“I’ve stolen a couple of hearts and they are in my private collection!”
Salma Hayek was born on this day in Coatzacoalcos, Mexico in 1966. She is 46 years old.
Hayek admits that she and her brother were both a bit spoiled growing up. Her parents, Sami Hayek Dominguez an oil company executive and one time mayoral candidate for Coatzacoalcoa, and Diana Jimenez Median, an opera singer and talent scout raised the children Catholic. At 12 Salma was sent to the Academy of the Sacred Heart in New Orleans but she was expelled for pulling pranks on the sisters. She studied International Relations at Mexico City’s Universidad Iberoamericana, and decided to take on acting full time.
She won the title role in the telenovela Teresa in 1989, and became an overnight sensation in Mexico.
Looking for bigger roles and a wider audience Hayek moved to Hollywood. But Hollywood didn’t know what to do with the 5’2″ Latino firecracker who suffered from dyslexia and had trouble speaking English. She managed to get some bit parts, but she felt under-appreciated and she let her feelings be known on a Spanish-language late night talk show.
Producer Robert Rodiguez saw the show and took notice. He cast her opposite Antonio Banderas in Desperado (1995) and as a vampire queen in From Dusk Till Dawn (1996). 1997 brought a starring role in the rom-com Fools Rush In and Breaking Up. She followed that up with Wild Wild West and Dogma.
She took up producing and directing through her production company Ventanarosa. The company’s first film was El Coronel No Tiene Quien le Escriba (No One Writes to the Colonel). It was Mexico’s pick for Best foreign Film Oscar entry. Hayek has directed music videos for Prince and was the executive producer (and occasional guest star) for Ugly Betty. But her dream role was Frida Kahlo and she both starred in and produced Frida in 2002. The movie received 6 Oscar nominations, including best actress for Hayek.
In 2003 she filmed the last in the “El Mariachi” trilogy with Banderas with Once Upon a Time in Mexico.
In 2010 she co-starred in the Adam Sandler flick Grown Ups. And she turned in a sassy animated performance as Kitty Softpaws in Puss in Boots (again with Banderas.