential Hispanics in 2005.



Year Film Role Notes
1993 Mi Vida Loca Gata
1994 El Callejón de los Milagros Alma (Miracle Alley) Spanish-language
Nominated — Ariel for Best Actress
1995 Desperado Carolina Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress
Fair Game Rita
1996 From Dusk Till Dawn Santanico Pandemonium
Follow Me Home Betty
Fled Cora
1997 Fools Rush In Isabel Fuentes Nominated — Outstanding Actress in a Feature Film
Breaking Up Monica Direct-to-video release.
Sistole Diastole Carmelita
The Hunchback Esmeralda
1998 54 Anita Nominated — Outstanding Actress in a Feature Film
The Velocity of Gary Mary Carmen Producer; direct-to-video release.
The Faculty Nurse Harper
1999 Dogma Serendipity
El Coronel No Tiene Quien Le Escriba Julia (No One Writes to the Colonel)
Producer; Spanish-language.
Wild Wild West Rita Escobar Nominated — Outstanding Actress in a Feature Film
2000 Timecode Rose
La Gran Vida Lola (Living it Up) Spanish-language
Chain of Fools Sgt. Meredith Kolko Direct-to-video release.
Traffic Rosario uncredited
2001 Hotel Charlee Boux
In the Time of the Butterflies Minerva Mirabel
2002 Frida Frida Kahlo Producer
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actress
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Nominated — Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

2003 Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over Francesca Giggles
Once Upon a Time in Mexico Carolina
V-Day: Until the Violence Stops herself
2004 After the Sunset Lola Cirillo
2005 Sian Ka'an Maria (voice)
2006 Ask the Dust Camilla Lopez
Bandidas Sara Sandoval
2007 Lonely Hearts Martha Beck
Across the Universe Bang Bang Shoot Shoot Nurses
2008 Beverly Hills Chihuahua Foxy (voice)
2009 Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant Madame Truska
2010 Grown Ups (filming)


Year Title Role Notes
1988 Un Nuevo Amanecer Spanish-language telenovela
1989 Teresa Teresa Spanish-language telenovela
1993 The Sinbad Show recurring character
1994 Roadracers Donna
El Vuelo del Águila Juana Cata Spanish-language telenovela
1997 The Hunchback Esmeralda Nominated — ALMA Award for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Made-for-Television Movie or Mini-Series in a Crossover Role
1999 Action Herself guest star
2001 In the Time of the Butterflies Minerva Mirabal Producer; feature
Nominated — ALMA Award for Outstanding Actor/Actress in a Made for Television Movie or Miniseries
Nominated — Broadcast Film Critics Association for Best Actress in a Picture Made for Television

2003 The Maldonado Miracle Feature; producer, director. Emmy for Outstanding Directing in a Children/Youth/Family Special.
Saturday Night Live Guest Host March 15
2006 Ugly Betty Sofia Reyes Producer and guest star
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress – Comedy Series — 2007
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series — 2007
Nominated — Producers Guild of America Television Producer of the Year Award

2009 30 Rock Elisa guest star
2011 Seven Friends of Pancho Villa and the Woman with Six Fingers TBA pre-production

Event appearances


  1. ""
  2. Love, Bret (March 2003). "The Beautiful Mind of Salma Hayek". Razor Magazine, p. 48.
  4. Drawn From Life
  5. The market report.(women''s perfumes)(Statistical Data Included) - Journal, Magazine, Article, Periodical
  6. Salma Hayek, Pinault cancel engagement
  7. François-Henri Pinault et Salma Hayek se sont mariés -, February 16, 2009
  8. Star-Ledger article on remarriage in Venice
  9. Celebration of Diversity - The Producers Guild of America

External links

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