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Iconic Actor and Singer Harry Belafonte Passes Away at 96

NOTE: This article is 5 months old and may not include the most recent information.

The entertainment world mourns the loss of legendary actor, singer, and activist Harry Belafonte, who passed away at the age of 96. Belafonte’s career spanned multiple genres and media, leaving a lasting impression on generations of fans and admirers.

Born in New York City, Belafonte rose to fame as one of the most successful Jamaican-American pop stars in history. He is best known for his signature hit, “The Banana Boat Song,” with its unforgettable “Day-O” lyric, which was featured in the film Beetlejuice and its subsequent musical adaptation. Throughout his illustrious career, Belafonte performed and recorded a wide range of genres, including blues, folk, gospel, show tunes, and American standards.

On stage, Belafonte’s talent shone brightly, earning him a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his appearance in John Murray Anderson’s Almanac. His additional theatre credits include 3 For Tonight, Moonbirds, Belafonte at the Palace, and Asinamali!

Belafonte also made a mark on the silver screen, starring in films such as Otto Preminger’s hit musical Carmen Jones (1954), Island in the Sun (1957), and Robert Wise’s Odds Against Tomorrow (1959).

Throughout his career, Belafonte’s talent and dedication were widely recognized. He received numerous awards, including three Grammy Awards, an Emmy Award, and a Tony Award. Furthermore, he was honored with the Kennedy Center Honors, the National Medal of Arts, and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the Academy’s 6th Annual Governors Awards in 2014.

In addition to his artistic achievements, Belafonte was an ardent advocate for political and human rights causes. He became an early supporter of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 60s, and his commitment to social justice will continue to inspire future generations.

As we remember Harry Belafonte today, we celebrate a life full of passion, talent, and a dedication to making the world a better place. His presence in the world of entertainment and activism will be sorely missed.

Trevor Decker
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