Berry was born in Cleveland, Ohio. She was named after Halle's Department Store, a local landmark. Although she is generally considered African American, she is biracial, with a white English-born mother, Judith Ann Hawkins, and a black American father, Jerome Berry. Berry's parents divorced when she was four years old and she was subsequently raised by her mother, a psychiatric-ward nurse. She has an older sister, Heidi. She has diabetes and is deaf in one ear.
Berry was a popular student at her high school and was a cheerleader, honor society member, editor of the school newspaper, class president, and prom queen. She subsequently attended Cuyahoga Community College.
Before becoming an actress, she entered several beauty contests including Miss Ohio USA, Miss Teen All American, Miss USA, and Miss World. Her talents as an actress have often been overshadowed by her physical beauty.
In the late 1980s, she went to Chicago to pursue a modeling career as well as acting. One of her first acting projects was a television series for local cable by Gordon Lake Productions called "Chicago Force."
Berry auditioned for a role in an updated Charlie's Angels television series by producer Aaron Spelling. At the time, Spelling wanted one of the "Angels" to be a woman of color. She did not get the role but she impressed Spelling with her skills. He encouraged her to continue perfecting her craft.
In 1989, Berry landed the role of brainy Emily Franklin in the ABC television series called Living Dolls. Her breakthrough feature film role was in Jungle Fever where she played a drug addict named Vivian. Her first co-starring role was in the film Strictly Business. Another one of her early roles was in a supporting capacity in the Flintstones movie where she played "Sharon Stone." She played the superhero Storm in 2000 in the successful film, X-Men and again in the more successful X2: X-Men United (2003). Gothika was the first film that she "carried" (the film focusing entirely on her). Her most recent feature had her playing Catwoman (2004), which was a much criticized film and did not perform well at the box office. 2005 looks like being a very busy year though with several films either in production or being released.
She won the best actress Oscar in 2002 for Monster's Ball, becoming the first African American woman to win this award. Interestingly, Berry had played Dorothy Dandridge, the first African American woman to be nominated for a best actress Academy Award, in HBO's Introducing Dorothy Dandridge in 1999. Another similarity the two women shared was being born in the same hospital.
In February 2000, she was involved in an automobile accident when she struck another vehicle after running a red light and left the scene before the police arrived. Berry, who had sustained a head injury, later stated she had no recollection of the accident and pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge. She paid a fine, made restitution to the other driver, performed community services, and was placed on three years’ probation.
Having long refused to do any nude scenes, much was made of her first topless scene in the film Swordfish, a thirty second scene for which she was allegedly paid an additional $500,000. She followed this with a more extended nude love scene in Monster's Ball. As Bond Girl Jinx in 2002's Die Another Day she famously recreated the scene from Dr. No, bursting from the surf - scantily clad - to be greeted by James Bond, as Ursula Andress did 40 years earlier.
Berry has been married twice. Her first marriage in 1992 to baseball player David Justice ended in a 1996 divorce. Her second marriage in 2001 to musician Eric Benét has resulted in a 2003 separation due to Benét's infidelity. She has never had children herself, but is close to her step-daughter India from her marriage to Benet, whom she legally adopted.
In 2003 Berry came top of FHM's 100 Sexiest Women in the World poll.
For more details on Halle's film career, visit the Filmography page.
Halle Berry Facts
49 interesting facts you may or may not know about Halle...
Is a spokeswoman for Revlon cosmetics.
She was placed on three years probation and ordered to pay $13,500 in fines and penalties after pleading no contest on May 10 2000 to a misdemeanor charge of leaving the scene of a traffic accident. The judge also ordered the actress to perform 200 hours of community service and to make restitution as determined by the outcome of civil litigation arising from the February accident when she was driving a rented Chevrolet Blazer and ran a red light and crashed into another car on Sunset Boulevard. She left the scene of the accident before authorities arrived, suffered a gash to her head that required 20 stitches to close, and the woman (Hetal Raythatha) driving the other vehicle broke her wrist. Halle reported the accident to a police officer at the hospital where she sought treatment.
Her parents, Judith & Jerome Berry, divorced when she was 4 years old. She was then raised by her mom. When researching for her role of Dorothy Dandridge, she discovered that she and Dorothy were both born in the same Cleveland, Ohio hospital.
One of People Magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People." 
Miss USA; first runner-up to Christy Fichtner who was on the first season of "Who Wants to Marry My Dad?" (2003). 
