Halle Berry: Snapshot

Halle Berry
Date of Birth
August 14, 1966
Birth Place
Cleveland, Ohio
The breathtaking Halle Berry made history as the first black woman to win a Best Actress Oscar for 2002's Monster's Ball.

Before taking home her historic Academy Award, Berry's career was a balance of blockbusters (Die Another Day, X-Men) and critically acclaimed dramas (Spike Lee's Jungle Fever and Introducing Dorothy Dandridge).

Despite her professional success and stunning beauty, Berry seemed to be unlucky in love: she divorced Atlanta Braves baseball player David Justice and singer Eric Benét. But in her 40s, the Oscar winner fulfilled a lifelong dream when she welcomed her daughter Nahla with model Gabriel Aubry and found love with husband Olivier Martinez. The couple welcomed a son, Maceo-Robert, in 2013.

Halle Berry: Video

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The groundbreaking actress cuts a mighty swath on the red carpet – from belly-baring ensembles to making a baby bump sexy (02:00)

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Halle Berry: Five Fun Facts

  1. A superstitious Halle Berry saved all of her negative pregnancy tests in drawer. "Don't ask! I don't know why, but I did," she told Oprah Winfrey. "After about 35 tests, we finally got a positive test."
  2. In her first, much-hyped topless scene in 2001's Swordfish, Halle Berry lowers a book she's reading to reveal she's sunbathing without a top. The book? Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time.
  3. Halle Berry has a record of on-set injuries. She fell off a horse and bruised her tailbone while filming the TV miniseries Queen in 1992; she choked on a fig during Die Another Day; she fractured a bone in her right arm filming Gothika; and a piece of equipment struck her in the head on the set of Catwoman.
  4. Halle Berry owns a tight pair of Mickey Mouse jeans she's had since she was 15 years old. She regularly tries them on to test if she's movie-star trim.
  5. While filming flying spins as her character Storm in X-Men, Halle Berry got motion sickness. "I upchucked and sprayed the crew," Halle Berry told PEOPLE. "I just laughed because there's nothing else you can do."

Halle Berry: Biography


Halle Berry

Miss Popularity

Berry edits the school newspaper, becomes class president, and captain of her cheerleading squad at Bedford High School, located in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio. "[Doing] all those things helped to make me feel a sense of empowerment," she tells Ebony of her experience attending an all-White school.


Halle Berry

No Contest

A boyfriend enters her into her first beauty contest, and Berry storms onto the pageant scene, winning Miss Teen All-American. "We didn't have a lot, so initially I saw dollar signs," she tells PEOPLE. "But then I felt really empowered after winning." In 1986, after being crowned Miss Ohio USA, Berry comes in second place in the Miss USA contest and sixth in Miss World. But "I wasn't the consummate pageant girl," Berry later says to PEOPLE of her tiara days.


Halle Berry


Breakin' Out

Berry's breakthrough role comes in Spike Lee's Jungle Fever. Despite her role as a down-and-out drug addict, scoring such a meaty part wasn't easy. The "'too pretty' thing got to be old," she says to PEOPLE.

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Photo Credits

BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Classmates Yearbook Archives; Miss Teen All American Pageant; David Lee/Foto Fantasies

Edited by Julia Wang

Halle Berry

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