Halle Berry has certainly made her mark in Hollywood as not only as one of the most beautiful women in the movie industry, but also as one of the most talented. She has an impressive body of work and has received many awards, including the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role as Leticia Musgrove in the movie “Monster’s Ball.” Berry earns approximately $10 million per movie as of 2013, according to Forbes, making her one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood.
Berry was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1966. Her birth name was Maria Halle Berry, but her mother legally changed her name to Halle Maria Berry when she was five years old. Berry was born to an interracial couple; Berry’s mother is Caucasian and her father is African American. She is the younger of two children, and she spent her early years living with her family in the rough inner-city town of Cleveland. Berry’s parent’s divorced before she started first grade, and she and her older sister were raised exclusively by Berry’s mother. As an adult, Berry claimed to have never seen her father again since he departed from the family during her childhood.
While in still in high school, Berry entered a few of local beauty pageants. After graduating from high school, she enrolled in Cuyahoga Community College and worked part time as a department store clerk. During that time, she began to enter beauty pageants again, and she ultimately won the title of Miss Teen All American when she was 19 years old. Just one year later at the age of 20, Berry won the title of Miss Ohio USA. After becoming Miss Ohio, Berry entered the Miss USA pageant of 1986 and became first runner-up. She then entered the Miss World pageant and came in sixth place. Shortly after the Miss World pageant, Berry decided not to continue her education, and she moved to Chicago, Illinois, to pursue a modeling career.
Berry worked as a catalog model for a few years, traveling back and forth between Chicago and New York. In 1989, Berry decided to move to New York because she had a strong desire to become an actress. Berry had natural acting abilities, so it did not take her long to land her first major gig. That year, she won the role of Emily Franklin in a television show called “Living Dolls.” During the taping of “Living Dolls,” Berry was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. “Living Dolls” was short-lived, which gave berry time to learn about her disease and how to manage it. After learning to control her diabetes, Berry decided to continue her acting pursuit and moved to Los Angeles, California.
After moving to California, Berry landed a few small roles on television shows, but her big break came in 1991 when she was cast as a crack addict named Vivian in the movie “Jungle Fever.” That same year, she was cast as Natalie in the movie “Strictly Business.” “Jungle Fever” was moderately successful, and “Strictly Business” was not a box-office hit. However, it was Berry’s role as Angela Lewis in the 1992 hit comedy “Boomerang” that really made Hollywood take notice. In this film, she played alongside Eddie Murphy, Grace Jones, Martin Lawrence, Eartha Kitt, and Robin Givens, and the film earned more than $130 million at the box office.
Throughout the 90s, Berry starred in many more films, including “The Flintstones,” “Losing Isaiah,” “The Rich Man’s Wife,” “Bullworth,” and “Why Do Fools Fall in Love.” In the year 2000, Berry starred as Storm in the hit superhero movie “X-Men.” This movie earned approximately $300 million at the box office and introduced Berry to an entirely new fan base. While making her mark as an actress, Berry also worked as a spokesperson for Revlon and spoke publicly about her struggles with diabetes. She also married and had a very public divorce with baseball player David Justice. In 2001, Berry married her second husband, singer Eric Benet.
In 2001, Berry reached her greatest accomplishment as an actress when she was nominated for and won the Oscar Award for Best Actress for her role in “Monster’s Ball,” making her the first African-American actress to receive an award in this category. Less than two years after this huge accomplishment, Berry and her husband Eric Benet divorced. Berry went on to play starring roles in the film “Catwoman,” “Robots,” “X-Men” The Last Stand,” “Perfect Stranger,” and “Frankie and Alice.” She began dating model Gabriel Aubry in 2005, and the couple welcomed a baby girl in 2008. Aubry and Berry separated in early 2010, and later that year, she began dating actor Oliver Martinez. In April 2013, 46-year-old Berry announced that she was three months pregnant with Martinez’s child.
Berry is still very active on the Hollywood scene. In 2012 and 2013, she starred in “Cloud Atlas,” “Dark Tide,” and “The Call.” In 2014, she will again star as Storm in the film “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”