“It was very, very important.”
As a young girl, Halle Berry loved watching successful black actors star in movies and TV shows. Since the Catwoman star was raised by a white mother, she longed to find people she could really relate to.
“It was very, very important,” Berry explained in the PBS documentary American Masters: How it feels to be free. “I was really struggling to find pictures of black women or women that I could identify with.”
Only when the actor saw Diahann Carroll in Julia that she realized the type of woman she wanted to be.
“Seeing Diahann Carroll be the star of a show and playing a mother who was a nurse who was educated, who was beautiful, just rearranged me,” Berry said. “It made me realize that I had value, and I could approach every week a woman who looked like the one I would strive to be when I was growing up.”
At the time, Carroll was the perfect role model that Berry needed in his life.
“I was a black child raised by a white woman, so I did not have these pictures in my household,” she said. “Finding them on TV and through movies became very, very crucial for me.”
Carroll trades in Julia made Berry want 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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