"Omigosh, oh my God... No, I don't have to give this (Oscar) back. It's got my name on it." Halle Berry
An A-list actress who won both the Academy Award for Best Actress (Monster's Ball, 2002) and Razzie Award for Worst Actress (Catwoman, 2005), Halle Berry was first noticed while competing in Miss Teen All-American (represented Ohio state, 1985), Miss USA (first runner-up, 1986), and Miss World competitions. Initially known for her big screen appearance as Vivian in Spike Lee's Jungle Fever (1991), Halle Berry later took home a Golden Globe award for her brilliant work in Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (2000, TV).
Half African-American, half Caucasian, Halle stands at 5' 7" inches tall and has the measurements 36C-22-37. She has been named as one of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People eight times (matched by Julia Roberts) and became one of Playboy's 100 Sexiest Women of the Century (1998). Her popular face has been seen as a spokesmodel for Revlon cosmetics.
"The worst thing a man can ever do is kiss me on the first date." Halle Berry.
Halle Berry's private life has made headlines several times. She raised public attention while revealing Wesley Snipes (Jungle Fever costar) was a violent boyfriend and responsible for her partial deafness. Her marriage to singer Eric Benet ended in divorce with former hubby asking her to foot all divorce bills and support him through spousal support. Berry has also been linked to names such as Shemar Moore and Matt Damon. After experiencing to many disastrous relationships, Berry vowed, "I'll never get married again and I always hate to say never to anything, but I will never marry again."
Childhood and Family:
"I don't see a white woman. I see a black woman, even though my mother is white. Knowing that has made my life easier, I think." Halle Berry
The youngest daughter of Caucasian mother Judith Ann Hawkins (nurse) and African-American father Jerome Berry (former hospital employee), Halle Maria Berry was born on August 14, 1968 in Cleveland, Ohio. At age 4 her parents divorced with Halle and older sister Heidi (born in 1966) continuing to be raised by their mother in a white community in Cleveland.
Halle attended Heskett Middle School in Bedford, Ohio and enrolled at the Bedford High School in Cleveland. Despite being exposed to discrimination in a predominantly white high school, Halle was very active in extracurricular activities, became the school paper editor, class president, lead cheerleader, and also prom queen. After graduation, Halle continued studying Broadcast Journalism at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio and graduated in 1986.
On New Year's Day in 1993, Halle tied the knot with Atlanta Braves' outfielder David Justice, but they later divorced in 1997. Halle became engaged to soul singer Eric Benet (born October 15, 1970) on August 14, 1999 and married him on January 24,2001. However, the couple separated on October 1, 2003 and filed for divorce on April 26, 2004. Halle has a stepdaughter named India (born in 1991) from Eric Benet's previous partner.
"My teacher told me at the age of 10 that when I grew up, I was going to be given a gift. Diabetes turned out to be it. It gave me the strength and toughness I needed for my life." Halle Berry
Halle is currently an active volunteer for the Juvenile Diabetes Association.
"I want to be the next Spike Lee. I want to help other black folks to get into Hollywood and be successful in Hollywood." Halle Berry
Initiating her show business career as a participant in several prestigious beauty pageants like Miss Teen All American (Ohio, 1985), Miss USA (first runner-up, 1986), and Miss World, Halle Berry then flew to Chicago and New York City, where she became a catalog model. After taking some time to study acting, Berry joined an audition for a role in Charlie's Angels. Though she did not get the part, soap opera director Aaron Spelling suggested she pursue an acting career and Berry finally landed her first acting role on the brief-running series Living Dolls (1989).
Following a one-year appearance on the CBS' drama soap Knot's Landing in 1991, Berry got her first silver screen break playing Samuel L. Jackson's drug-abuser girlfriend Vivian in Spike Lee's interracial drama film, Jungle Fever (1991, starring Wesley Snipes). More roles came her way in the form of Damon Wayans' stripper girlfriend Cory in The Last Boy Scout (1991, starring Bruce Willis), Eddie Murphy's love interest Angela Lewis in the romance-comedy Boomerang (1992), and costarred as drug-addicted mother Khaila Richards in Stephen Gyllenhaal's adaptation of Seth Margolis' novel, Losing Isaiah (1995, opposite Jessica Lange and David Strathairn). She also lent her voice for the hot character Sharon in the animated movie The Flintstones (1994) and starred as Queen Sheeba in Showtime's rarely seen movie, Solomon & Sheeba (1995).
During the next years, Halle's acting work continued to flourish. She played roles in several films like the crime-drama The Rich Man's Wife (1996), Executive Decision (1996), the drama Why Do Fools Fall in Love (1998) and in the politic-spoof Bulworth (1998, starring Warren Beatty), for which she gained praise for playing wild, smart girl Nina.
Halle's breakout role arrived in 1999. She was cast for the title role in Martha Coolidge's adaptation of Earl Mills' biographical book, the musical drama Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (1999), which handed her both a Golden Globe Award and an Emmy Award for Best Actress in a Television Movie. About her role of Dorothy Dandridge, Halle explained, "...You have to find a way to be sad on every day, in every scene, in every moment. And always try to hide the sadness. And (then) you'll get the essence of who she was."
With her work as an actress being noticed, Halle was offered parts in a string of films, including Bryan Singer's adaptation of the Marvel's hit comic, the blockbuster X-Men (2000, with mutant friends Anna Paquin, Patrick Stewart, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos and Famke Janssen) and teamed with John Travolta in Swordfish (2001).
Halle was launched toward super stardom when Marc Forster cast her as Leticia Musgrove in his romance-drama Monster's Ball (2001, costarring Billy Bob Thornton). Her outstanding acting netted her an Academy Award for Best Actress and a nomination for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Drama. She followed it up with the envious role of a James Bond's girl in Die Another Day (2002), reprised the role of Storm in the X-Men sequel, X2 (2003), and starred as psychiatrist-turned-patient Miranda Grey in Mathieu Kassovitz's mystery Gothika (2003).
Starring as Catwoman in the movie with the same title in 2004 was an unfortunate for the A-list actress. She earned a Razzie Award for Worst Actress. Commenting on her Razzie Award, Halle said, "When I was a kid, my mother told me that if you could not be a good loser, then there's no way you could be a good winner. And I hope to God I never see these people again."
Halle Berry continues to grace the screen. She recently starred in Darnell Martin's adaptation of Zora Neale Hurston's classic novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God (2005, TV) and provided her voice for Cappy in CGI animated sci-fi movie, Robots. She will also be seen in the forthcoming films Nappily Ever After, Foxy Brown, and The Guide.
- Razzie Awards: Worst Actress, Catwoman, 2005
- BET Awards: Best Actress, 2004
- Teen Choice Awards: Movie Actress - Drama/Adventure, Gothika, 2004
- ShoWest Award: Female Star of the Year, 2004
- Image Awards: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture, Die Another Day, 2003
- Screen Actors Guild: Best Actress, Monster's Ball, 2002
- Academy Award: Best Actress, Monster's Ball, 2002
- National Board of Review: Best Actress, Monster's Ball, 2001
- Image Awards: Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie/Miniseries/Dramatic Special, Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, 2000
- Emmy Awards: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie, Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, 2000
- Golden Globe: Best Actress (Miniseries, TV Movie) for Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, 1999
- Screen Actors Guild: Female Actor (Television Movie or Miniseries), Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, 1999
- First runner-up in the Miss USA Pageant, 1986
- Won the dress competition in the Miss World Pageant, 1986
- Won the Miss Teen All-American Pageant, representing the state of Ohio, 1985