African American actress Halle Berry has been
raising eyebrows even since she was elected
prom queen in high school (she nearly lost the
crown upon being accused of ballot-box stuffing).
After participating in the Miss USA pageant,
Berry became a model, which led to her first
weekly TV series, 1989's Living Dolls. Rapidly
gaining a reputation for on-set tenacity, Berry
preferred to "live" her roles, remaining in
character even when the cameras stopped
turning. This technique was not universally
condoned by her fellow workers, especially when
she refused to bathe for several days before
starting work on her role as a crack addict in
Spike Lee's Jungle Fever.
In 1992, Berry was cast as Eddie Murphy's
vis-a-vis in Boomerang, one of the few times that
the explosive Murphy was evenly matched on
screen. Usually appearing in adult-oriented films,
Berry gained a youthful following for her
performance as sexy secretary Sharon Stone in
The Flintstones (1993).
Berry's highly publicized costarring stint with
Jessica Lange in Losing Isiah (1995) made
some observers feel that her scenes with Lange
merely amplify Berry's artistic shortcomings,
while others believe that she has never given a
more dynamic performance.