Halle Berry Biography
Halle Maria Berry was born on August 14, 1966, in Cleveland, Ohio. Her parents selected her first name from Halle’s Department Store which was a local landmark in Cleveland. Helle Berry father, Jerome Jesse Berry, an African-American hospital attendant, walked out on them when Halle was only four years old. Her mother, Judith Ann, a white Ohio-born psychiatric nurse, struggled to cope as a single mother. She managed to move the family out of the inner-city neighborhood and into the suburbs. But because of the predominantly white population of their neighborhood, Halle and her older sister, Heidi, were treated somewhat cruelly. Because of this early exposure to racism, Halle determined not to let the color of her skin get the best of her. She studied at Bedford High School and was a member of the cheerleading squad, honor society, editor of the class paper and class president.
She was also crowned as her high school’s prom queen. Not surprisingly, she fared well in the beauty contests she entered during that time. At only 17 years old, she won her first beauty pageant, Miss Teen Ohio. She went on and was successful in other high profile beauty pageants. She won Miss Teen All-American in 1985, was first runner-up Miss USA in 1986, and sixth place in Miss World 1986. Her interview in the 1986 Miss USA was awarded the highest score by the judges, proving that Halle has the brains as well as the beauty to succeed in her career.
Maria Halle Berry
August 14, 1966
(m. 1993; Div. 1997)
(m. 2001; Div. 2005)
(m. 2013; Div. 2016)
|Net Worth||$80 million|
Halle Berry Early life and Education
After this string of successes in beauty contests, Halle continued her education at Cleveland’s Cuyahoga Community College and studied broadcast journalism. But she did not finish her degree, opting to pursue a career in modeling wherein she has had success in the past. She started studying acting in Chicago and auditioned for a role in Aaron Spelling’s Charlie’s Angels. Berry did not get the role but Aaron told her to continue pursuing her dream to be an actress. She took his advice to heart and became more determined to become a great actress. When she moved to Manhattan, she immediately landed her first TV role in “Living Dolls”. Although the series was short-lived, Halle did not give up and got her breakthrough feature film role in Spike Lee’s “Jungle Fever” in 1991.
She portrayed a crack-addicted woman in this movie alongside Samuel Jackson and was so determined to play the role perfectly that she interviewed real addicts and stopped bathing 10 days before the start of shooting.
Halle Berry Television Work
Halle went back to television and landed a recurring role on the popular soap opera “Knots Landing” in 1991. But she loved the big screen, and she wanted to work on movies. She landed a starring role opposite big-name comedian Eddie Murphy in “Boomerang”. Berry turned to a lighter role in the family-friendly “The Flintstones”. She then starred alongside Jessica Lange in a more serious role, portraying a former addict trying to regain custody of her son in 1995’s “Losing Isaiah”. Halle also starred in “Executive Decision” and “Race the Sun”, both movies filmed in 1996.
Halle Berry Movies Work
In 1998, she landed another good movie role portraying an intelligent woman raised by activists in “Bulworth”. She received praise for her role in this movie opposite Warren Beatty. Halle Berry was the first black woman nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award in the 1999 HBO movie “Introducing Dorothy Dandridge”. She won several awards for her performance including an Emmy for Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV movie and a Golden Globe.
Halle was cast as the mutant superhero Storm in the film adaptation of the comic book series “X-Men” in 2000 and its sequels, “X2: X-Men United” and “X-Men: The Last Stand”. In 2001, she made her first on-screen nude scene in the hacker movie “Swordfish”. She was paid an additional $500,000 for the brief flash of her breasts in this movie. Halle won an Academy Award for Best Actress in her portrayal of Leticia Musgrove, the wife of an executed murderer, in 2001’s “Monster’s Ball”, the first African-American woman to receive the prestigious award. Speaking about her controversial sex scene in the movie, the actress said, “I don’t really see a reason to ever go that far again. That was a unique movie. She spoke in behalf of every black woman in her acceptance speech at the Academy Awards saying tearfully, “This moment is so much bigger than me.
Halle Berry Award
Her Academy Award certified her as an A-list Hollywood actress and opened more opportunities and bigger paychecks for her. She continued her fresh post-Academy Award career in the 2002 blockbuster movie “Die Another Day”, where she became a member of the famous Bond Girls. Berry got more screen time for her role as Storm in “X2” and “X-Men: The Last Stand” as a result of her Oscar winner status, saying that she would not return for the role unless the character had a significant presence in the movies. She added a psychological thriller in her list of movies when she starred in “Gothika” opposite Robert Downey, Jr. in late 2003.
Halle played the title role in 2004’s “Catwoman”, which subsequently bombed at the box office and earned her a Razzie Award for “worst actress”. She accepted the award in person with a sense of humor and holding the Academy Award in one hand and the Razzie in the other.
The Oscar winner has been married twice. Her first was to former baseball player David Justice which ended in divorce in 1996. The couple had a hard time sustaining their relationship as their busy lives got in the way. Halle was so depressed about the breakup she even contemplated taking her own life. Her second marriage was to musician Eric Benet. They married in 2001 on a beach in Santa Barbara. The actress adopted Benet’s daughter India but the couple met with marital difficulties and officially divorced in 2005.
However, Halle credits Benet with support for her career as the decision to go topless in “Swordfish” was helped partly because of the singer’s encouragement for her to take risks. Eric also supported her when she was charged with a misdemeanor following a February 2000 automobile accident where she suffered a concussion. She did not entertain thoughts of suicide unlike in her first divorce with Justice.
Halle Berry Personal Life
In November 2005, Halle met her current boyfriend, supermodel Gabriel Aubry, in a Versace photo shoot. The French-Canadian is ten years her junior but that did not stop Halle in saying, “I’m really happy in my personal life, which is a novelty to me. You know, I’m not the girl that has the best relationships.” After her previous marriages did not produce children, she gave birth to a girl named Nahla Ariela Aubry on March 16, 2008.
The actress was very happy to have “found someone really special to have a baby with.” Barry plans to have a second child right away. Halle Berry is one of the most highest-paid actresses in Hollywood. But she continues to evolve in her career as she took steps to become involved in the production aspect of movies. She is working with author Angela Nissel to executive-produce a comedy series based on Nissels’ two memoirs, “The Broke Diaries” and “Mixed: My Life in Black and White”. She has also been the face of Revlon cosmetics for several years now and even asked for a bigger paycheck after she won the Oscar in 2002.
Barry is also a celebrity endorser of Versace, counting Donatella Versace as one of her personal friends. Aside from that, she is set to market her own fragrance by Coty Inc. Fragrance Company. Halle is very excited to have her own scent. I am passionate about this project as I have always wanted hands-on experience in creating a fragrance that is a true representation of me.”