Early on in his career, Harry Belafonte established himself as a triple threat, acting, singing and songwriting. The legendary performer had a major career breakthrough in the ‘50s, winning a Tony Award for his performance in John Murray Anderson’s Almanac. Throughout his career spanning more than 70 years, Harry became a father of four children: Adrienne, Shari, David and Gina.
Harry, born in Harlem in 1927, moved to Jamaica with his mother in the ‘30s. He moved back to the U.S. in the 1940s to serve in the Navy. The Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner set his sights on pursuing a music career in New York in the mid-’40s. Harry’s humble beginnings led to a career full of triumph and tremendous accolades.
“I was a janitor’s assistant. And I loved mopping the halls, and I tried to look a little like Charlie Chaplin on skates as I just rushed up and down the hallway with a wet mop, trying to take the boredom out of all day long mopping halls and hauling garbage and stoking furnaces,” the Emmy Award-winner told Morning Edition in October 2011. “But, it paid off because one day I did a repair at a tenant’s apartment and they gave me, as a gratuity, two tickets to a theater. So I went to this place, the American Negro Theater, and it was there that the universe opened for me.”
The Bobby actor’s talents weren’t just limited to one musical genre. He took on folk, blues, calypso, gospel and pop music with hits like “Banana Boat Song” and “Jump In the Line.” At the start of his illustrious career, Harry was married to Marguerite Byrd. Their union lasted from 1948 to 1957. The pair welcomed two daughters during their marriage, Adrienne and Shari. In addition to becoming a father early on in his tremendous career, Harry became a pivotal voice in the Civil Rights Movement.
The activist married his second wife, Julie Robinson, in 1957. They welcomed daughter Gina and son David during their 47-year marriage. The couple divorced in 2008 when Harry was 77 years old. He married his third wife, Pamela Frank, in 2008. The pair did not have any children together but are grandparents of five children from Harry’s blended family.
Keep scrolling to meet Harry’s four kids.
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