03-31-2008 09:47

Halle Berry, the first African-American actress to win an Oscar for Best Actress, takes on a new role. She's just given birth to a baby girl. In our "List" today, we step closer to this celebrated artist, hailed as Hollywood's Black Pearl.

Halle Berry, the first African-American actress to
win an Oscar for Best Actress, takes on a new role.
(File photo)

Halle Berry was born August 14, 1966 in the state of Ohio. Her father was an African-American, Jerome Berry, a former hospital attendant. Her Caucasian mother Judith, was a psychiatric nurse. Halle Berry entered public awareness as the winner of the Miss Teen All-America Pageant. She represented her home state of Ohio. That was in 1985. A year later she was first runner-up at the Miss USA Pageant. The recognition propelled Berry into modeling. Like Cameron Diaz and Charlize Theron, Halle Berry soon turned from modeling to movies. And her drop-dead good looks fueled her success.

Berry came into the movie spotlight in 1991 when she appeared in Spike Lee's big screen production "Jungle Fever". Her role in the film was her big screen breakthrough. Success followed success after that. In 1999 she earned critical acclaim playing an actress in the title role of the HBO drama "Introducing Dorothy Dandridge". She won a Golden Globe for Best Actress as well as an Emmy.

Although Berry's 1995 film "Losing Isaiah" opposite Jessica Lange, earned only mixed reviews, she never slowed down. In 2000 Berry achieved box office super-stardom in the sci-fi movie "X-Men". She played Storm, a mutant, capable of controlling the weather. The blockbuster swept the globe, raking in an international box office of 157 million dollars.

A year later Berry joined the cast of Dominic Sena's "Swordfish". It tells the story of a spy, played by John Travolta, who desperately tries to access information locked inside a complex system. The system contains a vault of government secrets and money. Berry plays Travolta's secretary and accomplice. "Swordfish" swept to the top of the movie charts in North America within a week of its release. Soon after, Berry was named one of the fifty most beautiful people by People Magazine in 2002. "Monster's Ball" came out the same year. Berry portrayed a black woman struggling to make ends meet. The film won Berry an Oscar for Best Actress. The success set the stage for her part as a Bond Girl in the 007 sequel "Die Another Day".

Halle Berry married twice. Her first husband was baseball star David Justice. In 2001 Berry got hitched again to R&B singer Eric Benet. That marriage didn't last long. Now Berry lives with her boyfriend, model Gabriel Aubry. She delivered a baby girl in March. Berry says she's found the essence of life and she's living life optimistically and energetically -- and living it up.


Editor:Yang Jie