Salma Hayek Jimenez was born on September 2, 1966 in Coatzacoalcos, Mexico. She is the daughter of Oil Company executive Sami Hayek and Diana Jimenez, a talent scout and opera singer. Salma Hayek had a paternal Lebanese ancestry and a maternal Spanish descent. Raised in a Catholic family, Salma attended the Academy of Sacred Heart in Louisiana until she was ejected for behavioral problems. She then returned to Mexico and then to Texas, where she stayed until 17 years old. She then returned to Mexico to pursue a course in International Relations at the Unibersidad Iberoamericana. Salma Hayek then dropped out of college to purse an acting career.
When she was 23 years old, Salma Hayek landed a lead role in a Mexican daytime drama, "Teresa", which made her an overnight star in Mexico. In 1994, Salma Hayed starred in the critically acclaimed "El Callejon de los Milagros", which has won a number awards that no other Mexican movie has beaten.
In 1991, Salma Hayek moved to Los Angeles to study professional acting under Stella Adler. However, it was Robert Rodriguez and Elizabeth Avellan who gaveSalma Hayek her first break in Hollywood, landing her the lead role in Desperado (1995). She also played a small, but memorable role in the movie, "From Dusk Till Dawn".