Thursday, September 2, 2010

Happy Birthday Salma (Hayek)!

"From Dusk Till Dawn"

This picture is good for men's health

So is this one

Happy birthday wishes go out today to one of my favorite actresses, Ms. Salma Hayek!
Salma Valgarma Hayek Jiménez-Pinault was born in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Mexico (one of the few cities I don't remember calling in Mexico as a long distance operator for AT&T).
Really? I had no idea she was Mexican. I thought she was Irish. I admit that name should have given me a clue. Oh, I see what screwed me up, her dad is of Lebanese ancestry, and her mom Spanish, so naturally I thought she must be Irish. Salma means "safe," in Arabic, but means nothing at all in Gaelic.
Her family was well off, and she was sent to a Catholic girls school in Louisiana when she was 12. She attended college in Mexico City, where she studied International Relations at the Universidad Iberoamericana, which is run by the Jesuits.
When she was 23 she became a star in Mexico after landing a roll on the soap opera (telenovela) "Teresa." Wow, what a fortuitous beginning!
In 1991 she moved right here to L.A., where she continued to study acting, I believe at the The Stella Adler Academy of Acting and Theatre. Her English speaking ability was limited, and she suffered from dyslexia, a learning disability, which I share concerning alcohol.
Back in Mexico in 1994 (it's not very far from Los Angeles) Salma starred in the dramatic film "El Callejón de los Milagros" (The Alley of Miracles), which has won more awards than any other movie in the history of Mexican cinema. For her performance, she was nominated for an Ariel Award, the equivalent of an Academy Award in Mexico.
The writer/director Robert Rodriguez gave Salma her first roll in an American film as the lead actress in 1995s "Desperado," alongside Antonio Banderas. The film was a mild success, and Wikipedia tells us "moviegoers proved to be as dazzled by Hayek as Rodriguez had been." I know I was "dazzled" to say the least when I first saw her in the film, "From Dusk Till Dawn," (picture above). I don't know why.
Her natural acting ability most likely.
Ms. Hayek would continue her collaboration with Rodriguez for at least 8 more movies, and she performed in many other films as well.
Around 2000, Hayek founded her own film production company, Ventanarosa (which literally means "rose-colored window" or "pink window"). Her first feature film produced there was "El Coronel No Tiene Ouien le Escriba," (No One Writes to the Colonel) based on the Gabriel García Márquez novel of the same name. The film was Mexico's official selection for submission to the Best Foreign Film category at the Academy Awards. In 2002 she co-produced and acted in the title role of the theatrical release "Frida," in which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress, making her the second Latin American actress to be nominated in that category (it did win two Oscars for make up, and musical score).
Salma was an executive producer of the television series "Ugly Betty," which premiered in September of 2006, and ended it's run just last April.
So she's been a busy girl. She's a singer, has worked to promote cosmetics, advocates for increasing awareness of violence against women (as do I) and discrimination against immigrants, and for breastfeeding (as do I), and many other things (as do I).
Some of my favorite films of Ms. Hayek's not already mentioned are; "Fools Rush In," "54," "The Velocity of Gary," "The Faculty," "Dogma," "Wild Wild West" (and only because Salma is in it), "Traffic," "Once Upon a Time in Mexico," "Bandidas," "Across the Universe," and "Grown Ups" (and only because Salma is in it).
Ms. Hayek is now a U.S. citizen. On September 21, 2007, she gave birth to daughter Valentina Paloma Pinault right here in L.A., where I happen to donate blood at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Ms. Hayek has proven that she is smart, determined, hugely talented, humorous, committed, loyal, and... exceptionally lovely... for a girl.
All of us here at Joyce's Take wish her much continued success in whatever she wishes to do, and also invite her to Beth's yoga class in Santa Monica, at Yogi Anonymous... and also a very happy birthday! Happy Birthday Salma!

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