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Harry Belafonte

Actor | * 03/01/1927 (92) | Jamaica
Harry Belafonte (born Harold George Bellanfanti Jr.; March 1, 1927) is an American singer, songwriter, activist, and actor. One of the most successful Jamaican-American pop stars in history, he was dubbed the "King of Calypso" for popularizing the Caribbean musical style (originating in Trinidad & Tobago) with an international audience in the 1950s. His breakthrough album Calypso (1956) is the first million-selling LP by a single artist. Belafonte is perhaps best known for singing "The Banana Boat Song", with its signature lyric "Day-O". He has recorded in many genres, including blues, folk, gospel, show tunes, and American standards. He has also starred in several films, most notably in Otto Preminger's hit musical Carmen Jones (1954), Island in the Sun (1957), and Robert Wise's Odds Against Tomorrow (1959). Belafonte was an early supporter of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s, and one of Martin Luther King Jr.'s confidants. Throughout his career, he has been an advocate for political and humanitarian causes, such ... ()
Photo of Harry Belafonte

Harold George "Harry" Belafonte, Jr. (originally Belafonete; born March 1, 1927) is an American of Jamaican and Martiniquan descent who is a singer, actor, and social activist. He was dubbed the "King of Calypso" for popularizing the Belafonte has starred in several films. His first film role was in Bright Road (1953), in which he appeared alongside Dorothy Dandridge. The two subsequently starred in Otto Preminger's hit musical Carmen Jones (1954). In 1957's Island in the Sun, there are hints of an affair between Belafonte's character and Joan Fontaine. The film also starred James Mason, Dandridge, Joan Collins, Michael Rennie, and John Justin. In 1959, he starred in and produced Robert Wise's Odds Against Tomorrow, in which he played a bank robber. He also co–starred with Inger Stevens in The World, the Flesh and the Devil. Belafonte was offered the role of Porgy in Preminger's Porgy and Bess, where he would have once again starred opposite Dandridge, but he refused the role because he objected to its racial stereotyping. Dissatisfied with the film roles available to him, he returned to music during the 1960s. But in the early 1970s Belafonte appeared in more films among which are two with Poitier: Buck and the Preacher (1972) and Uptown Saturday Night (1974). In 1984, Belafonte produced and scored the musical film Beat Street, dealing with the rise of hip–hop culture. Belafonte next starred in a major film again in the mid-1990s, appearing with John Travolta in the race–reverse drama White Man's Burden (1995); and in Robert Altman's jazz age drama Kansas City (1996), the latter of which garnered him the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor. He also starred as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States in the TV drama Swing Vote (1999). In late 2006, Belafonte appeared in the role of Nelson, a friend of an employee of the Ambassador Hotel played by Anthony Hopkins, in Bobby, Emilio Estevez's ensemble drama about the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. Belafonte's success did not protect him from racial discrimination, particularly in the American South. Belafonte refused to perform there from 1954 until 1961. In 1960, he appeared in a campaign commercial for Democratic Presidential candidate John F. Kennedy. Kennedy later named Belafonte cultural advisor to the Peace Corps. At the ACLU of Northern California's annual Bill of Rights Day Celebration In December 2007, Belafonte gave the keynote address and was awarded the Chief Justice Earl Warren Civil Liberties Award. The 2011 Sundance Film Festival featured the documentary film "Sing Your Song", a biographical film focusing on Belafonte's contribution to and his leadership in the civil rights movement in America and his endeavors to promote social justice globally. Belafonte and Marguerite Byrd were married from 1948 to 1957. They have two daughters: Adrienne and Shari. Shari Belafonte, married to Sam Behrens, is a photographer, model, singer and actor. On March 8, 1957, Belafonte married second wife Julie Robinson. They have two children, David and Gina Belafonte. David Belafonte (a former model and actor) is an Emmy–winning producer and the executive director of the family–held company Belafonte Enterprises Inc. He married Danish model, singer and TV personality Malena Belafonte, born Mathiesen, who won silver in Dancing with the Stars in Denmark in 2009. In April 2008, Belafonte married Pamela Frank.

Most frequent genres for this person: Documentaries | Drama | Comedies

Known for these Movies & Shows

Awards & Nominations for Harry Belafonte

Spingarn Medal National Medal of Arts Marian Anderson Award Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award Emmy Award Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Award Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award Theatre World Award Ambassador of Conscience Award Library of Congress Living Legend Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical NAACP Image Award – Chairman's Award Kennedy Center Honors Paul Robeson Award

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Movies with Harry Belafonte as Actor(37)

as Jerome Turner2018 BlacKkKlansman
as Himself (archive footage)2017 I Am Not Your Negro
as himself2012 Sing Your Song
as Himself (voice)2011 The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975
as Himself (archive footage)2011 Mama Africa
as Nelson2006 Bobby
as himself2005 The Peace!
as Himself (archive footage)2004 Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism
as Will Dunn1999 Swing Vote
as Seldom Seen1996 Kansas City
as Thaddeus Thomas1995 White Man's Burden
as himself1994 Ready to Wear
as himself1992 The Player
as The Balladeer (voice) (uncredited)1988 Beetlejuice
as Coach Eddie Robinson1981 Grambling's White Tiger
as Geechie Dan Beauford1974 Uptown Saturday Night
as The Preacher1972 Buck and the Preacher
as Alexander Levine1970 The Angel Levine
as himself1968 Petula
as Johnny Ingram1959 Odds Against Tomorrow
as David Boyeur1957 Island in the Sun
as Joe1954 Carmen Jones
as School Principal1953 Bright Road

TV Shows/Series with Harry Belafonte as Actor(21)

Movies with Harry Belafonte as Crew(2)

Production/Producer1970 The Angel Levine
Production/Producer1959 The World, the Flesh and the Devil

Additional Information

Full Name: Harold Bellanfanti
Born: Tuesday, 03/01 1927 (March) in Harlem (current age: 92 years + 83 days)
Zodiac sign: Pisces (Chinese zodiac sign: Rabbit)
Educated at: The New School
Member of: Mayoral Advisory Commission on City Art, Monuments, and Markers
Record Label: Jubilee Records
Children: David Belafonte, Gina Belafonte, Shari Belafonte
Other names for Harry Belafonte (nicknames, foreign languages etc.):
"Harold George Bellanfanti"
WatchPlayStream ID: PEOPLE:12465, Added: 05/06/2018, Last updated: 05/11/2019