- Category : Actor
- Type : MGE
- Profile : 5/1 - Heretical / Investigator
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Migration 1
American actor and singer, a recording artist and worldwide show business star since 1950 with a repertory of folk and ethnic ballads. His performances were always sold out as outstanding entertainment. He won a TV Emmy for Top Musical Performance in 1960 and his films included "Uptown Saturday Night," 1947.
He was the eldest of two sons of an alcoholic dad, a chef, and a house-maid mom. From 5 to 12, he lived in Jamaica with his maternal grandparents before returning to New York. He dropped out of high school to enlist in the Navy in 1944 and when he returned, joined the American Negro Theater in New York. Learning to act and singing in jazz clubs, he became "King of the Calypso" in 1956; "King" was recorded as his first album and sold over a million copies. His career continued upward, with his first major film roles for years coming in "White Man's Burden," 1995 and "Kansas City," 1996.
In 1948, Belafonte married child psychologist Marguerite Byrd; they had two kids, Adrienne, now a family counselor, and Shari, a gorgeous girl who is now a model and actress. He and Julie, an antique dealer and costume designer whom he met in 1952, married in 1956; they had two kids, David, who now runs his dad's production company, and Gina, an actress. In 1957, Belafonte tried to rent an apartment in New York, a feat he found impossible when landlords found that he was married to a white woman. When Eleanor Roosevelt related his plight in her newspaper column, he was able to find an Upper West Side apartment. He and Julie have lived there ever since, raising four kids in their 19 rooms and collecting art from the Caribbean, Africa and Europe.
Belafonte has been involved for many years in humanitarian work. He was a confidant and advisor to Dr. Martin Luther King in the '60s, was on the board of directors of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, received the Dag Hammerskjold Peace Medal in 1981, set the We Are The World recording session in motion in 1985, and finally, replaced Danny Kaye in 1987 as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
On 4/08/1995, he had prostate cancer surgery in New York and has had a full recovery. Julie reported that no matter what pain he suffered, he never complained. He now speaks to heighten public awareness about a disease that was diagnosed in 317,000 American men.