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Is Harry Belafonte Still Alive? When Did He Start His Activism?

"I have always supported Israel's right to exist as a state and fought against anti-Semitism, including in my own community." - Harry Belafonte

Is Harry Belafonte Still Alive? People are curious as to whether Harry Belafonte is still alive. If you and others have the same question, you have come to the right place. This article discusses whether Harry Belafonte is still alive, his death, his age, his best songs, and more. So take a look!

Who is  Harry Belafonte?

Harry Belafonte is a singer, songwriter, activist, and actor of Jamaican and American descent. As one of the most successful Jamaican-American singers in history, he was dubbed the “King of Calypso” in the 1950s for popularising the Caribbean musical style around the globe.

He has performed blues, folk, gospel, musicals, and American standards, among other genres. He has appeared in a number of films, including Carmen Jones (1954), Island in the Sun (1957), and Odds Against Tomorrow (1962). (1959).

Physical Appearance

Harry Belafonte, born on March 1, 1927, will be 95 years old on July 11, 2022. He is 6 feet tall and weighs 73 kilogrammes.

Is Harry Belafonte Still Alive?

Harry Belafonte was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1996 and treated successfully. Although he has not made a recent public appearance, Belafonte is still alive, and according to his daughter, he is in good health at 95 years old.

Is Harry Belafonte Still Alive

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 Harry Belafonte’s Early Life

Harry Belafonte was born Harold George Bellanfanti Jr. in New York City on March 1, 1927, to Jamaican parents Harold Sr. and Melvine. In Jamaica, where he was raised by his grandmother, Belafonte attended Wolmer’s Schools for his primary education.

Following his return to New York, he enrolled at George Washington High School. Belafonte enlisted in the United States Navy during World War II. Later, he developed an appreciation for the performing arts after seeing the American Negro Theater and meeting actor Sidney Poitier.

Belafonte attended acting classes at the New School’s Dramatic Workshop and performed with the American Negro Theater at the close of the 1940s.

 Harry Belafonte’s Career

Belafonte became a club singer to pay for his acting classes. Eventually, in 1949, he began his recording career by signing with the Roost record label.

Together with his friend Millard Thomas, he made his debut at the Village Vanguard jazz club in Greenwich Village. In 1953, Belafonte signed with RCA Victor, the record label he would remain with for the following two decades.

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In 1956, he achieved mainstream success with his studio album “Calypso,” which was the first album in the world to sell more than one million copies in a single year. In addition, the album debuted “Day-O (Banana Boat Song),” which would become Belafonte’s signature song. “Jamaica Farewell” was the second hit single from “Calypso.”

Film Industry

Belafonte made his acting debut alongside Dorothy Dandridge in the 1953 film “Bright Road.” The following year, they reunited to star in Otto Preminger’s hit musical film “Carmen Jones,” and they also appeared in the 1957 ensemble film “Island in the Sun.”

Two years later, Belafonte starred in and produced the film noir “Odds Against Tomorrow” by Robert Wise. He also starred in “The World, the Flesh, and the Devil,” a science-fiction film. In the 1970s, Belafonte starred alongside Sidney Poitier in the Western “Buck and the Preacher” and the action crime comedy “Uptown Saturday Night”

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John Travolta co-starred alongside Belafonte in the 1995 film “White Man’s Burden,” a drama about racism. The following year, he had a juicy role in Robert Altman’s crime film set in the jazz era, “Kansas City.” He has also portrayed an elderly civil rights leader in Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman” and Emilio Estevez’s “Bobby.”

Retired From Professional Singing

“Calypso Carnival” was Belafonte’s final calypso album, released in 1971. His recording career consequently slowed down over the course of the decade, during which he embarked on world tours. Midway through the 1980s, Belafonte returned to musical success when he joined the charity supergroup USA for Africa.

He also composed the score for the film “Beat Street.” After signing a record deal with EMI, Belafonte released “Paradise in Gazankulu,” his first album of original material in more than a decade. This, Belafonte’s final album contains protest songs criticising Apartheid in South Africa.

Belafonte continued to perform throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, with his final performance occurring in late 2003 at an Atlanta Opera benefit concert. Soon after, he retired from professional singing.

When Did He Start His Activism?

Paul Robeson, a singer and Communist activist, served as a mentor to Harry Belafonte and influenced his political beliefs. Robeson opposed neither racial prejudice in the United States nor colonialism by the west in Africa.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Harry Belafonte was an early supporter of the Civil Rights Movement and a close confidant of Martin Luther King Jr.

He has supported numerous political and humanitarian causes, including the Anti-Apartheid Movement and the USA for Africa.

He has been a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 1987. In addition, he serves as the ACLU’s celebrity ambassador for juvenile justice issues.

He travelled to South Africa in 2001 to support the anti-HIV/AIDS campaign. In 2004, Belafonte travelled to Kenya to emphasise the significance of children’s education in the country.

Since 1996, when he was diagnosed with and successfully treated for prostate cancer, Belafonte has been active in prostate cancer advocacy.

 Harry Belafonte’s Personal Life

Belafonte has had multiple marriages. In 1948, he wed Marguerite Byrd; the couple had two daughters, Adrienne and Shari Belafonte, and separated in 1957.

Is Harry Belafonte Still Alive

Subsequently, Belafonte wed former dancer Julie Robinson, with whom he had children named David and Gina. In 2004, after 47 years of marriage, the couple divorced. In 2008, Belafonte married his third wife, photographer Pamela Frank.

In the 1960s, Belafonte and Maurice Name partnered to build a luxurious private community on the Caribbean island of Bonaire. The community of Belnem is home to over 700 individuals.

 Harry Belafonte’s Net Worth

Harry Belafonte’s estimated net worth, derived primarily from his songs and films, is expected to be around $30 million by July 2022.

Additionally, he performs numerous concerts, which generates a substantial amount of repeat business for him. Harry has been managing his net worth by making prudent financial decisions.


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