8/14/1966 (54 years old) Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Although this African-American actress started out as a beauty queen and model, she went on to become a pioneer for black women in Hollywood. Initially Berry appeared on the small screen in the short-lived series Living Dolls (as a model, of course) as well as a handful of guest spots. Her powerhouse turn as a crack addict in Jungle Fever proved an impressive entry into films. Despite her obvious talent, the beauty was often reduced to window dressing (The Last Boy Scout, Boomerang, The Flintstones). In 1999 Berry realized a lifelong dream and won an acting Emmy when she produced and starred in the TV biopic Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, about the first black performer to be nominated for an Oscar as best actress. The part proved prophetic when Berry became the first black actress to win that coveted award in 2002 for her unglamorous turn as a woman coping with a husband on death row in Monster's Ball. While on a career high, her personal life was messy, including high-profile divorces from professional baseball player David Justice and singer Eric Benét, and a 2000 hit-and-run accident and subsequent civil suit. In the early 2000s, Berry also made some career missteps, including a Razzie-winning performance in Catwoman. But she took all these setbacks in stride and, in an impressive show of good humor, she became the first big-name star to accept her Razzie Award in person in 2005. Her family life took a positive turn when she had her first child, Nahla Ariela Aubry, at the age of 41 with her partner Gabriel Aubry.