Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles
Comedian Jamie Foxx was used to bringing his audience to tears with laughter but he had to get serious to play legendary musician Ray Charles. He pulled it off flawlessly, but before he took on the role of the iconic pianist in the 2004 biopic, Ray, Foxx first had to get the musician’s blessing.
Upon meeting him, Charles gave Foxx a hug and declared, “He’s the one.”
Foxx received an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in the movie. Charles died several months before the film was completed.
Halle Berry as Dorothy Dandridge
Dorothy Dandridge (1922 – 1965) was the first Black woman to earn an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for her role in the 1954 film, Carmen Jones. Her life was cut short by a drug overdose in 1965, but it was brought to the small screen in the 1999 HBO biopic Introducing Dorothy Dandridge.
Actress Halle Berry was tapped to play the lead role for which she earned critical acclaim and several awards, including an Emmy and a Golden Globe for Best Actress.
Of particular note is that two years after Berry took on the role of Dandridge, she became the first and only Black woman so far to actually win the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Monster’s Ball.