57 Facts About Harry Belafonte

1.

Harry Belafonte has recorded and performed in many genres, including blues, folk, gospel, show tunes, and American standards.

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2.

Harry Belafonte has starred in several films, including Carmen Jones, Island in the Sun, and Odds Against Tomorrow .

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3.

Harry Belafonte considered the actor, singer and activist Paul Robeson a mentor, and was a close confidant of Martin Luther King Jr.

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4.

Harry Belafonte was a vocal critic of the policies of the George W Bush presidential administrations.

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5.

Harry Belafonte has won three Grammy Awards, an Emmy Award, and a Tony Award.

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6.

Harry Belafonte's mother was the child of a Scottish Jamaican mother and an Afro-Jamaican father, and his father was the child of a Black American mother and a Dutch-Jewish father of Sephardic Jewish descent.

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7.

Harry Belafonte fell in love with the art form and met Sidney Poitier.

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8.

Harry Belafonte subsequently received a Tony Award for his participation in the Broadway revue John Murray Anderson's Almanac .

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9.

Harry Belafonte starred in the 1955 Broadway revue 3 for Tonight with Gower Champion.

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10.

Harry Belafonte started his career in music as a club singer in New York to pay for his acting classes.

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11.

Harry Belafonte launched his recording career as a pop singer on the Roost label in 1949, but quickly developed a keen interest in folk music, learning material through the Library of Congress' American folk songs archives.

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12.

Harry Belafonte signed a contract with RCA Victor in 1953, recording regularly for the label until 1974.

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13.

Harry Belafonte and associated acts such as Liberace, Ray Vasquez, and Sammy Davis Jr.

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14.

Harry Belafonte added that it was the first million-selling album ever in England.

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15.

The album introduced American audiences to calypso music, and Harry Belafonte was dubbed the "King of Calypso", a title he wore with reservations since he had no claims to any Calypso Monarch titles.

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16.

Harry Belafonte was the first Jamaican American to win an Emmy, for Revlon Revue: Tonight with Harry Belafonte .

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17.

Harry Belafonte was one of many entertainers recruited by Frank Sinatra to perform at the inaugural gala of President John F Kennedy in 1961.

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18.

Harry Belafonte's last hit single, "A Strange Song", was released in 1967 and peaked at number 5 on the adult contemporary music charts.

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19.

In 1967, Harry Belafonte was the first non-classical artist to perform at the prestigious Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Upstate New York, soon to be followed by concerts there by the Doors, the 5th Dimension, the Who, and Janis Joplin.

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20.

Harry Belafonte's recording activity slowed considerably after releasing his final album for RCA in 1974.

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21.

Harry Belafonte subsequently was a guest star on an episode of The Muppet Show in 1978, in which he performed his signature song "Day-O".

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22.

Harry Belafonte subsequently released his first album of original material in over a decade, Paradise in Gazankulu, in 1988.

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23.

Harry Belafonte was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1994 and he won a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000.

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24.

Harry Belafonte performed sold-out concerts globally through the 1950s to the 2000s.

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25.

Harry Belafonte used his career and experiences with Dr King to speak on the role of artists as activists.

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26.

In March 2014, Harry Belafonte was awarded an honorary doctorate from Berklee College of Music in Boston.

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27.

Ironically, Harry Belafonte's singing in the film was dubbed by an opera singer, as Harry Belafonte's own singing voice was seen as unsuitable for the role.

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28.

Harry Belafonte co-starred with Inger Stevens in The World, the Flesh and the Devil.

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29.

In 1984, Harry Belafonte produced and scored the musical film Beat Street, dealing with the rise of hip-hop culture.

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30.

Harry 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 ; and in Robert Altman's jazz age drama Kansas City, the latter of which garnered him the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor.

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31.

Harry Belafonte starred as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States in the TV drama Swing Vote .

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32.

In 2006, Belafonte appeared in Bobby, Emilio Estevez's ensemble drama about the assassination of Robert F Kennedy; he played Nelson, a friend of an employee of the Ambassador Hotel .

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33.

Harry Belafonte had an affair with actress Joan Collins during the filming of Island in the Sun.

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34.

David, the only son of Harry Belafonte, is a former model and actor and is an Emmy-winning and Grammy nominated music producer and the executive director of the family-held company Belafonte Enterprises Inc As a music producer, David has been involved in most of Belafonte's albums and tours and productions.

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35.

Harry Belafonte is married to model and singer Malena Belafonte who toured with Belafonte.

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36.

Gina Harry Belafonte is a TV and film actress and worked with her father as coach and producer on more than six films.

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37.

Harry Belafonte has five grandchildren, Rachel and Brian through his children with Marguerite Byrd, and Maria, Sarafina, and Amadeus through his children with Julie Robinson.

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38.

In October 1998, Harry Belafonte contributed a letter to Liv Ullmann's book Letter to My Grandchild.

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39.

Harry Belafonte refused to perform in the American South from 1954 until 1961.

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40.

Harry Belafonte gave the keynote address at the ACLU of Northern California's annual Bill of Rights Day Celebration In December 2007 and was awarded the Chief Justice Earl Warren Civil Liberties Award.

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41.

Harry Belafonte supported the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s and was one of Martin Luther King Jr.

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42.

Harry Belafonte financed the 1961 Freedom Rides, supported voter registration drives, and helped to organize the 1963 March on Washington.

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43.

In 1968, Harry Belafonte appeared on a Petula Clark primetime television special on NBC.

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44.

Harry Belafonte helped to raise funds—alongside more than 20 other artists—in the largest concert ever held in sub-Saharan Africa.

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45.

In 2004, Harry Belafonte went to Kenya to stress the importance of educating children in the region.

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46.

Harry Belafonte has been involved in prostate cancer advocacy since 1996, when he was diagnosed and successfully treated for the disease.

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47.

Harry Belafonte was named one of nine 2006 Impact Award recipients by AARP The Magazine.

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48.

Harry Belafonte is on the board of directors of the Advancement Project.

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49.

Harry Belafonte serves on the Advisory Council of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.

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50.

Harry Belafonte began making controversial political statements on this subject in the early 1980s.

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51.

Harry Belafonte has at various times made statements opposing the U S embargo on Cuba; praising Soviet peace initiatives; attacking the U S invasion of Grenada; praising the Abraham Lincoln Brigade; honoring Ethel and Julius Rosenberg and praising Fidel Castro.

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52.

Harry Belafonte is additionally known for his visit to Cuba which helped ensure hip-hop's place in Cuban society.

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53.

Harry Belafonte was the Master of Ceremonies at a reception honoring African National Congress President Oliver Tambo at Roosevelt House, Hunter College, in New York City.

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54.

Harry Belafonte is a current board member of the TransAfrica Forum and the Institute for Policy Studies.

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55.

In 2013, Harry Belafonte was named a Grand Marshal of the New York City Pride Parade, alongside Edie Windsor and Earl Fowlkes.

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56.

In 2016, Harry Belafonte endorsed Bernie Sanders for the Democratic Primary, saying: "I think he represents opportunity, I think he represents a moral imperative, I think he represents a certain kind of truth that's not often evidenced in the course of politics".

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57.

Harry Belafonte has released 30 studio albums and eight live albums, and has achieved critical and commercial success.

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