This Day in Black History: Aug. 14, 1966

Academy Award-winning actress Halle Berry was born in Cleveland.

Posted: 08/14/2013 12:00 AM EDT

On Aug. 14, 1966, film actress and beauty icon Halle Berry was born in Cleveland, Ohio. Inspiring audiences with roles that pushed both physical and emotional boundaries, she would go on to become the first African-American to win the Academy Award for Best Actress.

Berry broke onto the beauty pageant circuit in the 1980s, coming in second in the 1986 Miss USA pageant. After dabbling in modeling, she soon caught the acting bug. She made her film debut in Spike Lee's Jungle Fever (1991), playing the role of Vivian, a struggling drug addict.

Berry's film roles have ranged from the hilarious (1992's Boomerang), to the sultry, such as Bond girl Jinx in Die Another Day (2002), to the superhuman as the comic book hero Storm in the X-Men franchise. Most notably, she was lauded for her portrayal of a woman married to a death row inmate in Monster's Ball, for which she won the Oscar for Best Actress in 2001. Off-screen, she is a longtime spokeswoman for the cosmetics brand Revlon.

While her acting made her a household name, her personal life has been fodder for tabloids over the years. She was previously married to baseball player David Justice (1993-1997) and singer Eric Benét (2001-2005) before a long courtship with French Canadian model Gabriel Aubrey.

Berry gave birth to their daughter, Nahla, in 2008. The couple separated two years later. In 2010, Berry began dating French actor Olivier Martinez and the pair announced their engagement in April 2012. One year later, Berry confirmed she was pregnant with his child, a son. The couple tied the knot in July 2013.

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 (Photo: Kristy Sparow/Getty Images)

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