Salma Hayek

     
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Real Name: Salma Hayek Jimenez
Birthday: September 2, 1966
Birth Place: Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Mexico

 

A celebrity in her native Mexico, Salma Hayek immigrated in 1991 to Los Angeles where she tried her hand in the world of Hollywood. Lessons in English and acting paid off in 1995 when she heated up relations with Antonio Banderas in Robert Rodriguez's drama "Desperado". 

Salma Hayek found gold with a Baldwin brother in both "Fair Game" with Cindy Crawford, and "Fled". She then made a zombie sex slave out of George Clooney in "From Dusk 'Til Dawn". 

In 1997, Salma was hired for her first lead role, playing opposite Friends star Matthew Perry in the romantic comedy "Fools Rush In", where after a one night stand with, she realizes that she is pregnant and decides to get married. 

The daughter of a Lebanese father and a Spanish mother, Salma Hayek was born and raised in Coatzacoalcos, Mexico. Determined to see that she became well educated, her Catholic parents sent her to a boarding school in Louisiana when she was twelve years old. Returning to Mexico, she moved to Mexico City to attend college where she studied international relations. 

In spite of objections from her family, Salma quit college and started her acting career. Months of stage work led to roles in television commercials, which then led to a role in "Nuevo Amanecer", a popular Mexican daytime television show. She was then cast as the lead character of a second show titled "Teresa", and it made its young star the most admired actress in Mexico.


Salma then set her focus on Hollywood, and moved back to L.A. in 1991. Her first big break came in 1993, when she took a leading role in Allison Anders's "Mi Vida Loca". Anders eventually cast another actress for the part, but her drive so impressed the director that she gave her a smaller role in the film for the purpose of  the young actress to qualify for membership in the Screen Actors Guild.

Other small roles followed, mostly on television, but it was an appearance on a Spanish-language cable access talk show that led to her big breakthrough. Mexican American director Robert Rodriguez happened to see her talk show and wasted no time finding her, and soon got her to take the female lead in his blockbuster, "Desperado", about a gunslinger embroiled in a war with a local drug runner and starring Antonio Banderas. 

"Desperado" gained her huge amounts of media attention and reviews for her performance. Next up were "Fair Game" and "Fled", and in 1997 the romantic "Fools Rush In" and TNT's "The Hunchback of Notre Dame", in which she played Esmerelda to Mandy Patinkin's Quasimodo.


Hayek followed with an appearance next to Will Smith, Bai Ling and Kevin Kline in "Wild Wild West", and co-starred with Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and  Chris Rock in Kevin Smith's "Dogma", about an abortion clinic worker with a special heritage who is called upon to save the existence of humanity from being negated by two renegade angels trying to exploit a loophole and re-enter Heaven.. 

Through her "Ventanarosa" production company, Hayek produced "The Velocity of Gary", a romantic comedy which partnered her with Ethan Hawke and Vincent D'Onofrio, and another of her productions, "No One Writes to the Colonel", was first previewed at the Cannes Film Festival. 

Hayek then filmed "Frida", again working with Antonio Banderas, where she portrayed painter Frida Kahlo.  

Also in 2003, Salma appeared next to Banderas again in the thriller "Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over", with George Clooney, about a girl getting caught in a virtual reality game designed by the Kids' new nemesis, the Toy Maker (Sylvester Stallone), and it's up to her brother to save his sister, and ultimately the world.

Next was "Once Upon A Time In Mexico" with Johnny Depp and Eva Mendes, where hit man "El Mariachi" becomes involved in international espionage involving a psychotic CIA agent and a corrupt Mexican general. 

Another hit in 2003 was "Lonely Hearts" starring John Travolta, James Gandolfini and Jared Leto. Based on the true story, of two homicide detectives tracking Martha Beck and Raymond Martinez Fernandez, a murderous pair known as the "Lonely Hearts Killers" who lured their victims through the personals.

Hayek also made several appearances in the hit television show "Ugly Betty" while working on several films for the 2007-2008 season. These included "Beverly Hills Chihuahua", an animated movie starring the voices of Drew Barrymore, Jamie Lee Curtis and George Lopez about Chloe, a ritzy Beverly Hills Chihuahua, who finds herself lost while on vacation to Mexico, and in need of assistance in order to get back home. Next was "Keep Coming Back" with Steve Buscemi about a good teenager with a bad heart condition and a crush on a stripper twice his age who opts to join her Alcoholics Anonymous group just so he can be in the same room with her.

Salma Hayek was now a hot item in Hollywood, and a celebrity that everybody wanted more of.

During the 2008-2009 season of "30 Rock", Hayek appeared in several episodes as Alec Baldwin's love interest, much to Tina Fey's objections. On a more personal note, she is romantically involved with actor Ed Norton.

In 2011, Hayek lent her voice to Kitty Softpaws in the animate adventure comedy “Puss In Boots”. Starring alongside her good friend Antonio Banderas, Zach Galifianakis, and Billy Bob Thornton, she helped tell the story about the events leading up to the sword fighting cat's meeting with Shrek and his friends.

In 2012 she again lent her voice to an animated movie in the role of Cutlass Liz for “The Pirates! Band of Misfits” also starring Hugh Grant and Jeremy Piven, The movie tells the story of a Pirate Captain who sets out on a mission to defeat his rivals Black Bellamy and Cutlass Liz for the Pirate of the year Award. The quest takes Captain and his crew from the shores of Blood Island to the foggy streets of Victorian London.

Also in 2012, Hayek was cast in the crime thriller “Savages” with John Travolta, Uma Thurman, and Blake Lively in the tale of two marijuana growers face off against the Mexican drug cartel who kidnapped their shared girlfriend. Hayek wrapped 2012 in the comedy “Here Comes The Boom” with Kevin James and Henry Winkler, about a high school biology teacher who moonlights as a mixed-martial arts fighter in an effort to raise money to save the school's music program.

 

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