Salma Hayek facts
Salma Hayek celebrated her 47th birthday on September 2. (Photo by Jon Furniss/Invision/AP Images)

Salma Hayek, who recently celebrated her 47th birthday, looks as gorgeous or even more so than she did in her 20s, when she made her acting debut in her home country of Mexico.

Her first roles were in Spanish-language telenovelas. While she had previously held small roles in other soap operas, it was her leading role in the Mexican soap “Teresa” that turned Hayek into an overnight success.

Once in the U.S., Hayek was featured in “Desperado” alongside Antonio Banderas and “Wild Wild West” costarring with Will Smith and Kevin Kline. But her big break came in 2002 with the film “Frida,” in which she gave life to Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.

Throughout her career she has won many awards including a Screen Actor’s Guild Award and a Daytime Emmy.

Hayek is the mother to five-year-old Valentina Paloma and wife to French billionaire Francois Henri Pinault. Her latest films include “Savages,” “Grown Ups” and “Grown Ups II.”

When Hayek is not busy filming, she likes watching Mexican soccer, practicing Krav Maga (the official self defense system of the Israeli military) and spending time with little Valentina.

Here are more interesting facts about actress Salma Hayek that even her biggest fan may find surprising:

10 facts about Salma Hayek

Salma Hayek facts
Salma Hayek arrives at the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)

1. As a child, Hayek’s grandmother regularly shaved her head and eyebrows because she thought it would make her hair grow thicker, glossier and darker.

2. Hayek has always had a rebellious nature. When she was 12 years old she was sent to a boarding school in Louisiana and was expelled after two years.

3. Her performance in the movie “Frida” garnered Hayek’s best career reviews and made her one of four Latinas nominated for Best Actress at the Academy Awards.

4. She participated in a large protest against the murders of women in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

5. Hayek founded her own production company, Ventanarosa, in 1999 and produced the hit show “Ugly Betty.”

6. When Hayek and “Friends” star Matthew Perry filmed the movie “Fools Rush In,” there were rumors that the on-screen lovers hated each other in real life. Both dispelled the rumors some time later.

7. Hayek played a stripper in two movies: “Dogma” and “From Dusk Till Dawn.”

8. Hayek’s on-screen sex scene with actor Colin Farrell in “Ask The Dust” won her the highly desired Best Nude Scene Award in 2006.

9. Although Hayek is Mexican, she gets her last name from her Lebanese father.

10. Salma Hayek is known for being sultry and stirring things up but her name means “peace” or “calm” in Arabic.

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