Halle Berry has stunned audiences since she first hit the silver screen and has since evolved from the pretty love interest to the dynamic protagonist we love to watch, all while breaking barriers along the way. Here’s a look back on the roles that have built up her strength over the years.
In a sequel to the iconic TV miniseries Roots, Berry played the title character, who was one of author Alex Haley’s ancestors. As the daughter of a plantation owner’s son and a slave, Queen struggles to find happiness and a place to belong in post–Civil War America.
Berry took on the role of a drug-addicted mother named Khalia Richards who abandons her baby to indulge in her habit. Her son, who was originally thought to be dead, is adopted by his social worker and enters a long custody battle after Khalia gets sober and wants him back.
Introducing Dorothy Dandridge
In the pet project Berry fought long and hard to make, she embodies the legendary actress from her days as a nightclub singer to her turn in films to her best-actress Oscar nomination in 1954 for Carmen Jones, then on to Dandridge’s demise, with a focus on her love life as well as racism in the 1950s.
Berry first tapped into her superhero abilities as the iconic Storm, who can control and manipulate the weather, in an effort to defeat the Brotherhood of Mutants with the help of Charles Xavier and the rest of his X-Men. She reprised the role two more times before her famous turn as Catwoman.
In the role that earned her an Academy Award, Berry plays Leticia, the widow of a convicted murder who also loses her son in a car accident. She unintentionally falls in love with one of the prison guards who executed her husband.
Die Another Day
While becoming a Bond girl may not seem like much to some, Berry not only made a strong showing as the first African-American Bond girl but also stirred rumors of a female Bond in the future. As Jinx Johnson, she helps 007 stop a madman with a satellite laser beam who’s bent on warfare.
In her most recent film, Berry takes on the role of Jordan Turner, an emergency operator who must confront a killer from her past to save a young girl who has been captured by him. She must face her fear after failing to prevent a previous murder. Catch the movie when it hits theaters on March 15.