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Also Known As: Halle Maria Berry Died:
Born: August 14, 1966 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Cleveland, Ohio, USA Profession: actor, producer, model

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

As a former beauty queen and fashion model, Halle Berry surprised naysayers when she emerged as a multi-talented actress capable of turning in award-worthy performances. Berry made herself known in a small, but memorable role as a crackhead in Spike Lee's "Jungle Fever" (1991), though she was subsequently underused in "The Last Boy Scout" (1991) and "Boomerang" (1992). She turned in a finely crafted dramatic performance as a drug-addicted mother trying to regain custody of her son in "Losing Isaiah" (1995), while her role as a gutsy flight attendant in "Executive Decision" (1996) garnered positive reviews. With the trappings of fame, however, Berry was a constant source of public scrutiny, starting with her divorce from baseball star David Justice through her turbulent marriage to singer Eric Benet and later her nasty custody battle with ex-boyfriend Gabriel Aubry. Throughout her personal travails, Berry delivered a fine dramatic performance in "Bulworth" (1998), earned an Emmy for "Introducing Dorothy Dandridge" (HBO, 1999), and won the Oscar for her brave turn in "Monster's Ball" (2001), becoming the first African-American to win Best Leading Actress. Though Berry's take on the comic book heroine...

As a former beauty queen and fashion model, Halle Berry surprised naysayers when she emerged as a multi-talented actress capable of turning in award-worthy performances. Berry made herself known in a small, but memorable role as a crackhead in Spike Lee's "Jungle Fever" (1991), though she was subsequently underused in "The Last Boy Scout" (1991) and "Boomerang" (1992). She turned in a finely crafted dramatic performance as a drug-addicted mother trying to regain custody of her son in "Losing Isaiah" (1995), while her role as a gutsy flight attendant in "Executive Decision" (1996) garnered positive reviews. With the trappings of fame, however, Berry was a constant source of public scrutiny, starting with her divorce from baseball star David Justice through her turbulent marriage to singer Eric Benet and later her nasty custody battle with ex-boyfriend Gabriel Aubry. Throughout her personal travails, Berry delivered a fine dramatic performance in "Bulworth" (1998), earned an Emmy for "Introducing Dorothy Dandridge" (HBO, 1999), and won the Oscar for her brave turn in "Monster's Ball" (2001), becoming the first African-American to win Best Leading Actress. Though Berry's take on the comic book heroine Storm in the "X-Men" franchise earned her blockbuster status, her leather-clad prancing as "Catwoman" (2004) earned her certain ignominy. Nonetheless, Berry had the rare ability to excel in both major tentpole movies and small indie dramas, making her one of the more sought-after actresses working in Hollywood.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Movie 43 (2013)
3.
 Call, The (2013)
4.
 Cloud Atlas (2012)
5.
 New Year's Eve (2011)
6.
7.
 Perfect Stranger (2007)
9.
10.
 X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) Storm
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Ohio
1984:
Won Miss Teen All-American Pageant, representing state of Ohio
1986:
Became first runner-up in Miss USA Pageant
:
Worked as a model in Chicago, IL
1986:
Won dress competition in Miss World pageant
1989:
Made TV debut as model Emily Franklin on ABC sitcom "Living Dolls"
1991:
Feature debut, playing a junkie in Spike Lee's "Jungle Fever"
1991:
Played recurring role of Frank's girlfriend Debbie Porter on "Knots Landing" (CBS)
1993:
Cast as title character in CBS miniseries "Queen," based on book by Alex Haley
1994:
Cast as the sultry secretary who seduced Fred Flintstone in live-action "The Flintstones"
1995:
Played a former drug addict struggling to regain custody of her son in "Losing Isaiah," co-starring Jessica Lange
1996:
Portrayed title character in thriller "The Rich Man's Wife"
1996:
Signed by Revlon to model cosmetics in print and TV advertising
1998:
Appeared opposite Warren Beatty in political comedy "Bulworth"
1998:
Co-starred as one singer Frankie Lymon's the three wives in "Why Do Fools Fall in Love?"
1999:
Realized dream project by co-producing and starring in HBO biopic "Introducing Dorothy Dandridge"
2000:
Featured as Storm, a mutant with power to produce adverse weather conditions in "X-Men"
2001:
Landed female lead in action feature "Swordfish"
2001:
Cast as the widow of a death row inmate who falls in love with a former prison guard in Marc Forster's "Monster's Ball"; became first black woman to win Best Actress Academy Award
2002:
Portrayed Jinx opposite Pierce Brosnan as James Bond in "Die Another Day"
2003:
Reprised role of Storm in superhero sequel "X2"
2003:
Starred in psychological horror feature "Gothika"
2004:
Took on feline superhero role in poorly received "Catwoman"
2005:
Starred in adaptation of Zora Neale Hurston's novel "Their Eyes Were Watching God" (ABC)
2005:
Produced HBO original movie "Lackawanna Blues," based on Ruben Santiago-Hudson's play about a boarding house in Lackawanna, NY
2006:
Reprised role of Storm in "X-Men: The Last Stand"
2007:
Received star on Hollywood Walk of Fame
2007:
Co-starred with Benicio Del Toro in "Things We Lost in the Fire"
2009:
Produced and starred in "Tulia," which reunited her with Billy Bob Thornton
2010:
Played multiracial woman with dissociative identity disorder in "Frankie and Alice"
2011:
Cast in ensemble romantic comedy "New Year¿s Eve," directed by Garry Marshall
2012:
Played multiple roles in "Cloud Atlas," based on David Mitchell's 2004 novel; film co-directed by Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski, and Tom Tykwer
2013:
Starred in thriller "The Call" as a veteran 911 operator
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Bedford High School: Bedford , Ohio - 1984
Cuyahoga Community College: Cleveland , Ohio - 1984

