“It was very, very important.”
As a young girl, Halle Berry loved watching successful black actors take on lead roles in movies and TV shows. Since Catwoman star was raised by a white mother, she yearned to find people she could truly relate to.
“It was very, very important,” Berry explained in the PBS documentary. American Masters: how you feel free. “I really had a hard time finding images of black women or women that I could relate to.”
It wasn’t until the actor saw Diahann Carroll in Julia that she realized the type of woman she wanted to be.
“Seeing Diahann Carroll star on a show and play a mom who was a nurse, who was educated, who was beautiful, just revamped me,” Berry said. “It made me realize that I was valuable and that I could turn to a woman every week who looked like the one I aspire to be when I grew up.”
Back then, Carroll was the perfect role model Berry needed in his life.
“I was a black child raised by a white woman, so I didn’t have these pictures in my house,” she says. “Finding them on TV and in the movies has become very, very crucial for me.”
Carroll plays in Julia inspired Berry to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. And because of that, Berry is now one of the most successful actors today.
By appearing in movies, she tells other black kids that they can do it too.
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