Published: Monday, February 14, 2011, 6:45 AM
As part of Black History Month, we feature Halle Berry, the Cleveland-born actress whose beauty and acting skills have won her a place as one of Hollywood's leading ladies.
In 2001, she became the first and only black woman to win an Academy Award for best actress, for her role in "Monster's Ball."
She was born Maria Halle Berry on Aug. 14, 1966. Her parents legally dropped her first name in 1971 and she became Halle Berry, named after the legendary Cleveland department store.
Berry got her first taste of fame in 1985 when she won the Miss Teen All-American Pageant, representing Ohio. In 1986, she was first runner-up in the Miss USA Pageant, which led to her first job, in the 1989 television show "Living Dolls."
Her breakthrough role in movies came in 1991 in Spike Lee's "Jungle Fever."
Next to her Oscar-winning performance, perhaps her most acclaimed role was as actress Dorothy Dandridge in made-for-cable's "Introducing Dorothy Dandridge" in 1999. She won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a TV Movie/Miniseries for the role.