"I have gotten a lot more attention than other women that I find incredibly beautiful. And this has happened to me ever since I was a girl, when I was flat, had no teeth, was skinny and small as I could be. I always got more attention than anyone else. If I hadn't, I would have made sure I did." Salma Hayek.
Academy Award nominated actress Salma Hayek became Hollywood luminary being cast as Carolina opposite Antonio Banderas in Desperado (1995). Hayek, former soap opera pin-up girl in Mexico, is also best known for playing the title role in Frida (2002).
A dark-eyed Mexican beauty measuring in at 36C-25-37, Hayek was listed in People's Best-Dressed Celebrity (2003) and People's 50 Most Beautiful People (1996 and 2003). Off-screen, she has been linked to several Hollywood names such as actor Edward Norton (born on August 19, 1969), The Hunchback fellow actor Edward Atterton, and actor Richard Crenna Jr. (born in 1962). She recently split from one-year boyfriend, actor Josh Lucas (Hulk, Sweet Home Alabama). On her ideal man Hayek said, "I keep waiting to meet a man who has more balls than I do."
Childhood and Family:
Daughter of Lebanese descendant father Sami Hayek Domingues (businessman) and Spanish descent mother Diana Hayek (opera singer and talent scout), Salma Hayek Jiminez was born on September 2, 1966. Born in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Mexico, into a religious family, Salma was sent to Louisiana to Catholic boarding school when she was 12 years old.
Salma, an Arabic derivation that means 'peace' or 'calm', enjoyed playing pranks on school preachers and was finally sent back home. Her parents moved her out of the home again to her aunt's home in Houston, Texas. Hayek spent her adolescent years with her aunt until she reached 17. She then moved to Mexico City to study International Relations at the National University of Mexico, but later dropped out to pursue acting.
Hoping for Classic
"At the beginning [my career] was hard. People were like, 'Who is this Mexican jumping bean?'" Salma Hayek
Hayek Initially performed in local theater with lead roles in such productions like Aladdin and His Marvelous Lamp. After landing in several commercials, she finally debuted in Mexico's TV series Un nuevo amanecer. The role scored her the title role in the huge hit soap opera Teresa (1989), which established her as a Mexico celebrity. In 1991, she risked her status by moving in Los Angeles to pursue broader recognition.
For almost two years Hayek spent her time learning English and polishing her acting skills with acting tutor Stella Adler. Realizing that Latin actresses were often cast as tempting maids or prostitutes, she received roles in Street Justice (1991), The Sinbad Show, Nurses (1991) and in HBO's Dream On (1990). However, she achieved her first break gaining a Screen Actors Guild card for her small role in Allison Anders' Spanish-language-film Mi Vida Loca (1993, a.k.a My Crazy Love).
Her longing to be a Hollywood actress came true when Robert Rodriguez cast her to work with Antonio Banderas in Desperado (1995). She continued to star in another Rodriguez's film, alongside George Clooney, in From Dusk Till Dawn (1996) and played a role in forgetful films like Fair Game (1995) and Fled (1996). Hayek was credited to several films including Fools Rush In (1997, opposite Matthew Perry), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1997, playing Esmeralda), Breaking Up (1997, with Russell Crowe) and 54 (1998). She also added other films to her resume with The Faculty (1998, worked with Elijah Wood), Dogma (1999, costarring Matt Damon), Wild Wild West (1999, alongside Will Smith), Timecode (2000), Chain of Fools, Hotel (2001) and In The Time of Butterflies (2001, TV).
Serious recognition came in 2002 when she was cast as Mexican painter Frida Kahlo in the film Frida. Also co-producer of the film, Hayek was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress, as well as BAFTA Awards and Golden Globe Awards.
Following the runaway success of Desperado and Frida, Hayek starred in Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003) and in Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (2003). She also teamed with Pierce Brosnan in After The Sunset (2004), and with Collin Farrell in Ask The Dust (2005), then lent her voice to the animated film Sian Ka'an (2005). Currently, she is starring in Bandidas, where she shares the screen with best friend Penelope Cruz.
"I aim for a lifetime full of movies. I want to work for a long, long time...and if I am very lucky and blessed, maybe somewhere along the line there will be one movie in there that becomes a classic." Salma Hayek.