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Halle's American pride in her Liverpool roots; Famous Hollywood names have Scouse homeland at heart.

Byline: Jenny Watson

EVEN HOLLYWOOD sex symbols get teased for being Scouse, Bond girl Halle Berry has revealed.

She is the first black woman to win an Oscar and used her acceptance speech to make an emotional stand against racism but her recent stay in Britain introduced her to a new form of prejudice.

The 34-year-old actress said: ``I would tell people in the UK my family are originally from Liverpool and they'd be like, ``Oh dear''.

But Miss Berry, who plays Jinx in the new 007 movie Die Another Day, is proud of her roots - walking arm-inarm with her Liverpool-born mum Judith at the glitzy awards ceremony, where she scooped Best Actress for Monster's Ball.

Judith, born Judith Hawkins, left Merseyside aged 10 to live in Cleveland, Ohio, and later married Halle's father, Jerome, an AfricanAmerican hospital attendant she met through her job as a psychiatric nurse.

But both mother and daughter remain close to their Liverpool roots and still have relatives in the city.

The former model said in her latest interview with a glossy women's magazine: ``I'm half-English and very proud of it. I get back to the UK to see the folks whenever I can.''

But she claimed to have found just as much racism in Britain as her American home, where she lives with her producer husband, Eric Benet.

Miss Berry said: ``I met someone in London, and he said: `Tell me what racism's like in America, because there's none here.' I was like, I've been here a month, and I can tell you there is.

``The sad thing is, everyone needs someone to look down on, even within their own countries or societies.''

She is one of a clutch of Hollywood celebrities who have come from Liverpool roots to become stars, helping to dispel some of the stereotypical Liverpool prejudices.

Austin Powers' star Mike Myers, a keen Liverpool football fan whose family hail from Old Swan, said he had been inspired by his dad Eric's Scouse sense of humour and his Beatles' record collection on his last visit to Britain.

``Dad was a really funny guy,'' said Mike. ``Our house in Canada was a shrine to Liverpool and it was a happy house where comedy and humour ruled.''

Although he was actually born after Dunlop factory manager Eric and mum Bunty emigrated in 1956, he still considers himself an honorary Scouser.

He proudly declared: ``To me, it's like a second home.''

And he's not the only famous name who feels that way.

Sex And The City bombshell Kim Cattrall was born in Mossley Hill but emigrated to America with her parents as a baby.

She still has an aunt living in Aigburth and maintains what she describes as ``a kinship'' with fellow Scousers.

She said: ``Although my family left when I was very young we would go back quite a few times because my mom missed it so much and I feel a real attachment, especially to the people,'' says Kim, who recently visited Britain to promote the popular series.


SCOUSE ROOTS: top left, Halle Berry and mum Judith, top above, Halle as Jinx, above left, Mike Myers, above right, Kim Cattrall
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Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Nov 2, 2002
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