Following her performance in Monster’s Ball, actress Halle Berry earned an Oscar and became the first ever African American woman who has won this prestigious award.
Born on August 14, 1966, in Cleveland, Ohio, as the youngest daughter of Jerome and Judith Berry, an interracial couple, Berry’s childhood was filled with plenty of challenges. In the early 1970s, her father abandoned her mother who moved her family to the predominantly white Cleveland suburb of Bedford.
The only time she spoke of her father was in 1992 when she said “I haven’t heard from him since he left. Maybe he’s not alive.”
Studying at a school attended by nearly whites-only, she was a subject of discrimination and bullying. However, facing racism at an early age didn’t break her spirit, it only made her stronger and more determined to achieve greatness in life.
Throughout high-school, Berry was included in plenty of extracurricular activities and was a newspaper editor, class president and head cheerleader, among the rest.
Soon after, she pursued a modeling career ending being first runner-up in the Miss USA competition in 1985.
Berry moved on to attend Cleveland’s Cuyahoga Community College where she studies broadcast journalism, but just as she was about to earn her degree, she decided to drop put and focus solely on a career in the entertainment industry.
She moved to New York where she worked as a model before landing a role in Living Dolls, following a role in the CBS prime-time drama Knots Landing.
Berry had her big breakthrough playing late Dorothy Dandridge in an HBO movie about the singer. For it, she won an Emmy and Golden Globe.
“I remember winning the Golden Globe and thinking that this was the epitome of life. I had a marriage, I had a daughter I had these awards. I had paid homage to my hero (Dandridge). I was thinking that my life was too good to be true. I said that so many times, it turned out that it really was too good to be true.”
Throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s her career only went upwards and she landed roles in a number of prominent movies, including the film adaptation of the X-men comic book series. She appeared as Storm in X-Men (2000), X2: X-Men United (2003), X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), and X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014). She also starred in Swordfish, and Die Another Day, among the rest.
Besides being an actress, Berry is also an entrepreneur who has launched her fragrance line in 2009. She has been an ambassador for several brands, such as Revlon, Versace, and Michael Kors, and has supported charitable causes related to domestic violence, cancer research, and mental health awareness.
In 2020, Berry, who’s a mom of two, made her directorial debut with the Netflix movie Bruised which follows the story of a disgraced MMA fighter who looks for redemption and tries to regain custody of her son.
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