Halle Berry

updated 05/03/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/03/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

When we first sighted her last year in Eddie Murphy's Boomerang, she was merely a promising new star. Now, Halle Berry is a member of Hollywood's young royalty. In February the former beauty queen paraded the full pageantry of her phenomenal looks in Queen, the top-rated CBS miniseries that USA Today TV critic Matt Roush predicted "will be remembered for Berry's electrifying arrival as a major actress." Starring as the mixed-race grandmother of Roots author Alex Haley, Berry, 25, aged on-camera from her teens to her late middle years, proving the contention of director John Erman that she has "one of those glorious faces that will defy age."

As the daughter of a black father and a white mother, Berry brought firsthand knowledge of the predicaments of a mixed racial background to Queen. In childhood "a lot of kids made me feel I had to hang with the black kids or the white kids," she recalls of growing up in Cleveland. "I managed to be accepted by both groups, though they didn't make it easy for me." While others may be studying her, Berry is studying baseball terminology now that she's the No. 1 fan of Atlanta Braves star outfielder David Justice, 27, whom she married on New Year's Eve at their home in Atlanta. The pair had started dating just nine months earlier when an acquaintance asked Berry for an autographed picture to give to Justice. Having spotted him a few weeks before at a baseball gathering—"when I saw him I had cardiac arrest, he was so gorgeous"—she added her phone number.

Conspicuous success just adds to the contentment that she figures lends luster to her already lustrous beauty—her air-cushion eyes, her café au lait complexion, the magic wands of her legs. "I was raised by a single parent, my mother," she says, "and self-image is something she promoted in me as a small child."

So here's to Berry—happy, looking forward to the filming late this spring of the big-screen comedy The Flintstones, in which she plays a vampish secretary, and to wedded bliss with her most valuable player. And Justice knows that he's not the only one with an eye out. "The only way our relationship will run smoothly," he says, "is for me to understand that guys will be after her. So we have to trust each other—and we have that trust." He's a wise, wise man.

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