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Halle Berry Posts Throwback Pic of First Film Role, Thanks Spike Lee for 'Believing' In Her

by Latifah Muhammad 3:52 PM PDT, June 09, 2016
Photo: Getty Images

Halle Berry turned the clock back to her first film role with a throwback post on Instagram on Thursday, when the Academy-Award winning actress shared an image from the set of Jungle Fever. Berry was celebrating the upcoming 25th anniversary of the Spike Lee-directed film.

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In the post, Berry thanked Lee for looking beyond her physical beauty and allowing her to take on the small but memorable role of "foul mouth crack hoe, Viv."

"25 years ago this week, @officialspikelee gave me my first film role in Jungle Fever!" Berry wrote. "What a wonderful way to start a career. My love and respect to you always!"

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Lee wrote, directed, produced and appeared in the 1991 film, which tackled interracial relationships. Wesley Snipes starred in Jungle Fever as Flipper Purify, a married black architect who has an affair with his Italian secretary, Angie Tucci, portrayed by Annabella Sciorra.

Berry landed the role of Vivian, the drug-addicted girlfriend of Flipper’s brother, "Gator," played by Samuel L. Jackson.

Jungle Fever set the groundwork for what has been a successful career for Berry. A year after the film's release, the Ohio native appeared opposite Eddie Murphy in Boomerang, and in 1993, she starred in the CBS miniseries Queen based off the writings of Roots author Alex Haley.

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Throughout the '90s, Berry added more than two dozen films to her resume, but it wasn't until 2002 that she made history as the first (and only) black actress to win an Oscar in a leading role for her performance in Monster's Ball.

Watch the video below for Berry's take on the "heartbreaking" reality of Hollywood's diversity deficit.

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