Friday, 13 April 2012

Halle Berry Biography

Halle Berry
Head and shoulders shot of a smiling Berry facing the camera.
Berry in February 2007
BornMaria Halle Berry
(1966-08-14) August 14, 1966 (age 45)
Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Years active1989–present
SpouseDavid Justice (m. 1992–1997) «start: (1992)–end+1: (1998)»"Marriage: David Justice to Halle Berry" Location: (linkback://
Eric Benét (m. 2001–2005) «start: (2001)–end+1: (2006)»"Marriage: Eric Benét to Halle Berry" Location: (linkback://
PartnerGabriel Aubry (2005–10)
Olivier Martinez (2010–present)
ChildrenNahla Ariela Aubry
Halle Berry (play /ˈhæli ˈbɛri/; born August 14, 1966[1]) is an American actress and a former fashion model. Berry received an Emmy, Golden Globe, SAG, and an NAACP Image Award for Introducing Dorothy Dandridge[2] 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 2012, 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.[3][4] She has been involved in the production side of several of the films in which she performed.
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.[2] 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.[5]



[edit] Early life

Berry was born Maria Halle Berry, though her name was legally changed to Halle Maria Berry in 1971.[6] Berry's parents selected her middle name from Halle's Department Store, which was then a local landmark in her birthplace of Cleveland, Ohio.[7] Her mother, Judith Ann (née Hawkins),[8] 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 mother worked; he later became a bus driver.[7][9] Berry's maternal grandmother, Nellie Dicken, was born in Sawley, Derbyshire, England, while her maternal grandfather, Earl Ellsworth Hawkins, was born in Ohio.[10] Berry's parents divorced when she was four years old; she and her older sister Heidi[11] were raised exclusively by her mother.[7] Berry has said in published reports that she has been estranged from her father since her childhood,[7][12] noting in 1992, "I haven't heard from him since [he left]. Maybe he's not alive."[11]
Berry graduated from Bedford High School, afterward working in the children's department at Higbee's Department store. She then studied at Cuyahoga Community College. In the 1980s, she entered several beauty contests, winning Miss Teen All-American in 1985 and Miss Ohio USA in 1986.[2] She was the 1986 Miss USA first runner-up to Christy Fichtner of Texas. In the Miss USA 1986 pageant interview competition, she said she hoped to become an entertainer or to have something to do with the media. Her interview was awarded the highest score by the judges.[13] She was the first African-American Miss World entrant in 1986, where she finished sixth and Trinidad and Tobago's Giselle Laronde was crowned Miss World.[14]

