Salma Hayek is a Mexican-American actress, director, and producer born on September 2, 1966. Her debut role as an actor was in the Mexican soap “Teresa.” After moving to Hollywood, she became one of the first Latina actresses to have a successful film career in the U.S. around the turn of the century. Like wine, Hayek only seems to be getting better with each passing year. Join us in the celebration as the superstar turns a year older.
Salma Valgarma Hayek Jiménez, better known by her married name, Salma Hayek Pinault, is a Mexican-American actress born to Spanish and Lebanese parents. She belongs to an affluent Mexican Roman Catholic household. Hayek was born on September 2, 1966, in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Mexico, to opera singer Diana Jiménez Medina and businessman Sami Hayek Dominguez. She moved to the U.S. at 12 to study at the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Louisiana. She was inspired to become an actress as a child after watching “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.” After attending Mexico City’s Universidad Iberoamericana, she felt ready to enter the world of film.
Hayek rose to fame in Mexico after landing the titular character in the Mexican telenovela “Teresa” in 1989. She then went to Los Angeles, California, to pursue acting at Stella Adler. She played only brief parts like that of a hot maid on “Dream On,” “Street Justice,” and “Nurses” in the late 1990s. In 1993, she featured in “The Sinbad Show” and had only a one-line speaking role in “Mi Vida Loca.” In the 1995 film “Desperado,” she starred alongside Antonio Banderas and performed the song “Quedate Aqui.” In the years after, she appeared in Matthew Perry’s “Fools Rush In” (1997), Will Smith’s “Wild Wild West” (1999), and Kevin Smith’s “Dogma” (1999). Seasons back, she earned an ALMA award for best actress in a small creative film and starred in the summer blockbuster “Wild Wild West.” Her production firm Ventanarosa produced the Mexican feature film “No One Writes to the Colonel” (1999), which was selected as Mexico’s official Oscar entry for the best foreign film at the Cannes Film Festival.
The new century began eventfully enough as she prepared to produce and star in her dream role of “Frida” in 2002, the iconic Mexican painter whose narrative she had hoped to be in since arriving in Hollywood. In 2003, she starred in “Once Upon a Time in Mexico,” reprising her part in “Desperado.” In March 2007, she announced her pregnancy and confirmed her engagement to French billionaire François-Henri Pinault. Valentina Paloma Pinault, her daughter, was born in September. From 2006 until 2010, Hayek served as executive producer of the television show “Ugly Betty.” She also made a special appearance as Sofia Reyes, for which she was nominated at the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards. “Grown Ups” (2010), in which she co-starred with Adam Sandler, showcased her humorous acting abilities. In 2011, she appeared in the animated film “Puss in Boots.” Hayek starred in the action thriller “Everly” in 2014 and the romantic comedy “Some Kind of Beautiful” in the same year. She played the Queen of Longtrellis in the European dark fantasy film “Tale of Tales” in 2015. Hayek worked in three films in 2017, one of them being “Beatriz at Dinner,” for which she was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead. Then, she was cast in “How to Be a Latin Lover” and “The Hitman’s Bodyguard,” followed by “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” in 2021. Most recently, she starred as “Ajak” in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film “Eternals” (2021), which became her highest-grossing live-action feature.
Hayek gets her first taste of stardom when she is cast in the iconic Mexican soap opera "Teresa."
Her first film as a producer, "El Coronel No Tiene Quien Le Escriba," becomes Mexico's official entry for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars.
She receives the "Woman of the Year” award from "Glamour" magazine.
In the film "Frida," Hayek co-produces and performs the traditional Mexican ballad "La Bruja," earning her an Academy Award nod for "Best Actress."
She wins a Daytime Emmy Award for her work on "The Maldonado Miracle."
The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce awards Hayek with the 2,709th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on November 19, 2021
Why We Love Salma Hayek
She works for a cause
She has collaborated with P&G and United Nations Children's Fund to raise funding for maternal and neonatal tetanus immunizations. Hayek has been a long-time U.N.I.C.E.F supporter and has even received the U.N.I.C.E.F Humanitarian Award.
She rescues animals
The actress has various pets, including dogs, horses, alpacas, bunnies, and chickens. Hayek runs an animal sanctuary, and most of her pets are rescued from the streets.
She was a Vatican ambassador
Salma was chosen to serve as an ambassador for the Scholas Occurrentes organization. The initiative aims to employ arts education and technology to promote understanding and peace.
5 Surprising Facts
Her hair and eyebrows were shaved
Hayek’s grandma used to shave her head and eyebrows to make her hair thicker when she was younger.
She is neurodivergent
Hayek was diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia when she was little.
She speaks Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, and English fluently.
She's good at Sudoku
She's good with numbers and can sometimes finish a game in under four minutes.
She wanted to be a gymnast
The actress says she urged her father to take her to a gym in Mexico City for the summer when she was nine years old.
Salma Hayek FAQs
For how long has Salma been married?
Francois-Henri Pinault and Salma Hayek have been married for around 12 years.
How did Salma and Pinault meet?
Hayek and Pinault met in 2006 at the Palazzo Grassi in Venice.
What is the relationship between Salma Hayek and Antonio Banderas?
In the years following “Desperado,” Hayek and Banderas have stayed friends and have featured in five other films together.
Salma Hayek’s birthday dates