Salma Hayek Jiménez de Pinault (born September 2, 1966) is a Mexican-American film actress, director and producer. She received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for her role as Frida Kahlo in the film Frida.
Hayek was born Salma Hayek Jiménez 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 ancestry, while her mother’s ancestry is Spanish. 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.
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.
Frida, co-produced by Hayek, was released in 2002. Starring Hayek as Frida Kahlo, and Alfred Molina as her unfaithful husband, Diego Rivera, the film was directed by Julie Taymor and featured an entourage of stars in supporting and minor roles (Valeria Golino, Ashley Judd, Edward Norton, Geoffrey Rush) and cameos (Antonio Banderas). She earned a Best Actress Academy Award nomination for her performance. In the Time of the Butterflies is a 2001 feature film based on the Julia Álvarez book of the same name, covering the lives of the Mirabal sisters. In the movie, Salma Hayek plays one of the sisters, Minerva, and Edward James Olmos plays the Dominican dictator Rafael Leónidas Trujillo whom the sisters opposed. In 2003, Hayek produced and directed The Maldonado Miracle, a Showtime movie based on the book of the same name, winning her a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing in a Children/Youth/Family Special. In December 2005, she directed a music video for Prince, titled “Te Amo Corazon” (“I love you, sweetheart”) that featured Mía Maestro. Hayek was an executive producer of Ugly Betty, a television series that aired around the world from 2006 to 2010. Hayek adapted the series for American television with Ben Silverman, who acquired the rights and scripts from the Colombian telenovela Yo Soy Betty La Fea in 2001. Originally intended as a half hour sitcom for NBC in 2004, the project would later be picked up by ABC for the 2006–2007 season with Silvio Horta also producing. Hayek guest-starred on Ugly Betty as Sofia Reyes, a magazine editor. She also had a cameo playing an actress in the telenovela within the show. The show won a Golden Globe Award for Best Comedy Series in 2007. Hayek’s performance as Sofia resulted in a nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series at the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards. In April 2007, Hayek finalized negotiations with MGM to become the CEO of her own Latin themed film production company, Ventanarosa. The following month, she signed a two year deal with ABC for Ventanarosa to develop projects for the network. Hayek stars as the wife of Adam Sandler in Grown Ups, which also co-stars Chris Rock and Kevin James. At his insistence, Hayek co-starred with Antonio Banderas in the Shrek spin-off film Puss in Boots as the voice of the character Kitty Softpaws, who serves as Puss’s female counterpart and love interest.
Hayek has been credited as a song performer in three movies. The first was Desperado for the song Quedate Aquí. In Frida she performed the Mexican folk song La Bruja with the band Los Vega. She also recorded Siente mi amor, which played during the end credits of Once Upon a Time in Mexico.
Hayek has been a spokesperson for Avon cosmetics since February 2004. She formerly was a 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.
In 2011, Hayek launched her own line of cosmetics, skincare and haircare products called Nuance by Salma Hayek, to be sold at CVS stores in North America. She was inspired to create a cosmetic line from her grandmother, who used to make her own facial care products. Hayek was also featured in a series of Spanish language commercials for Lincoln cars.
In spring 2006, the Blue Star Contemporary Art Center in San Antonio, Texas displayed 16 portrait paintings by muralist George Yepes and filmmaker Robert Rodriguez of Hayek as Aztec goddess Itzpapalotl.
Hayek is a naturalized United States citizen. She 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 a 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, although the reports were later substantiated.
Hayek’s charitable work includes increasing awareness on violence against women and discrimination against immigrants. On July 19, 2005, Hayek testified before theU.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary supporting reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. In February 2006, she donated $25,000 to a Coatzacoalcos, Mexico, shelter for battered women and another $50,000 to Monterrey based anti-domestic violence groups. Hayek is a board member of V-Day, the charity founded by playwright Eve Ensler.
Since the birth of her daughter, Hayek has worked to help mothers in developing nations worldwide, teaming up with Pampers and UNICEF to help stop the spread of life-threatening maternal and neonatal tetanus. She is a global spokesperson for the Pampers/UNICEF partnership 1 Pack = 1 Vaccine to help raise awareness of the program.
Hayek also advocates breastfeeding. During a UNICEF fact-finding trip to Sierra Leone, she breastfed a hungry week-old baby whose mother could not produce milk.
In 2010, Hayek’s humanitarian work earned her a nomination for the VH1 Do Something Awards.