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PORTRAIT IN BLACK & WHITE
IN OPRAH WINFREY PRESENTS: The Wedding (a two-part ABC mini-series airing Feb. 22 and 23 at 9 p.m. ET), Halle Berry plays a well-to-do black woman who’s ready to tie the knot with a down-and-out white jazz musician (Eric Thal), when a wealthy black rival (Carl Lumbly) tries to woo her away. But in real life, Berry, 31, divorced since last June from Cleveland Indians outfielder David Justice, is hardly eager to walk down the aisle again anytime soon. “I haven’t soured on marriage. I just picked the wrong one,” says Berry, who lives alone in a three-bedroom home in the Hollywood Hills. These days she is “just dating around.”
Still, she feels she can identify with The Wedding’s interracial theme. Born in Cleveland to a white mother, Judith Ann Hawkins, and a black father, Jerome Berry, who left the family when Halle was 4, she remembers how she and her older sister Heidi were taunted as “zebras” by schoolmates of both races. “People say to me, ‘You’re just as much black as white,’ ” Berry relates. “I say, ‘Look at me. When I walk out into the world, I’m seen as a black woman.’ That’s the group of people I relate to.”
But it’s not the only one. Berry, who just wrapped Why Do Fools Fall in Love?, a big-screen rock and roll drama due this fall, is also, she admits, “a part of Hollywood.” Having been accepted by her showbiz peers, she says, “I feel like sometimes I’m not as much a victim of [prejudice] as black people in America who are maybe not celebrities.” Making The Wedding, she says, “sort of brought it all back to me.”