Notes

She was named Halle (pronounced HAL-ee) after the Halle Brothers department store.

Her official Web site is at www.hallewood.com

Although now seemingly happily married to singer Eric Benet (as of 2001), Berry has not had good luck with her previous relationships. One former lover, a Chicago dentist, sued her because he claimed she owed him $80,000. Another struck her so hard she went partially deaf in her left ear, and she claimed her first husband, baseball player David Justice was unfaithful.

At the age of 22, Halle Berry was diagnosed with diabetes.

She told Movieline (December 2001/January 2002) that in 1995 she was the victim of a mugging in the parking garage of the Beverly Center.

On the fact that Berry is of both black and white parentage she has said: "I see people on talk shows who are mixed, and they seem very confused. Sure I got called 'zebra' and 'Oreo cookie' in school, every little kid gets teased ... But I think it's healthy to decide if you're one or the other, no one wants to be in the middle. That's why I decided early that I was black."---Berry quoted in USA Today, November 20, 1991.

"When I'm pushed to the limit, in life or in a movie, I'm like a cornered cat. I'll scratch your eyes out."---Berry quoted in Movieline, January-February 1994.

"I'm aware of a real double standard about how attractive women and men actors are seen to be as they age. When I'm in my 40s and 50s, I really see myself in a different lifestyle than making movies. I want to have a family. I'm hoping to get out of the movie business before gravity takes ahold of my face."---Halle Berry in Movieline, April 1995.

Berry has spoken candidly in interviews about how she contemplated killing herself in 1996 after her highly publicized divorce from baseball player David Justice.

"It's hard enough being an actress, but being a black actress ... Now I've played Dorothy Dandridge, so there's no other role for me to play."---Berry to The New York Times, August 15, 1999.

According to a Reuters report (March 1, 2000), on February 23, 2000, Berry was involved in an automobile accident from which she allegedly fled. She reportedly sustained a cut to the forehead which required between 15 and 20 stitches. Berry was later charged by authorities with leaving the scene of an accident. On May 10, 2000, Berry pleaded no contest and was placed on three years' probation and ordered to pay $14,000 in fines and penalties.

"Berry is nice, but she can't drive."---ex-neighbor Burt Kearns to People magazine, April 17, 2000.

"You know, I'm so up to here with that. It's like saying that only good things happen to pretty people. I've certainly had my fair share of the pits, and my looks haven't affected that one bit. I'm fighting all these silent battles. Being black, too, I find I'm sort of in a gray area. For Leticia [in "Monster's Ball"], I heard things like, 'Well, maybe she isn't quite black enough.' Sometimes I feel like a big freak."---Berry quoted in Time Out New York, December 27, 2001-January 3, 2002.

Although he was initially reluctant to cast her in "Monster's Ball", director Marc Forster told Premiere, December 2001 that he changed his mind after meeting Berry. "She was so open. I felt that I was meeting this person who is so raw, vulnerable, committed, passionate."

"I have many flaws. I can be very inconsistent with how I feel about things, which makes it hard to have relationships. I change with the wind. I hate that about myself. Sometimes I believe in religion, and two days later I'll say, 'I don't believe a thing about what the Bible says.' I justify it by thinking that I'm evolving. I want to be able to change my mind."---Berry to Lawrence Groble in "Glory, Glory, Halle-lujah" in Movieline. December 2001-January 2002.

