Ms. Salma Valgarma Hayek Jimenez de Pinault was born in 1966 in Coatzacoalcos, Venacruz, Mexico. Hayek was introduced to the entertainment industry at an early age due to her mother, Diana Jimenez Medina, being an opera singer and talent scout. However, it wasn’t until after her attendance at Universidad Iberoamericana that she chose to seriously pursue acting.
Fame came to her in Mexico at the age of 23 when she landed the titular role in a Mexican telenovela entitled Teresa. She stayed on the show for two years, from 1989-1991. She also starred in the film, “El Callejon de los Milagros” (translated to “Miracle Alley”) which has been cited as the most successful film in the history of Mexican cinema due to the amount of awards it has received.
Despite her fame in Mexico, Hayek dreamed of bigger things and went on to Los Angeles to pursue an American film career. To her disappointment, most studios at that time were cast-typing Latinos into bit roles. Then in 1992 she caught the attention of Rober Rodriguez and Elizabeth Avellan. The pair cast Hayek in the lead role starring opposite of Antonio Banderas in the second film in the El Marachi trilogy, Desperado as Carolina. She was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress, and she reprised this role in 2003 for the last installment of the trilogy, Once Upon a Time in Mexico.
Hayek had a few other roles in the 1990s including but not limited to Fools Rush In, The Faculty and Wild Wild West, the latter in which she received a Blockbuster Entertainment Award for “Favorite Supporting Actress – Action” and a nomination for an ALMA award for “Outstanding Acress in a Feature Film.”
In the year 2000, Hayek founded her own production company under the handle Ventanarosa. She was successful on the production side, and the first feature she produced in 1999 El Coronel No Tiene Quien Le Escriba was her home country’s official selection for submission for “Best Foreign Film” at the Oscars that year.
In 2002, Hayek co-produced and starred in a film called Frida. Frida was considered a cinematic success and received several awards and nominations, including an Imagen Award win for Hayek as “Best Actress – Film”, a Golden Camera Award win for “Best International Actress” and nominations for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and a Screen Actors Guild Award for similar categories.
In the following year, Hayek not only produced but directed the television movie The Maldonado Miracle. This film earned Hayek an Emmy for “Outstanding Directing in a Children/Youth/Family Special.”
On the acting side of things in the 2000s, Hayek also appeared in films such as Traffic (2000), In the Time of the Butterflies (2001), After the Sunset (2004), Across the Universe (2007), Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant (2009) and Grown Ups (2010). Hayek also has worked in the television field.
Most notably, Hayek is credited for adapting the Colombian telenovela Yo Soy Betty La Fear into the ABC hit, Ugly Betty, alongside Ben Silverman. Hayek served as an executive producer for the show when it first aired in 2006 and through 2007, also appearing as a guest star in some of the episodes. The show received a Golden Globe Award for “Best Comedy Series” in the year 2007 . The show also received 11 nominations for the Emmy Awards in 2007. Among these included a nomination for “Outstanding Comedy Series” and “Outstanding Guest Actress” for Hayek herself. Hayek was also nominated for a Producers Guild of America Television award for “Producer of the Year.”
Outside of her acting and producing career, Hayek has served as a spokesperson for Avon cosmetics since 2004. Then Hayek launched her own cosmetics line called NUANCE by Salma Hayek. These products will be available nationwide at CVS pharmacies. Out of curiosity I bought a few of her products and thus far I love the NUANCE eye serum.
Hayek is dedicated to bringing awareness on violence against women and discrimination against immigrants. She donates money to various shelters and causes based around anti-domestic violence. She also serves as a board member of V-Day, a non-profit charity designed to raise money to benefit female victims of violence. Hayek has received Glamour magazine’s Woman of the Year Award in 2001, the Producers Guild of America Celebration of Diversity Award in 2003, the Harvard Foundation Artist of the Year Award in 2006 and most importantly, a place on Time magazine’s 25 Most Influential Hispanics list in 2005. Then she received the Women in Film Lucy Award in 2008 in recognition of her excellence and innovation.
Hayek will next appear by providing her voice for the Dreamworks animated feature, Puss in Boots, coming out on November 4th.