Miss Ohio USA. 
Miss Teen All American. 
Attended Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland, Ohio.
Turned down the role of Annie in Speed (1994).
Is named after the grand old Halle Building in Cleveland, Ohio, which originally housed the Halle Brothers department store. The building is now an office building and the fictional setting for the Winfred-Louder department store on "The Drew Carey Show" (1995).
In high school, was an honor society member, editor of the school paper, and class president. Was also crowned prom queen.
Born at 9:03 p.m EST
Lost some hearing in one of her ears due to a physical encounter with a boyfriend in the early 90s.
Attended Heskett Middle School in Bedford, Ohio.
First African American actress to win the Oscar for Best Actress.
Has a step-daughter named India.
Sister Heidi b. 1964; is estranged from Halle.
April 10, 2002 - She received an injury on the set of Die Another Day (2002). Halle was injured on location in Cadiz, Spain while shooting an action sequence that involved Pierce Brosnan firing on a helicopter being flown by Rick Yune.
Portrayed Dorothy Dandridge in the made for television film Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (1999) (TV). Dorothy Dandridge was the first African-American woman to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress and coincidentally Halle Berry is the first to have won in that category.
Was named one of the "50 Most Beautiful People" by People Magazine in 2002.
As a young aspiring actress, she was the leading lady in R. Kelly and Public Announcement's 1991 video hit Honey Love, where they re-enacted a scene from Nine 1/2 Weeks (1986).
Graduate of Bedford High School, Bedford, Ohio
First black American in the Miss World Competition. She didn't win a prize but her dress did.
She is the only official "Bond Girl" to win an Academy Award. Although Kim Basinger (Best Supporting Actress, L.A. Confidential (1997)) was a "Bond Girl", Never Say Never Again (1983) is not included in the list of 20 official James Bond films.
Her dress for the 2002 Oscars ceremony was voted the most popular from the first 75 years.
Ranked #96 in Premiere's 2003 annual Power 100 List.
Named one of the 50 most beautiful people in People Magazine in 2003. She has now appeared on this list seven times.
Voted the 10th Sexiest Female Movie Star in the Australian Empire Magazine September 2002.
Starred in three movies with Hugh Jackman: X-Men (2000), Swordfish (2001) and X2 (2003).
May 2003 - Broke her arm on the set of Gothika (2003), filming in Montreal.
Was a Bearcats cheerleader at Bedford High School.
Became engaged to singer 'Eric Benet' on 14 August 1999. Benet has a daughter, India (b. 1991).
Half British on her mother's side.
The first actress to star and portray two different comic book characters for two different comic book companies: "Storm" for Marvel's X-Men (2000) and X2 (2003), and "Catwoman" for D.C Comics's Catwoman (2004).
She is currently the highest paid black actress in Hollywood. 
Named one of the "50 Most Beautiful People" in People Magazine in 2004. She has now appeared on this list eight times, tying with Julia Roberts for the most appearances.
Voted as #7 on the "Top 100 Sexiest Women 2004" in FHM [DK].
Named one of the Top 10 authentic beauties in 2004. She was in the seventh rank in that list.
Played a character called "Sharon Stone" in The Flintstones (1994). Ten years later she appeared with the real Sharon Stone in Catwoman (2004).
Wisely turned down the female lead in box office disaster Gigli (2003), which birthed the relationship of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez.
Smashed her head into set lights on the set of Catwoman (2004). She wasn't seriously injured.
Adopted a cat (that was originally an extra for Catwoman (2004)) named Playto, to help herself learn about cats. However, she renamed the cat Playdough, because Playto was too serious a name for her.
Her first $1 million salary for a film was for Executive Decision (1996) - a part which she earlier refused.... until she was offered $1 million.
Voted #7 on VH1's "100 Hottest Hotties."
Ranked #15 in Stuff magazine's "102 Sexiest Women in the World" (2002).
The age difference between herself and Rosamund Pike in Die Another Day (2002) - 12 years and 5 months - is the greatest age difference between two Bond girls in one film since Alison Doody and Grace Jones - a difference of 18 years - in A View to a Kill (1985).
Was listed as a potential nominee on the 2004 Razzie Award nominating ballot. She was suggessted in the Worst Actress category for her performance in the film Gothika (2003), she failed to receieve a nomination however. The very next year though, she got a nomination for Worst Actress in the film Catwoman (2004).