Salma Hayek grew up in Mexico with her Lebanese father and Mexican/Spanish mother. Salma was five years old when she saw the movie Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and decided she wanted to become an actress. As a child, she was once kicked out of her Catholic school for playing tricks on the nuns!

Salma went on to college in Mexico and then began acting on a telenovela, or Latin American soap opera. She won several awards for her performance on that TV show, but she wanted to explore other acting roles too. So she left Mexico and came to the United States to pursue her dreams. She spent a year focusing on her studies of English and acting.

Salma became a successful actress, director, and producer. Her most famous role was playing Frida Kahlo, a Mexican artist and feminist icon, in the movie Frida. Salma was nominated for Best Actress for her performance in the film, making her the first Latin actress to be nominated in the category. She is also an advocate for campaigns that oppose violence against women and discrimination against immigrants.

Click here to download Mawi Learning’s ELL Heroes: 7 ELLs Who Are Changing the World workbook. This free resource was created to inspire ELL students to become the superheroes they are meant to be.

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