Halle Maria Berry is an Oscar winning Hollywood actress who is known for her stunning good looks, wide array of roles and being the face of Revlon cosmetics. She was born on August 14, 1966 in Cleveland, Ohio to Jerome and Judith Berry and has an older sister named Heidi. Her father was an alcoholic who abused her mother and abandoned the family when Berry was quite young. She moved to Bedford with her mother and sister where she attended a predominantly white public school. As a result, she was subjected to racial discrimination from an early age. However, she was an all rounder in high school and landed the role of head cheerleader, class president and editor of the school newspaper as well as being voted the prom queen.
At the age of 17 she entered the Miss Teen All-American Pageant as the representative from Ohio. She won the title in 1985 as well as the position of first runner up in the Miss U.S.A. Pageant a year later. For a short while she entertained the notion of being a TV News Anchor and went to Community College in Cleveland. She abandoned that idea soon and moved to Chicago and then to New York to work as a model before landing her first TV role in the 1989 TV series “Living Dolls”. Her first major acclaimed performance was the role of a drug addict in the film “Jungle Fever” released in 1991 in which she starred with Samuel L. Jackson. Berry’s commitment to the role was noteworthy – she stayed in character throughout the filming of the movie and even refused to shower for days so she could really feel the desperation and hopelessness that the character required.
During this time she took on a series of other roles including the TV drama “Knot’s Landing” in 1991, “The Last Boy Scout” also in 1991 which was an action thriller starring Bruce Willis, and “Boomerang” in 1992, a romantic comedy in which she starred opposite Eddie Murphy. She consistently took on strong and sometimes unconventional roles such as a rehabilitated drug addict in “Losing Isaiah” and the Queen of Sheeba in “Solomon &