Real name: Salma Hayek-Jimenez
Birthdate: September 2, 1966
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Salma Hayek Jiménez (born September 2, 1966) is an Academy Award, Golden Globe and Emmy-nominated Mexican/American actress, Daytime Emmy-winning director, and an Emmy-nominated tv and film producer. Hayek has appeared in more than thirty films and performed as an actress outside of Hollywood in Mexico and Spain. Hayek's charitable work includes increasing awareness on violence against women and discrimination against immigrants.
Hayek was born in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Mexico, daughter of Sami Hayek, an oil company executive, and Diana Jiménez, an opera singer and talent scout. Hayek's paternal grandparents were of Lebanese descent and her mother´s family is of Spanish descent. Raised in a wealthy, devoutly Catholic family, she was sent to the Academy of the Sacred Heart, Grand Coteau, Louisiana, at the age of twelve. She was also an accomplished gymnast aspiring to compete in the Olympics but her father prevented her from being recruited by the Mexican national team. The religious sisters running the Academy ejected Hayek citing behavioral problems, so she returned to Mexico. She was later sent to live with her aunt in Houston, Texas, where she stayed until she was seventeen. She attended college in Mexico City, where she studied International Relations at the Universidad Iberoamericana. To the chagrin of her family, she dropped out to pursue a career as an actress.
Hayek followed her success in Desperado with a brief but memorable role as a vampire queen in From Dusk Till Dawn, where she provocatively danced on a table before killing Quentin Tarantino's character. 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, she had an uncredited acting part opposite Benicio del Toro in Traffic. Around this time Hayek founded 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.
She is developing and producing La Banda, a Spanish-language romantic comedy set in Mexico, written by Issa Lopez.
Hayek has been a spokesperson for Avon Products, Inc. since February 2004. She formerly served in the same function for Revlon in 1998. In 2001, she modeled for Chopard and was featured in 2006 Campari adverts as photographed by Mario Testino. On April 3rd of that year she helped introduce La Doña, a watch by Cartier inspired by fellow Mexican actress María Félix.
Hayek is a naturalized U.S. citizen. She dated actor Edward Norton between 1999 and 2003, and then Josh Lucas in 2003. She has homes in Los Angeles and Mexico and is best friends with Spanish actress Penelope Cruz. The two co-starred in the 2006 film Bandidas. Hayek studied at Ramtha's School of Enlightenment.