[edit] Acting career

[edit] 1989–2002

In the late 1980s, Berry went to Chicago to pursue a modeling career as well as acting.[15] One of her first acting projects was a television series for local cable by Gordon Lake Productions called Chicago Force. In 1989, Berry moved to New York City to further pursue her acting ambitions. During her early time there she ran out of money and had to live briefly in a homeless shelter.[15][16][17] Later in 1989, her situation improved and she was cast in the role of model Emily Franklin in the short-lived ABC television series Living Dolls, which was shot in New York and was a spin-off of the hit series Who's the Boss?.[15] During the taping of which she lapsed into a coma and was diagnosed with diabetes.[18][19] After the cancellation of Living Dolls, she moved to Los Angeles.[15] She went on to have a recurring role on the long-running primetime serial Knots Landing. In 1992, Berry was cast as the love interest in the video for R. Kelly's seminal single, Honey Love.[20][21]
Head and shoulders shot of a smiling Berry with dark hair pulled back, wearing a lace shirt and turquoise necklace.
Berry visiting with sailors and Marines during the opening day of Fleet Week New York 2006
Her breakthrough feature film role was in Spike Lee's Jungle Fever, in which she played a drug addict named Vivian.[7] Her first co-starring role was in the 1991 film Strictly Business. In 1992, Berry portrayed a career woman who falls for Eddie Murphy in the romantic comedy Boomerang. That same year, she caught the public's attention as a headstrong biracial slave in the TV adaptation of Queen: The Story of an American Family, based on the book by Alex Haley. Berry was in the live-action Flintstones movie playing the part of "Sharon Stone", a sultry secretary who seduced Fred Flintstone.[22]
Berry tackled a more serious role, playing a former drug addict struggling to regain custody of her son in Losing Isaiah (1995), starring opposite Jessica Lange. She portrayed Sandra Beecher in Race the Sun (1996), which was based on a true story, shot in Australia, and co-starred alongside Kurt Russell in Executive Decision. Beginning in 1996, she was a Revlon spokeswoman for seven years and renewed her contract in 2004.[4][23]
In 1997, Halle starred alongside Natalie Deselle Reid in the comedy film, B*A*P*S. Although panned by critics, it showed Halle's acting versatility.In 1998, Berry received praise for her role in Bulworth as an intelligent woman raised by activists who gives a politician (Warren Beatty) a new lease on life. The same year, she played the singer Zola Taylor, one of the three wives of pop singer Frankie Lymon, in the biopic Why Do Fools Fall in Love. In the 1999 HBO biopic Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, she portrayed the first black woman to be nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award, and it was to Berry a heart-felt project that she introduced, co-produced and fought intensely for it to come through.[7] Berry's performance was recognized with several awards, including an Emmy and a Golden Globe.[2][24]
Berry portrayed the mutant superhero Storm in the film adaptation of the comic book series X-Men (2000) and its sequels, X2: X-Men United (2003) and X-Men: The Last Stand (2006). In 2001, Berry appeared in the film Swordfish, which featured her first nude scene.[25] At first, she refused to be filmed topless in a sunbathing scene, but she changed her mind when Warner Brothers raised her fee substantially.[26] The brief flash of her breasts added $500,000 to her fee.[27] Berry considered these stories to be rumors and was quick to deny them.[25] After turning down numerous roles that required nudity, she said she decided to make Swordfish because her husband, Benét, supported her and encouraged her to take risks.[28]
In 2001, Berry appeared as Leticia Musgrove, the wife of an executed murderer, in the film Monster's Ball. Her performance was awarded the National Board of Review and the Screen Actors Guild best-actress prizes; in an interesting coincidence she became the first African-American to win the Academy Award for Best Actress (earlier in her career she portrayed Dorothy Dandridge, the first African-American to be nominated for Best Actress, and who was born at the same hospital as Berry, in Cleveland, Ohio).[29] The NAACP issued the statement: "Congratulations to Halle Berry and Denzel Washington for giving us hope and making us proud. If this is a sign that Hollywood is finally ready to give opportunity and judge performance based on skill and not on skin color then it is a good thing."[30] Her role also generated controversy. Berry's graphic nude love scene with a racist character played by co-star Billy Bob Thornton was the subject of much media chatter and discussion among African-Americans. Many in the African-American community were critical of Berry for taking the part.[28] Berry responded: "I don't really see a reason to ever go that far again. That was a unique movie. That scene was special and pivotal and needed to be there, and it would be a really special script that would require something like that again."[28]
Dressed in brown leather jacket, Berry looks up smiling.
Berry signs autographs for US soldiers in Bosnia-Herzegovina, December 24, 1996
Berry asked for a higher fee for Revlon advertisements after winning the Academy Award, and Ron Perelman, the cosmetics firm's chief, congratulated her, saying how happy he was that she modeled for his company. She replied, "Of course, you'll have to pay me more." Perelman stalked off in a rage.[31] Her win at the Academy Awards led to two famous "Oscar moments." In accepting her award, she gave an acceptance speech honoring previous black actresses who had never had the opportunity. She said, "This moment is so much bigger than me. This is for every nameless, faceless woman of colour who now has a chance tonight because this door has been opened."[32] One year later, as she presented the Best Actor award, winner Adrien Brody ran on stage and, instead of giving her the standard peck on the cheek, planted a long kiss on Berry.

