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Halle Maria Berry

Halle Maria Berry (born August 14, 1966) is an American actress.

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, halle maria berryJudith 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.

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.

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 black woman. She did not get the role (because the project never materialized) 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 short-lived ABC television series called Living Dolls (which was a spin-off of Who's the Boss?). Her breakthrough feature film role was in Spike Lee's 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." The year before, Berry really caught the public's attention with her portrayal as a female slave in the TV adaption of Alex Haley's Queen.

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