Salma Hayek Pinault is a Mexican and American film actress and producer. She began her career in Mexico starring in the telenovela Teresa and starred in the film El Callejón de los Milagros for which she was nominated for an Ariel Award.
Early Life & Career
Salma Hayek Pinault, more commonly known as just Salma Hayek, was born Salma Valgarma Hayek Jiménez on September 2, 1966, in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Mexico. Her father, Sami Hayek Domínguez, is an oil company executive in Mexico and also the owner of an industrial-equipment firm. Additionally, he once ran for political office, for the position of mayor of Coatzacoalcos. He is Lebanese Mexican. Her mother, Diana Jiménez Medina, is an opera singer and talent scout. She is of Spanish descent. Hayek was raised along with her younger brother, Sami, in a wealthy and devout Roman Catholic family. When she was 12 years old, her family sent her to the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Grand Coteau, Louisiana. She later continued her education at the Universidad Iberoamericana, studying international relations.
When she was 23 years old, Hayek was cast as the lead in the Mexican telenovela "Teresa". Thanks to the telenovela, she became a star and household name in Mexico. She continued her popularity with a starring role in the film "El Callejón de los Milagros (Miracle Alley)" (1994). It is the most-awarded movie in the history of Mexican cinema, and Hayek was nominated for an Ariel Award.
In 1991, Hayek moved to Los Angeles, California, to study acting. Her teacher was the renowned acting coach Stella Adler. At the time, Hayek struggled with dyslexia, as well as limited English fluency. Her hard work paid off, and in 1995 Robert Rodriguez cast her as the lead in the film "Desperado", opposite Antonio Banderas. Her career in the United States began to pick up momentum, and she landed a small role in "From Dusk till Dawn" (1996) as a vampire queen. Although her role was brief, her performance was highly memorable thanks to an erotic table-top snake dance that she performed. Then, she starred opposite Matthew Perry in the romantic comedy "Fools Rush In" (1997), and co-starred with Will Smith in the film "Wild Wild West" (1999).
Other films Hayek has starred in include "In the Time of the Butterflies" (2001), "Once Upon a Time in Mexico" (2003), "Grown Ups" (2010), and "Grown Ups 2" (2013). She voiced the character Kitty Softpaws in the animated film "Puss in Boots" (2011), opposite Antonio Banderas.
Hayek founded her own film production company, Ventanarosa, around the year 2000. In April 2007, she became CEO of the company after negotiations with MGM, and then in May that year she signed a two-year deal with ABC, under which Ventanarosa would develop projects for the network. The first film she produced was "El Coronel No Tiene Quien Le Escriba" (1999). She has gone on to produce other projects like the Showtime movie "The Maldonado Miracle" (2003), which she also directed; the NBC television show "Ugly Betty", which aired from 2006 to 2010; and the film "Frida" (2002), which she co-produced and also starred in. Additionally, she has directed music videos for artists like Prince and Jada Pinkett Smith.
She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her acting in the film "Frida", and she won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing in a Children/Youth/Family Special for "The Maldonado Miracle".
Salma Hayek is a Mexican-born actress who has a net worth of $200 million dollars.