[edit] 2002–present

Upper body shot of Berry dressed in brown and gold evening gown and holding an autograph pen.
Berry in Hamburg in 2004
As Bond girl Giacinta 'Jinx' Johnson in the 2002 blockbuster Die Another Day, Berry recreated a scene from Dr. No, emerging from the surf to be greeted by James Bond as Ursula Andress had 40 years earlier.[33] Lindy Hemming, costume designer on Die Another Day, had insisted that Berry wear a bikini and knife as an homage.[34] Berry has said of the scene: "It's splashy", "exciting", "sexy", "provocative" and "it will keep me still out there after winning an Oscar."[28] The bikini scene was shot in Cadiz; the location was reportedly cold and windy, and footage has been released of Berry wrapped in thick towels in between takes to avoid catching a chill.[35] According to a ITV news poll, Jinx was voted the fourth toughest girl on screen of all time.[36] Berry was hurt during filming when debris from a smoke grenade flew into her eye. It was removed in a 30-minute operation.[37]
After Berry won the Academy Award, rewrites were commissioned to give her more screentime for X2.[38]
In November 2003, she starred in the psychological thriller Gothika opposite Robert Downey Jr., during which she broke her arm in a scene with Downey, who twisted her arm too hard. Production was halted for eight weeks.[39] It was a moderate hit at the United States box office, taking in $60 million; it earned another $80 million abroad.[40] Berry appeared in the Limp Bizkit music video for Behind Blue Eyes for the motion picture soundtrack for the film. The same year, she was named #1 in FHM's 100 Sexiest Women in the World poll.[41] In 2004, Berry was voted fourth of Empire magazine's 100 sexiest film stars of all time poll.[42]
Berry received $12.5 million for the title role in the film Catwoman,[40] a $100 million movie; it grossed $17 million on its first weekend.[43] She was awarded a "worst actress" Razzie award in 2005 for this role. She appeared at the ceremony to accept the award in person (making her the third person, and second actor, to ever do so)[44] with a sense of humor, considering it an experience of the "rock bottom" in order to be "at the top".[5] Holding the Academy Award in one hand and the Razzie in the other she said, "I never in my life thought that I would be here, winning a Razzie. It's not like I ever aspired to be here, but thank you. When I was a kid, my mother told me that if you could not be a good loser, then there's no way you could be a good winner."[29] The Fund for Animals praised Berry's compassion towards cats and for squelching rumors that she was keeping a Bengal tiger from the sets of Catwoman as a "pet."[45]
Berry next appeared in the Oprah Winfrey-produced ABC TV movie Their Eyes Were Watching God (2005), an adaptation of Zora Neale Hurston's novel, in which Berry portrayed Janie Crawford, a free-spirited woman whose unconventional sexual mores upset her 1920s contemporaries in a small community. She was nominated for an Emmy for this TV film. Meanwhile, she voiced the character of Cappy, one of the many mechanical beings in the animated feature Robots (2005).[46]
Upper body shot of Berry in long sleeved red jersey and jeans with midriff slightly exposed. A crowd in is the background.
Berry on the red carpet of Robots
In 2006, Berry, Pierce Brosnan, Cindy Crawford, Jane Seymour, Dick Van Dyke, Tea Leoni, and Daryl Hannah successfully fought the Cabrillo Port Liquefied Natural Gas facility that was proposed off the coast of Malibu.[47] Berry said, "I care about the air we breathe, I care about the marine life and the ecosystem of the ocean."[48] In May 2007, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the facility.[49] Hasty Pudding Theatricals gave her its 2006 Woman of The Year award.[50]
Berry is involved in production of films and television. She served as executive producer on Introducing Dorothy Dandridge in 1999, and Lackawanna Blues in 2005. Berry both produced and starred in the thriller Perfect Stranger with Bruce Willis and in Things We Lost in the Fire with Benicio del Toro, the first film in which she worked with a female director, Danish Susanne Bier, a new feeling of "thinking the same way", which she appreciated.[51] Berry then starred in the film Frankie and Alice, in which she plays Frankie Murdoch, a young multiracial American women with dissociative identity disorder struggling against her alter personality to retain her true self. She was awarded the African-American Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress and also was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama.
Berry is one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood, earning $10 million per film.[3] In July 2007, she topped In Touch magazine's list of the world's most fabulous 40-something celebrities. On April 3, 2007, she was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in front of the Kodak Theatre at 6801 Hollywood Boulevard for her contributions to the film industry.[52][53] As of 2011, Berry's worldwide box office gross has been more than 2.7 billion US$. In 2011, she appeared in New Year's Eve, and is playing one of the leads in the film Cloud Atlas, which is expected to be released in October 2012.[54] Berry has served for many years as the face of Revlon cosmetics and also as the face of Versace. The Coty Inc. fragrance company signed Berry to market her debut fragrance in March 2008. Berry was delighted, saying that she had created her own fragrances at home by mixing scents.[55]
Head and shoulders shot of Berry in brown jersey and sunglasses, hair cut short, seated at an autograph table.
Berry at the 2003 Comic-Con International in San Diego, CA

