Salma Hayek Biography

Salma Hayek was born on September 2, 1966, and raised in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Mexico. Her religious parents -- father of Lebanese descent, mother of Spanish descent -- wanted to ensure that their daughter would be well educated, and sent her to a Louisiana boarding school when she was 12. Sent back home for being a prankster, Salma Hayek finished high school and was sent to Houston to live with her aunt until the age of 17.

salma hayek is teresa in mexico

Once a college student in Mexico City, majoring in international relations studies, Salma Hayek finally decided to drop out (to her parents' chagrin) to pursue her childhood dream of becoming an actress.

Salma Hayek started out doing local theater, including a role as the female lead in Aladdin and His Marvelous Lamp. Theater work led to commercials, which finally led to a part on a series called Un nuevo amanecer. Salma Hayek was considered a star in Mexico for her role as Teresa on the popular soap opera of the same name. This was, however, not enough for the ambitious beauty who had set her sights on Hollywood.

Salma Hayek moved to Los Angeles in 1991, a complete unknown in a city full of aspiring actors. Foreign to the English language, Salma Hayek spent the next 18 months taking English lessons, while honing her acting skills with drama teacher Stella Adler.

Although Salma Hayek spent four months auditioning for a lead role that finally went to another actress, the film's director, impressed by her determination, cast her in a smaller role in the same film (1993's Mi vida loca, aka My Crazy Life) so that she could become a member of the Screen Actors Guild.

salma hayek in desperado

Salma Hayek's big break finally arrived, and it was mostly thanks to her appearance on a Spanish-language cable talk show. Director Robert Rodriguez caught Salma Hayek's appearance and knew he had to cast her for the sequel to his successful film El Mariachi, 1995's Desperado, opposite Antonio Banderas.

Roles in 1995's Fair Game and 1996's Fled did not do the actress justice, but with Salma Hayek websites finding their home in cyberspace and roles pouring in, audiences were sure to take notice of this Mexican beauty.

In 1996, Salma Hayek appeared in Robert Rodriguez's From Dusk Till Dawn with George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino, and starred alongside Matthew Perry in the 1997 romantic comedy, Fools Rush In. That same year, Hayek charmed audiences with her role as Esmeralda in a TNT rendition of The Hunchback of Notre Dame simply called Hunchback.

Salma Hayek's film repertoire continued to expand, with a role as a cocaine-sniffing dancer in 54, based on the rise and fall of the popular '70s nightclub. She also starred opposite Jordana Brewster and Elijah Wood in 1998's teen slasher flick, The Faculty (also a Robert Rodriguez film), alongside Matt Damon and Ben Affleck in 1999's controversial Dogma, and opposite Kevin Kline and Will Smith in 1999's big budget disappointment, Wild Wild West.

salma hayek is frida kahlo

In 2000, Salma Hayek kept busy with roles in Timecode, Chain of Fools, and she had a brief uncredited appearance in the Oscar-winning Traffic. After a role in 2001's Hotel, Hayek starred in the made-for-TV movie In the Time of the Butterflies.

In the meantime, Salma was working on what would become her pet project, Frida. A biopic of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, the movie was released in 2002, featured Salma in the title role, and was also coproduced by Hayek. The role garnered Salma Best Actress nominations by the Academy Awards, BAFTA Awards and Golden Globe Awards. She took home Best Actress trophies at the Imagen Foundation Awards and the Golden Camera (Best International Actress).

salma hayek in desperado

In 2003, Salma Hayek appeared in Rodriguez's Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over, as well as the sequel to Desperado, Once Upon a Time in Mexico.

In addition to her movies and accolades, Salma Hayek made headlines thanks to a four-year romance with Edward Norton (he appeared in Frida, and even wrote the final script). She has also been romantically linked with former fiance Richard Crenna, Jr. and actor Edward Atterton.

salma hayek in after the sunset

In 2004, Salma Hayek added the movies After the Sunset, the animated film Sian Ka'an (for which she lends her voice), Paint, and Murphy's Law to her resume. She also also starred in 2005's Ask the Dust with Colin Farrell and Val Kilmer.

salma hayek and ugly betty

Salma Hayek added more television work to her resume in 2006, as she became the executive producer of the Golden Globe-winning Ugly Betty, and she even costarred on the show.

2006 also marked the year that she appeared in the film Bandidas with her best friend, Penelope Cruz. And she was cast in the 2007 films Keep Coming Back and Across the Universe.

salma hayek is named no. 52 in 2008 top 99

In November 2007, Salma Hayek gave birth to her first daughter, Valentina. Only a couple of months later, AM readers cast tons of votes for her so that she landed in the No. 52 position on our Top 99 Most Desirable Women of 2008 list, From acting to producing to being a mom, Salma is H-O-T. We knew our readers would be smart enough to cast tons of votes for her so she'd be on our Top 99 of 2008 list.

salma hayek marries francois-henri pinault

Salma Hayek was officially taken off the market when she said "Oui" to her French billionaire fiance and the father of her child, Francois-Henri Pinault, at a private ceremony held on February 14, 2009. Owner of such well-known brands as Balenciago and GUCCI, Pinault is one of the richest men in France.

salma hayek in cirque du freak

Always looking to expand her film repertoire, Salma Hayek has also just completed filming a rather unique film, Cirque du Freak, in which she plays Madame Truska, the bearded lady. We're quite sure that even with facial hair that reaches her knees, Salma Hayek will still be a knockout and steal the spotlight from her female costars, Jane Krakowski and Kristen Schaal.