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Best Actress – Halle Berry, “Monster’s Ball”

Film: Monster’s Ball

Previous wins for role: Best actress, National Board of Review; best actress, Screen Actors Guild

Previous Oscar wins/nominations: None

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Character bio: In Monster’s Ball, Berry took on the gritty role of Leticia, a woman struggling to raise her young son alone after her husband is executed, who becomes involved with the racially intolerant prison guard who pulled the switch (Billy Bob Thornton). Berry proves she’s more than just a pretty face not only by acting well, but also by making the implausibility of her presence in the role believable. Despite her perfect features, sophisticated elegance and good fashion sense, she still convinces you she’s a down-on-her-luck, working-poor waitress. Now that’s acting.

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