The Business of Beauty: 7 Black Beauty Queens Who Used Their Brains to Make a Difference

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Halle Berry

Born in 1966 as Marie Halle Berry, this beauty won the title of Ms. Teen America in 1985. The following year, she became Miss Ohio USA, and was runner-up in the Miss USA pageant. The same year, Berry became the first black contestant from the United States in the Miss World pageant, where she placed sixth.  In the next few years, Berry starred in several high profile movies including Jungle Fever, Boomerang, and the TV adaptation of Queen: The Story of an American Family. Her performance in 1999’s Introducing Dorothy Dandridge led to an Emmy and a Golden Globe. After success in such popular films as X-Men: The Last Stand, and Swordfish, she became the first black woman to win a Best Actress Oscar for her role in Monster’s Ball. Berry was also the first black Bond girl in the James Bond movie franchise.  At $10 million a movie, she is one of Hollywood’s highest paid actresses and has lucrative contracts with Revlon and Versace.

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