Halle Berry was the first and remains the only African American woman to receive the Academy Award for Best Actress in 2001. She is a Revlon spokesmodel, is the highest paid actress in Hollywood (commanding in excess of $10,000,000 per film), and has been voted the sexiest woman alive by titles such as Esquire, FHM, and Empire.
Preceding this stellar career, Halle Berry dealt with an estranged father from a very early age, not knowing him at all or even aware whether he was still alive or not. As her modeling career was developing, she moved from Ohio to New York to pursue her acting dreams in 1989. Soon after moving, she would run out of money and become homeless. Her dreams would not be given up that easily, and later in the year secured an acting job with the American Broadcasting Corporation.
After the separation of her first marriage to former baseball player David Justice, Berry publicly stated that she was so depressed that she had considered attempting suicide by gassing herself in her car, but couldn’t bear the thought of her mother finding her body.
“It took away my self-esteem. It beat me down to the lowest of lows….
…I just wanted to end the pain.”
She went into therapy soon after. “I know it sounds cliche, but you have to find a way to hold on because time really does heal all wounds….”
“….people still associate therapy with being crazy. But I think you’re crazy if you won’t consider going to get help for yourself—to learn the tools to deal with the problems in your life. Once people see what it is and what it’s not, they race to go back. They get the benefit. But it’s hard to get people to the first session because of fear.”
She was awarded a “worst actress” Razzie award in 2005 for her role as Catwoman. She appeared at the ceremony to accept the award in person (making her the third person, and second actor, to ever do so) with a sense of humor, considering it an experience of the “rock bottom” in order to be “at the top”. Holding the Academy Award in one hand and the Razzie in the other she said, “I never in my life thought that I would be here, winning a Razzie. It’s not like I ever aspired to be here, but thank you. When I was a kid, my mother told me that if you could not be a good loser, then there’s no way you could be a good winner.”