"I'm not so good. I have a lot to learn. And I'm just trying to do it before I get too old. I'm racing the clock!"---Berry on acting, told Lawrence Grobel of Movieline, December 2001-January 2002.

On her decision to do nude scenes in movies, Berry explained to the Los Angeles Times (January 2, 2002): "I worked hard to be what people wanted. I used to be obsessed with wanting their approval, way back to my childhood. Particularly the black community. So many black people would approach me and say, 'My daughter aspires to be like you. Stay positive.' So I'd try to stay that way.

"I thought that if I did nudity, I'd let them down and send the wrong message to those girls. But then I realized it's not my job to raise those girls."

"Being the product of an interracial marriage, I've always known the racial divide is insane and ridiculous. This film speaks to the issue that people are racist because they are taught to be. Those attitudes are passed down without meaning. The sad part is that these people don't even understand why they believe what they believe. But in this film, those beliefs get challenged."---Halle Berry on "Monster's Ball" quoted in the Los Angeles Times, January 2, 2002.

"I was acting before that from a place of fear, worrying about what people thought of me. The experience of "[Introducing] Dorothy Dandridge" freed me from that. I got to relive her struggle, which was very much mine, and I thought, 'Okay, I can either keep going around and around making lateral moves and 50 years from now somebody will be telling my story and going, 'Well, Halle could have done this but she was too scared to go there,' or I can break the cycle and approach my career from a more courageous standpoint."---Berry to Entertainment Weekly, January 18, 2002.

"Oh, my God...Oh, my God. I'm sorry! This moment is so much bigger than me. This moment is for Dorthy Dandridge, Lena Horne, Diahann Carroll. It's for the women that stand beside me: Jada Pinkett, Angela Bassett, Vivica Fox, and for every nameless, faceless woman of color that now has a chance because this door, tonight, has been opened. Thank you!"---Berry after receiving a Best Actress Oscar Entertainment Weekly, December 20/27, 2002.

Berry was named one of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People for 2004

"I've grown so much over the years. With age comes a certain wisdom and comfort level within your own self. Therefore I'm learning how to accept that as one of the real downers of this job that I love so much. I've just accepted it, and have really gotten to a place where I don't reel around about it like I used to. I used to go insane which I don't any more."---Barry on how she handles the excessive media attention to moviehole.net, November 6, 2003.

"... my career began playing a crack head in "Jungle Fever." I'm not afraid of portraying anything on-screen. Those are the most cathartic experiences if you want to know the truth. There is no pressure to be glamorous or be beautiful. If I got a pimple that morning or had bags under my eyes it's something I can use for the day on the film."---Berry on downplaying her looks in films to cinecon.com, November 19, 2003.

"... So after that great high, I hit one of the greatest lows I've ever experienced. I plummeted right back into the depths of this valley that I'm just now sort of resurfacing from."---Halle on finding out about her husband, Eric Benet's sex addiction only days after winning the Oscar to GQ, August, 2004.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
John Ronan. Dentist. Dated c. 1989 to c. 1991; sued Berry in November 1993 for $80,000 he claimed he loaned to her during their relationship; suit dismissed by a judge because Ronan did not list any outstanding loans to Berry during a bankrupcy filing in 1992.
companion:
Spike Lee. Director. Dated briefly.
companion:
Wesley Snipes. Actor. Became romantically involved during filming of "Jungle Fever"; dated in 1991.
husband:
David Justice. Professional baseball player. Married in January 1993; filed for divorce in February 1996; divorced finalized in June 1997.
companion:
Shemar Moore. Actor. Reportedly dated briefly following her separation from Justice.
husband:
Eric Benet. Singer. Born c. 1967; dating as of 1999; has daughter India (born c. 1991) from previous relationship; married on January 19, 2001 in L.A.; seperated in October 2003.
companion:
Michael Ealy. Actor. Began dating summer 2004.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
Jerome Berry. Former hospital attendant. Black; abandoned family c. 1970; briefly returned in 1976; suffering with Parkinson's disease; died on January 24, 2003 in Cleveland, Ohio at the age of 68.
mother:
Judith Berry. Retired psychiatric nurse. White; from Liverpool, England; raised Berry and her sister.
sister:
Heidi Berry. Older; married with three children; Halle Berry is estranged from her; the actress told <i>Movieline</i> in December 2001/January 2002: "We fought a lot. We don't know but part of me feels that we never recovered from the adolescent years. We fought for real. Sometimes drawing blood. I moved away from home at such a young age that the relationship never quite repaired itself.".
half-sister:
Renee Berry. Younger.
step-daughter:
India Benet. Born c. 1991.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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