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Real Life Stories
By: Cheryl Baker
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This mogul diva shows that you don?t need a pinstriped suit and a big fat cigar clasped between your lips to make it big in LaLa land.

Safe” by name [Salma means “safe” in Lebanese], Salma Hayek owns a volcanic hot and safe bank account. A loving wife, mother, actress, TV, and movie producer, this A-List actress of Lebanese parentage (her father’s a Mexican of Lebanese origin) is one of the few women of colour in Hollywood that says, yes, you can have it all if you have your head screwed on right. Ranked fourth by the Hollywood Reporter in 2007 as one of the most powerful members of the Hollywood Latino community, Hayek hasn’t missed a beat. Admirably, she is not vacuous as she believes in giving back. She is an avid charity campaigner for women who have suffered violence, and is also a vocal supporter of non-discrimination against immigrants.

The talented and gorgeous Salma Valgarma Hayek-Jimenez was born on September 2nd, 1966. From a young age she vowed to make a success of her life because, as a child, she saw how success could be achieved through hard work. Her father was a successful businessman and her mother a successful opera singer. She and her brother Sami never lacked.

The acting bug first bit when she went to watch Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in the Mexican town of Coatzacoalcos where she grew up. She sat on this dream patiently, but did something about it after she left Mexico City’s Universidad Iberoamericana and headed off to Hollywood.

Small roles came her way in Sinbad, Street Juice, the HBO series Dream On, and others. But Hayek felt typecast and unfulfilled artistically. She used an appearance in Paul Rodriguez’s late-night Spanish language show to air her frustrations. The gods were listening because Robert Rodriguez and his producer wife Elizabeth Avellan were watching. They got in touch with this feisty, opinionated hot-to-trot Latina diva, and gave her an opportunity to showcase her talent in the Hollywood box office hit Desperado in 1995, along with Antonio Banderas.

Her role in Desperado introduced Hayek as a credible, talented, bankable actress, led to other pivotal roles, and eventually created opportunities for her to explore her other talents of creating and producing films such as In the Time of Butterflies (2001), Frida (2002), The Maldonado Miracle (2003),Bandidas with her best mate Penelope Cruz in 2007, and the hugely successful TV series Ugly Betty in 2006. Beauty as well as brains, Hayek proved her mettle on the Hollywood stage and showed that she too can rub shoulders with the movers and shakers. Whatever project she touches quickly gets bankrolled.

In her early forties, with a beautiful baby daughter Valentina Paloma Pinault (with mega rich hubby PPR CEO Francois- Henri Pinault) and her own successful career, Salma, you are an inspiration and we applaud you.

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