Salma Hayek Jiménez (born September 2, 1966) is a Mexican American film actress, director and producer. She began her career in Mexico starring in the telenovela Teresa and went on to star in the film El Callejón de los Milagros (Miracle Alley) for which she was nominated for an Ariel Award. In 1991 Hayek moved to Hollywood and came to prominence with roles in Hollywood movies such as Desperado (1995), Dogma (1999), and Wild Wild West (1999).
Her breakthrough role was in the 2002 film Frida as Frida Kahlo which she received an Academy Award, BAFTA Award, Screen Actors Guild Award and Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress. The movie received widespread attention and was a critical and commercial success. She won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing in a Children/Youth/Family Special in 2004 and received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series in 2007 after guest-starring in the ABC television series Ugly Betty.
Hayek's recent films include Grown Ups (2010) acting alongside Adam Sandler, and Puss in Boots (2011), which also features former collaborator Antonio Banderas, wherein she is the voice of the character 'Kitty Softpaws'.
Hayek was born Salma Hayek Jiménez in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Mexico. She is 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 paternal grandfather emmigrated from Lebanon while her mother is of Spanish descent. 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 university in Mexico City, where she studied International Relations at the Universidad Iberoamericana.