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Halle Berry Was the First Black Woman To Win the Oscars for Best Actress: Here’s What She Had To Say

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Years after winning her first Oscars, Halle Berry remains the only Black woman to win the category and makes no secret of what she thinks about it.

Halle Berry made history when she became the first black woman to win the Oscars for best actress. Her victory at the Academy Awards continues to shine through the movie realm, especially among the black community.

To many, having a black woman snag the coveted award served to open doors for others like her. However, Berry thinks differently and does not hesitate to share her thoughts.

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Speaking to news outlets in the wake of the twentieth anniversary of her Oscar win, the actress disclosed how heartbroken she was that no other black actress has sailed the boat since her historic moment.

This admission has posed many questions about the place of award shows in determining an actor’s success. So what does Berry think?

When Did Halle Berry Win The Oscars For Best Actress?

Halle Berry snagged the Academy Awards in the Best Actress category during the 2002 Oscars. She took home the awards for her performance in the film, “Monster’s Ball,” over twenty years ago.

While accepting the award, the star gave an emotional acceptance speech, where she reminisced the significance of her win, famously voicing, “it’s been 74 years.”

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She was also hopeful that winning the award as a black woman for the first time since Oscar’s inception would gear off a revolution.

How Many Times Has Halle Berry Won The Oscars?

Since her 2002 win at the Academy Awards, Halle Berry has not taken home the award in any category. Hence, the “Cat Woman” star has won the Oscars just once throughout her career.

While she has not been nominated for another either, Halle Berry remains the first and only black woman in history to win the Oscars in the Best Actress category. Notwithstanding, her talent has earned her accolades from other awarding bodies. 

So far, the mother of two has landed herself at least 2 BAFA Awards, 1 Primetime Emmy award, 1 Golden Globe, and two Screen Actors’ Guild Awards.

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Additionally, the icon has awards like the NAACP awards, the MTV awards, and BET awards under her belt, cementing her as a celebrated figure.

What Berry Had To Say About Her Oscar Win

For years, Halle Berry has admittedly hoped to see other black women walk in her shoes. However, in the last two decades, she has watched her hopes crash repeatedly as more award seasons go by with no new black face in the Best Actress category.

Through the years, the star finally came to terms with one reality that seemed to elude her after her historic win. She divulged:

“It didn’t open the door. The fact that there’s no one standing next to me is heartbreaking.”

While commemorating the twentieth anniversary of her Oscars win Halle Berry reminisced on the big day. She admitted to never expecting the award as she had narrowly missed the Golden Globes that year.

Hence, it came as a shocker when she emerged the winner among nominees like Nicole Kidman, Renee Zellweger, Judi Dench, and Sissy Spacek.

Are Awards The Yardsticks Of Showbiz Success?

Although disappointing to have no other black actress follow in her stead, Halle Berry hopes people realize success was not defined by how many awards one got. She explained:

“We can’t always judge success or progress by how many awards we have. Awards are the icing on the cake—they’re your peers saying you were exceptionally excellent this year.”

Going further, Berry pointed out that not getting a nod in award shows did not mean they were not great or successful. Rather, black women could still change the world with their art and attain bigger opportunities in their careers.

Other Black Actors That Won The Oscars

While black women have seen no luck in the Oscar best actress category in the last two decades, several black actors have come close. Aside from snagging nominations on occasions, many have landed Oscar wins in various categories.

Black male actors like Will Smith, Denzel Washington, and Daniel Kaluuya have won the Academy Award for Best Actor.

Will Smith won the Oscars in 2022 |iimageg: Pinterest
Image: Pinterest

Additionally, female stars like Lupita Nyong’o, Regina King, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, and Whoopi Goldberg have snagged the award in the Best Supporting Actress category.

In fact, black women like Goldberg have achieved more impressive feats in the industry in terms of award wins. Today, she remains one of only sixteen people to win an Emmy, a Grammy Award, an Oscar, and a Tony, collectively referred to as EGOT.

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