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Profile of Halle Berry
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|Also Know As:
|Date of Birth:
||14th August 1966
|Place of Birth:
||Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Halle Maria Berry (born August 14, 1968 in Cleveland, Ohio) is an Academy Award-winning actress and model.
Early life and career
Halle Berry was named after Halle's Department Store, a local landmark in Cleveland, Ohio. She is bi-racial; born to Judith Ann Hawkins, a white mother of English descent, and an African-American father, Jerome J. Berry. Berry's maternal grandmother, Nellie Dicken, was born in Sawley, Derbyshire, England, while her maternal grandfather, Earl Ellsworth Hawkins, was born in Ohio. Berry's parents divorced when she was 4 years old and she subsequently was raised by her mother, a psychiatric-ward nurse. She also has an older sister, Heidi.
Berry was a popular student at Bedford Heights High School and was a cheerleader, honor society member, editor of the school newspaper, class president and prom queen. She worked in the childrens' department at Higbee's Department Store. Her personality, as described by a co-worker was expressed in these terms..."I can hardly believe how sweet and nice she had been to everyone. People who weren't half as beautiful as she did not display the kind of inner beauty she exhibited". She subsequently attended Cuyahoga Community College.
Before becoming an actress, she entered several beauty contests, including Miss Ohio USA, Miss Teen All American, Miss USA (first runner-up in 1986) and Miss World.
In the late 1980s, she went to Chicago to pursue a modeling career as well as acting. One of her first acting projects was a television series for local cable by Gordon Lake Productions called "Chicago Force."
Berry auditioned for a role in an updated Charlie's Angels television series by producer Aaron Spelling. At the time, Spelling wanted one of the "Angels" to be a African American woman. She did not get the role (because the project never materialized) but she impressed Spelling with her skills. Encouraging her to continue perfecting her craft.
In 1989, Berry landed the role of brainy Emily Franklin in the short-lived ABC television series Living Dolls (which was a spin-off of Who's the Boss?). Her breakthrough feature film role was in Spike Lee's Jungle Fever where she played a drug addict named Vivian. Her first co-starring role was in the film Strictly Business. Another one of her early roles was in a supporting capacity in the Flintstones movie where she played "Sharon Stone." The year before, Berry really caught the public's attention with her portrayal as a female slave in the TV adaption of Queen: The Story of an American Family.
Berry is also known by most comic book fans for her portrayal of Storm in the movie adaptation of the successful comic book X-Men (2000) and its successful sequel X2: X-Men United (2003). Berry will reprise her role again in the third installment X-Men 3 scheduled for a May 2006 release. In late 2003 Berry starred in the thriller Gothika, which was the first film that she "carried," i.e., her role was the most important one in the film.
Berry has been married twice. Her first marriage in 1992 to baseball player David Justice ended in a 1996 divorce. Her second marriage in 2001 to musician Eric Benét has resulted in a 2003 separation (and 2005 divorce) reportedly due to Benét's infidelity. She has said that she will never marry again. She has never had children herself, but is close to her step-daughter India from her marriage to Benét. Berry does have two Maltese dogs: Miss Polly and Little Willie.
- Berry won the best actress Oscar in 2002 for Monster's Ball, becoming the first African American woman to win this award.
- Berry won an Emmy in 1999 for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie for her portayal of Dorothy Dandridge in the HBO movie Introducing Dorothy Dandridge. Interestingly, Dorothy Dandridge was the first African American woman to be nominated for a best actress Academy Award. Another similarity the two women shared was being born in the same hospital.
- Berry won a Razzie for her starring role in 2004's Catwoman. She made headlines by accepting her award in person, an unusual gesture that was last performed by Tom Green in 2001. Berry accepted her award with dignity, saying, "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" but adding "I hope to God I never see these people again!" shortly afterward. At the podium, she appeared with her Razzie in one hand, and her Oscar in the other.
- Berry's voice was also featured in the 2005 animated feature Robots.
- In February 2000, she was involved in a car accident when she struck another vehicle after running a red light and left the scene before the police arrived. Berry, who had sustained a head injury, later stated she had no recollection of the accident and pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge. She paid a fine, made restitution to the other driver, performed community services, and was placed on three years’ probation.
- Having long refused to do any nude scenes, much was made of her first topless scene in the film Swordfish, a thirty-second scene for which she allegedly was paid an additional US$500,000. She followed this with a more extended nude love scene in Monster's Ball. Her appearance in this film won her the Academy Award for Best Actress in 2002. As Bond Girl Jinx in 2002's Die Another Day she famously re-created the scene from Dr. No, bursting from the surf - scantily clad - to be greeted by James Bond, as Ursula Andress did 40 years earlier.
- In 2003, Berry was named in FHM's 100 Sexiest Women in the World poll.
- Also in 2003, Berry was on Punk'd, MTV's celebrity prank show.
- She has diabetes and acquired unilateral hearing loss (80% hearing loss in one ear) after being severely beaten by a former boyfriend. Accounts differ as to whether the abusive boyfriend was Wesley Snipes or Christopher Williams.
- She is currently living with her boyfriend Michael Ealy of Barbershop fame.
- Jungle Fever (1991)
- Strictly Business (1991)
- The Last Boy Scout (1991)
- Boomerang (1992)
- CB4 (1993) (Cameo)
- Father Hood (1993)
- The Program (1993)
- The Flintstones (1994)
- Losing Isaiah (1995)
- Executive Decision (1996)
- Race the Sun (1996)
- Girl 6 (1996) (Cameo)
- The Rich Man's Wife (1996)
- B*A*P*S (1997)
- Bulworth (1998)
- Why Do Fools Fall In Love (1998)
- X-Men (2000)
- Welcome to Hollywood (2000) (documentary)
- Swordfish (2001)
- Monster's Ball (2001)
- Die Another Day (2002)
- X2 (2003)
- Gothika (2003)
- Catwoman (2004)
- Robots (2005) (voice)
- X-Men 3 (2006) (currently filming)
- Perfect Stranger (2006) (currently announced start of production)
- Living Dolls (1989) (canceled after 13 episodes)
- Knots Landing (cast member in 1991)
- Queen: The Story of an American Family (1993) (miniseries)
- Solomon & Sheba (1995)
- The Wedding (1998)
- Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (1999) (also executive producer)
- Their Eyes Were Watching God (2005)
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