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banner Monday, 25 March, 2002, 05:18 GMT
Berry: Ripe for success
Halle Berry
Halle Berry: Take a bow
Halle Berry is already working on the new James Bond film, in which she has a leading role - a sure sign that she is considered good for box office sales.

But her part in the current movie Monster's Ball is an indication of the actress's ability to take on more serious roles.

A tense tale of grief and inter-racial love, Monster's Ball contains echoes of Berry's first role which attracted critical approval - that of Vivian in Spike Lee's 1991 film Jungle Fever.

In Monster's Ball, she plays Leticia Musgrove, who finds herself involved in an inter-racial romance in America's deep South.

Halle Berry and Pierce Brosnan
Berry will co-star with Pierce Brosnan in the new James Bond movie

Despite critical praise, it is only in the last two years that she has become one of Hollywood's star names.

In 2000's hit science fiction film X-Men, she played Storm, a mutant who has the ability to control the weather.

The following year she co-starred with John Travolta in the thriller Swordfish.

Beauty pageant

Berry was born on 14 August, 1968 in Cleveland, Ohio, the daughter of a black father and white mother.

As a teenager she had success on the beauty pageant circuit and after a spell as a model, started appearing in a weekly TV series, Living Dolls.

After working with Lee she partnered comic actor Eddie Murphy in 1992's Boomerang, and a couple of years appeared as the dishy secretary Sharon Stone in The Flintstones.

Swordfish topped the US box office
In Bulworth, a satire on US racial politics, she was praised for her role when she starred as a street smart young woman who takes up Warren Beatty's struggling politician.

Greater acclaim followed in 1999, when she portrayed the doomed black American actress Dorothy Dandridge in a made-for-cable TV film. The role won her a Golden Globe and an Emmy Award.

Early in 2000, the year of her hit with X-Men, she suffered a personal setback when a Beverley Hills court put her on probation for three years and fined her $13,500 (8,500) for leaving the scene of an accident.

Berry has now proved herself across genres like comedy, action films and serious drama.

And now, she has become the first African-American woman to win the best actress Oscar for Monster's Ball.

See also:

11 May 00 | Entertainment
Film star Berry escapes jail
23 Jul 01 | Film
Travolta's fishy hit
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