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Halle Berry

From Academic Kids

Halle Berry on the poster of Introducing Dorothy Dandridge
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Halle Berry on the poster of Introducing Dorothy Dandridge

Halle Maria Berry (born August 14, 1968,) is an American actress.

Berry was born in Cleveland, Ohio. She was named after Halle's Department Store, a local landmark. Although she generally is considered African American, she is bi-racial, with a white English-born mother, Judith Ann Hawkins, and a black American father, Jerome Berry. Berry's parents divorced when she was 4 years old and she subsequently was raised by her mother, a psychiatric-ward nurse. She has an older sister, Heidi.

Berry was a popular student at her high school and was a cheerleader, honor society member, editor of the school newspaper, class president and prom queen. 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 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 black woman. She did not get the role (because the project never materialized) but she impressed Spelling with her skills. He encouraged 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 Alex Haley's Queen.

She played the superhero Storm in 2000 in the successful film, X-Men and again in the more successful X2: X-Men United (2003). Gothika was the first film that she "carried," i.e., the film focused entirely on her.

She won the best actress Oscar in 2002 for Monster's Ball, becoming the first African American woman to win this award. Interestingly, Berry had played Dorothy Dandridge, the first African American woman to be nominated for a best actress Academy Award, in HBO's Introducing Dorothy Dandridge in 1999. Another similarity the two women shared was being born in the same hospital.

In February 2000, she was involved in an automobile 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 $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.

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 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 Bent has resulted in a 2003 separation (and 2005 divorce) reportedly due to Bent's infidelity. She has never had children herself but is close to her step-daughter India from her marriage to Bent. Berry does have two Maltese dogs: Miss Polly and Little Willie.

She is expected get her "star" on the Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California sometime in 2004.

In 2003, Berry was named in FHM's 100 Sexiest Women in the World poll.

Also in 2003, Berry was on Punk'd, after she got upset with Ashton Kutcher or his crew members, for not letting Berry in to her movie premire.

She has diabetes and acquired unilateral hearing loss (80% hearing loss in one ear) after being severely beaten by former boyfriend Christopher Williams. Williams alledges that it was actually Wesley Snipes who physically abused Berry.

She currently is living with her boyfriend Michael Ealy of Barbershop fame.

Filmography

TV Work


External links

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