Salma Hayek is an award winning and versatile performer known for her over the top, occasionally garish costumes. Born in Mexico, she grew up in California. Salma Hayek trivia will demonstrate that her name is pronounced as “sal-ma” and that she was also born in Yemen. However, most folks know her from her starring role as Taffy, in the Disney/Pixar movie Finding Nemo.
Salma Hayek’s first and most notable role was in the 1980 comedy series entitled Saturday Night Fever. She was a minor player in this series, playing the role of Hysterical Cordial Delivery Service employee #2. Her distinctive voice is best remembered in this job. Salma’s co-stars comprised John Tutturro, John Bon Jovi and Eddie Murphy. Hayek’s career spanned four decades, from her first Broadway play to her final role in 1980’s The Perfect Score.
Salma Hayek was nominated for three Golden Globes for Best Actress in a Leading Role, and she took home the Oscar for the same category for her role in The Secret. In between the two films, Salma had a large role in both The Bodyguard and Tombstone. Her look in Tombstone earned her an uncountable number of awards, including an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. She went on to star in four more films, including Raising Helen, Mulan, Blowin’ in the Wind and Don’t Take Me Alive. All of these films went on to make her an incredible variety of awards and accolades, including a Screenplay Oscar for Tombstone.
Following a brief stint in Hollywood, Salma Hayek started to feature more prominently in African American plays and films. There are a few very memorable examples, such as her appearance in Jungle Jim, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Grease: The Movie. However, the best and most memorable of Salma Hayek’s African American roles would be in the film which she appeared in over anybody else – Blues: A True Story of Love and Tragedy. It is the only movie of its kind to win an Academy Award for Best Music, Original Score, and is perhaps the reason why Salma Hayek is best known for her work with the blues.
Blues: A True Story of Love and Tragedy tells the story of six African American men who escape from a slave ship and live for almost a century on the shores of what is now Florida. As they strive to run a plantation and provide their own family with shelter and food, tensions grew between the various generations. When their youngest son is murdered at a young age, the older generations fight among themselves over the inheritance of his estate. It’s a showbiz classic that centers on the familial dynamic. Salma Hayek plays the part of the oldest girl, who is always ready to get her own back by providing her opinions about her family’s shortcomings.
Another memorable performance that shows the charm of Salma Hayek is her turn as Etta Fish in the film remake of The Greatest Show on Earth. As the absent-minded yet sweet grandmother, Fish could always be the first one to try out a boy for her grandchildren’s entertainment. It was a role that proved so mesmerizing that it made Fish a star even outside the African American community. This is another example of how Salma Hayek has transcended race and gender to attain stardom achievement in showbiz.
In terms of movies that Salma Hayek did not star in, there is her turn as Rebekah Brooks in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. The late Brooks’ life was tumultuous, but she still managed to become one of the best leading women in showbiz. Brooks played the role of a divorced woman whose relationship with her son was strained by his adulterous attitude. Salma Hayek again plays the role of a single mother in this film, only this time she has to be a crucial supporting character in the story. The late Brooks had a powerful acting career that spanned four decades, but The Great Show was one of her last films.
Salma Hayek’s name does not always bring to mind African American characters, but there are lots of examples of her having a very important role in entertainment. Her name is often mentioned when discussing the best female characters in showbiz history. She played an unforgettable character as the unforgettable Nelly at The Nutcracker, which was one of the most beloved ballets ever performed. She went on to play the part of Estelle, the gorgeous singer in Hair. Apart from these roles, she also had some small roles in musicals and movies such as Blues Clues.