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Harry Belafonte

Actor, Singer
1 March 1927 to 25 April 2023

An American actor and singer, who was a true trailblazer in film and music and an outspoken activist. Born Harold Bellanfanti, Harry Belafonte’s screen career spanned 70 years, including such notable films as Carmen Jones (1954); Island in the Sun (1957); The World, the Flesh and the Devil; Odds Against Tomorrow (both 1959); Buck and the Preacher (1972); The Player (1992); White Man’s Burden (1995); and BlacKkKlansman (2018). He was presented with an honorary Oscar in 2015, having previously collected the Grammy’s Lifetime Achievement award in 2000, on top of the two Grammys he had won in 1961 and 1966 and his Tony win in 1954. He made history in other ways: on television, Belafonte became the first Black winner of an Emmy, for Tonight with Harry Belafonte (1959); while in music, his 1956 album Calypso also became the first album to sell more than 1m units. He was also an influential political and social campaigner, particularly in the civil rights movement of the 1960s, taking part in the Selma protest march and financially supporting his friend Dr Martin Luther King.

Read Harry Belafonte's New York Times obituary

Read Harry Belafonte's Guardian obituary

Read Harry Belafonte's Vanity Fair obituary

Read Harry Belafonte's Telegraph obituary