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The Reel Story: Halle Berry

Black Music Month

The Reel Story: Halle Berry

To date, Halle Berry is the first and only African-American woman to win an Oscar for Best Actress. Over the past twenty years, we’ve seen many highs- and a few lows – for the highly successful actress. We take a look back at how her Hollywood career has aligned with her personal life.

1991-1993
Halle got her first breakthrough role as an actress in Spike Lee’s Jungle Fever. Soon afterward, she got a new role: wife. She got married for the first time to baseball player David Justice in 1993.

1995-1997
Halle played a memorable role as a recovering drug addict who was trying to regain custody of her son in Losing Isaiah. She likely was trying to save her marriage around the same time, but unfortunately she and Justice separated in 1996. That same year, Revlon recognized her beauty and named her spokeswoman, but her looks weren’t enough for Justice- they divorced in 1997.

1997-1999
Halle Berry found love again when she started dating musician Eric Benet in 1997, and put her heart and soul in her portrayal of Dorothy Dandridge when she appeared in Introducing Dorothy Dandridge in 1999. She won an Emmy and Golden Globe, and became the first Black woman nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award.

2001
This year was probably one of Halle’s biggest years to-date: she married Eric Benet, appeared in her first nude scene in Swordfish (which Benet approved of and that added $500,000 to her paycheck), and appeared in Monster’s Ball where she received her coveted Oscar for Best Actress (Denzel won for Best Actor the same year for Training Day) and paid homage to all Black actresses in her acceptance speech.

2003
Halle endured a physical and emotional hardship in 2003. She broke her arm during the filming of Gothika when Robert Downey, Jr. accidentally twisted it too hard, and she separated from her husband, Eric Benet.

2005
Halle may have received the worst actress Razzie award for Catwoman this year but she still received a whooping $12.5 million for the role, and she met her next beau, model Gabriel Aubry, at a Versace photo shoot (which she also models for.)


2007-2008

Halle played a mother in Things We Lost in the Fire, and fiction mirrored reality when Halle became pregnant with her first child in September 2007. She gave birth to Nahla Maria Aubry in March 2008.

2010-2011
Halle appears plays a woman with multiple personality disorder who struggles to remain true to herself in Frankie & Alice, and wins the NAACP Image Award for Best Actress and is nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress. Trouble begins to brew at home however: Halle splits from Aubry, and subsequently pulls out of a film to handle custody battles with him. Halle is now currently dating French actor, Oliver Martinez.

—— By: Crystal Tate

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