Salma Valgarma Hayek Jiménez-Pinault (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈsalma ˈxaʝek]; born September 2, 1966) is a Mexican actress, director and producer. She is one of the most prominent Mexican figures in Hollywood. She received a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her role as Frida Kahlo in the movie Frida.
Hayek was born in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Mexico, 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 of Lebanese descent, while her mother is of Spanish descent. Her first given name, Salma, is Arabic for "safe". Raised in a wealthy, devoutly Roman Catholic family, she was sent to the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Grand Coteau, Louisiana, at the age of twelve
While there, she was diagnosed with dyslexia. She attended college in Mexico City, where she studied International Relations at the Universidad Iberoamericana.
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 Angeles, California 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 and then wife Elizabeth Avellan soon gave Hayek a starring role opposite Antonio Banderas in 1995's Desperado.
Hayek had a starring part opposite Matthew Perry in the 1997 romantic comedy Fools Rush In. She followed her role in Desperado with a brief 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.
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.
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, photographed by Mario Testino. On April 3, 2009, 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.
Hayek is a naturalized United States citizen. She dated actor Edward Norton between 1999 and 2003, and then Josh Lucas in 2003. Hayek studied at Ramtha's School of Enlightenment,and is a practitioner of yoga. 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 her engagement to French billionaire and PPR CEO François-Henri Pinault as well as her pregnancy. On September 21, 2007, she gave birth to daughter Valentina Paloma Pinault at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. 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 Paris. On April 25, 2009, they were married a second time in Venice.
In July 2011, Hayek's husband was named in a paternity case. According to reports, Pinault is the father of supermodel Linda Evangelista's four-year-old son, Augustin James. He denied all allegations.