The press presents her as a sex bomb. Her Oscar win for Monster’s Ball made history. So which is HALLE BERRY, gorgeous looker or talented actor? Words: Miles Fielder

Halle with Billy Bob Thornton. ‘I understand what it’s like to struggle and be behind the eight ball and want to achieve eucceea’

alle Berry is beautiful. And she cried at the Oscars.

Seems like most every atticle written about Berry

in the last year. perhaps throughout her whole career. begins with words to the effect that she's gorgeous (including this one. of course). With that comes the underlying assumption that Berry lacks talent.

If you wanted to create the impression that she's nothing more than a locker with little in the way of brains or talent to back her up. you could add a few of the following ‘facts’: in 1985 Berry. then sweet seventeen. was voted Miss Teen All-American. A year later she was voted Miss Ohio USA and Miss USA (first runner up). She was. of course. a high school cheerleader. And she was crowned prom queen. Halle is named after a department store in her hometown Cleveland and she's a spokeswoman for Revlon cosmetics.

Berry is also the second Bond girl to win an Oscar: the first was Kim Basinger for LA Confidential. Berry’s was for the racism and romance drama. Monster's Ball. That last dodgy fact says a lot more than any of the others about Berry's acting career. For. although among her forthcoming films are the 007 adventure. Die Another Day. and X2. the sequel to X—Men. the next film you'll see Berry in is Monster's Ball. This is the film she made for the relatively modest fee of 8100.000 (as opposed to Die Another Day's 34m) and for which she won a Best Actress Oscar. making her. as I'm sure you already know. the first black American female actor winner ever.

At the Oscar ceremony last March she wobbled up on stage and began blubbing immediately. at which point so many of us thought: ‘Aw Jesus. another Gwyneth Paltrow OTT performance. But Berry's acceptance speech wasn’t