[edit] Personal life

Berry at the 83rd Academy Awards, 27 February 2011
Berry has been married twice. Her first marriage was to former baseball player David Justice, shortly after midnight on January 1, 1993.[56] The couple separated in 1996 and their divorce was finalized in 1997.[57] Berry has stated publicly that she was so depressed after her breakup with Justice that she considered taking her own life,[58] but she could not bear the thought of her mother finding her body.[59]
Berry married Eric Benét in early 2001 on a beach in Santa Barbara.[28][60] Berry credited Benét with support after she was involved in a February 2000 traffic collision, in which she left the scene of the accident. Some in the media complained that her misdemeanor hit and run charge was preferential treatment;[61][62] she had also been the driver in an alleged hit and run incident three years earlier in which no charges were filed.[63] The incident became fodder for comedians. Berry pled no contest, did community service, paid a fine and was placed on three years' probation.[64] A civil lawsuit was settled out of court.[65][66]
The couple separated in 2003.[60] After the separation, Berry stated, "I want love, and I will find it, hopefully."[67] While married to Benét, Berry adopted his daughter, India.[60] The divorce was finalized in January 2005.[68]
In November 2005, Berry began dating French-Canadian model Gabriel Aubry. The couple met at a Versace photoshoot.[69] After six months with Aubry, she stated in an interview, "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."[70] Berry gave birth to a girl named Nahla Ariela Aubry on March 16, 2008, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.[71] Nahla means "honeybee" in Arabic; Ariela is Hebrew for "lion for God".[72]
On April 30, 2010, Berry and Aubry announced their separation.[73] Aubry filed documents with the Los Angeles Superior Court on December 30, 2010, asking the court to formally recognize his paternity and grant a court order giving him and Berry joint legal and physical custody over their daughter.[74][75]
Berry has been dating actor Olivier Martinez since 2010.[76] Martinez confirmed their engagement in March 2012.[77]

[edit] In the media

While taping the Tonight Show with Jay Leno on October 19, 2007, Berry displayed a distorted image of her face, remarking: "Here's where I look like my Jewish cousin!"[78] During the editing of the program, the comment was obscured by a laugh track.[79]
Berry took part in a nearly 2000-house party cell-phone bank campaign for Barack Obama in February 2008.[80]
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."[81] Men's Health named her one of the "100 Hottest Women of All-Time", ranking her at No. 35.[82]

