Harry Belafonte

Harry Belafonte

A best-selling artist on RCA Victor records, his most successful albums with the label have included "Calypso", "Belafonte Sings of the Caribbean", "Belafonte at Carnegie Hall", "Belafonte Returns to Carnegie Hall", "Jump Up Calypso", "My Lord, What a Mornin'", "Belafonte at the Greek Theater", "The Midnight Special", "Streets I Have Walked", "Belefonte Sings of Love" and "Homeward Bound".

A veteran critic of U.S. foreign policy, his controversial political statements on this subject in the early 1980s have included 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. On a Martin Luther King Day speech at Duke University in 2006, Belafonte compared the American government to the 9/11 terrorists.

Achieved widespread attention for his political views in 2002 when he began making a series of negative comments about President George W. Bush, his administration and the Iraq War.

Always outspoken in his beliefs, he created controversy in October of 2002 when he made disparaging remarks about Secretary of State Colin Powell. Far from being upset, Powell reportedly took the remarks good-humoredly, refusing to inflame the situation any further.

An admirer and personal pal of Cuban President Fidel Castro.

Appeared in the 1946 American Negro Theatre play "Days of Our Youth" in 1946. Sidney Poitier eventually replaced Harry and was spotted by a talent agent who ignited his Hollywood career.

Appeared on "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" and performed a controversial "Mardi Gras" number with footage intercut from the 1968 Democratic National Convention riots. CBS censors deleted the entire segment from the program.

Born at 10:30am-EST

Father-in-law of Sam Behrens and Scott McCray.

Father, with Julie Robinson, of Gina Belafonte and David Belafonte.

Father, with Marguerite Byrd (aka Marguerite Belafonte), of Shari Belafonte.

Has a granddaughter, Sarafina

Has been awarded six Gold Records.

Has received Grammy Awards for the albums Swing That Hammer (1960) and An Evening With Belafonte/Makeba (1965). The latter album featuring legendary African singer Miriam Makeba dealt with the political plight of black South Africans under apartheid.

He was a close friend of Burt Lancaster.

He was a Kennedy Center Honoree in 1989, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1994, and he won a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000.

He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 6721 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood,California.

He was awarded the American National Medal of the Arts in 1994 by the National Endowment of the Arts in Washington D.C.

He won a Tony in 1953 for "John Murray Anderson's Almanac.".

His album Midnight Special (1962) featured the first-ever recorded appearance by a then young harmonica player named Bob Dylan.