Halle Berry was born August 14, 1966; she is an American actress and a former fashion model. Berry was born
Maria Halle Berry, though her name was legally changed to Halle Maria Berry in 1971. Berry’s parents selected her middle name from Halle’s Department Store, which was then a local landmark in her birthplace of Cleveland, Ohio. Her mother, Judith Ann who is of European descent, was a psychiatric nurse. Her father, Jerome Jesse Berry, was an African American hospital attendant in the same psychiatric ward where her
Before becoming an actress, Berry entered several beauty contests, finishing as the 1st runner-up in the Miss USA Pageant (1986), and coming in 6th place in the Miss World Pageant in 1986.
She made her film debut with a small role in 1991’s Jungle Fever. This led to starring roles in The Flintstones (1994), Bulworth (1998), X-Men (2000) and its sequels, and as Bond Girl Jinx in Die another Day (2002).
She also won the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress in 2005 for Catwoman and accepted the award in
person, one of the few performers to do so. Berry received an Emmy, Golden Globe, SAG, and an NAACP Image
Award for Introducing Dorothy Dandridge and won an Academy Award for Best Actress and was nominated for a
BAFTA Award in 2001 for her performance in Monster’s Ball, becoming the first and, as of 2011, only woman
of African American descent to have won the award for Best Actress.
She is one of the most highly paid actresses in Hollywood and also a Revlon spokeswoman. She has been
involved in the production side of several of the films in which she performed. In October 2008, Berry was
named Esquire magazine’s “Sexiest Woman Alive”, about which she stated “I don’t know exactly what it means,
but being 42 and having just had a baby, I think I’ll take it.”