[edit] Filmography

Living Dolls1989Emily FranklinTV (canceled after 13 episodes)
Amen1991ClaireTV series, episode: "Unforgettable"
Different World, AA Different World1991JaclynTV series, episode: "Love, Hillman-Style"
They Came from Outer Space1991ReneTV series, episode: "Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow"
Knots Landing1991Debbie PorterTV (cast member in 1991)
Jungle Fever1991VivianNominated—Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated—Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Actress
Strictly Business1991Natalie
Last Boy Scout, TheThe Last Boy Scout1991Cory
Boomerang1992Angela Lewis
Alex Haley's Queen1993QueenNAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
Father Hood1993Kathleen Mercer
Program, TheThe Program1993Autumn Haley
Flintstones, TheThe Flintstones1994Sharon Stone[22]
Solomon & Sheba1995Nikhaule/Queen ShebaTV
Losing Isaiah1995Khaila RichardsNominated – NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
Executive Decision1996Jean
Race the Sun1996Miss Sandra Beecher
Girl 61996Cameo
Rich Man's Wife, TheThe Rich Man's Wife1996Josie Potenza
Wedding, TheThe Wedding1998Shelby ColesTV
Bulworth1998NinaNominated – NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
Why Do Fools Fall in Love1998Zola Taylor
Introducing Dorothy Dandridge1999Dorothy DandridgeProducer
Black Reel Award for Best Actress in a Television Movie/Cable
Black Reel Award for Best Television Miniseries or Movie
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Made for Television Movie
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
X-Men2000Ororo Munroe/Storm
Welcome to Hollywood2000Documentary
Swordfish2001Ginger KnowlesNAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
Monster's Ball2001Leticia MusgroveAcademy Award for Best Actress
Black Reel Award for Best Actress
National Board of Review Award for Best Actress
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress
Silver Bear for Best Actress
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Nominated—Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Nominated—London Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated—MTV Movie Award for Best Performance - Female
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama
Die Another Day2002Giacinta 'Jinx' Johnson
X2: X-Men United2003Ororo Munroe/Storm
Gothika2003Miranda GreyTeen Choice Awards for Choice Movie Actress – Drama/Action Adventure
Nominated – Black Reel Award for Best Actress
Nominated – Kids Choice Award for Favorite Actress
Nominated – NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
Nominated – MTV Movie Award for Best Performance - Female
Catwoman2004Patience Phillips / CatwomanRazzie Award for Worst Actress[83]
Nominated - Razzie Award for Worst Screen Couple (with either Benjamin Bratt or Sharon Stone)
Their Eyes Were Watching God2005Janie StarksNominated—Black Reel Award for Best Actress: T.V. Movie/Cable
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated—NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
X-Men: The Last Stand2006Ororo Munroe/Storm
Perfect Stranger2007Rowena Price
Things We Lost in the Fire2007Audrey Burke
Frankie and Alice2010Frankie/AliceAfrican-American Film Critics Association for Best Actress
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
PRISM Award for Best Performance in a Feature Film
Nominated—BET Award for Best Actress
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
New Year's Eve2011Nurse Aimee
Dark Tide2012Kate Mathieson
Movie 432012Cameo - Uncredited
Cloud Atlas2012Meronym

[edit] Awards

1995NAACP Image AwardsOutstanding Actress in a TV Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic SpecialAlex Haley's QueenWon
2000Primetime Emmy AwardOutstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or MovieIntroducing Dorothy DandridgeWon
2000Golden Globe AwardBest Actress – Miniseries or TV MovieIntroducing Dorothy DandridgeWon
2000Screen Actors Guild AwardsBest Actress – Miniseries or TV MovieIntroducing Dorothy DandridgeWon
2000Black Reel AwardsBest Actress in a TV Movie/Mini-SeriesIntroducing Dorothy DandridgeWon
2000NAACP Image AwardsOutstanding Actress in a TV Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic SpecialIntroducing Dorothy DandridgeWon
2001Academy AwardBest ActressMonster's BallWon
2001Screen Actors Guild AwardsBest Actress – Motion PictureMonster's BallWon
2001British Academy of Film and Television ArtsBest Lead ActressMonster's BallNominated
2001Golden Globe AwardBest Actress – Motion Picture DramaMonster's BallNominated
2001NBRBest ActressMonster's BallWon
2002Black Reel AwardsBest ActressMonster's BallWon
2002NAACP Image AwardNAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion PictureSwordfishWon
2002BET AwardsBest ActressWon
2002Women in Film Crystal + Lucy AwardsCrystal Award for Outstanding Woman who have helped expand the role of women in EntertainmentRecipient[84]
2003BET AwardsBest ActressNominated
2003NAACP Image AwardOutstanding Supporting ActressDie Another DayWon
2004NAACP Image AwardOutstanding ActressGothikaNominated
2004BET AwardsBest ActressWon
2004Golden Raspberry AwardsWorst ActressCatwomanWon
2004Worst Screen CoupleCatwoman (with either Benjamin Bratt or Sharon Stone)Nominated
2005BET AwardsBest ActressNominated
2005Primetime Emmy AwardOutstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a MovieTheir Eyes Were Watching GodNominated
2006NAACP Image AwardOutstanding Supporting Actress – TV seriesTheir Eyes Were Watching GodNominated
2006Golden Globe AwardsBest Actress – Miniseries or TV MovieTheir Eyes Were Watching GodNominated
2007People's Choice AwardsFavorite Female Action HeroX-Men: The Last StandWon
2008BET AwardsBest ActressWon
2009Spike Guys' Choice AwardsDecade of Hotness AwardWon
2011Golden Globe AwardsBest Actress – Motion Picture DramaFrankie and AliceNominated
2011NAACP Image AwardsNAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion PictureFrankie and AliceWon

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