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The Undressing of Harry Belafonte
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The singer, actor and activist Harry Belafonte He died this Tuesday (25), at his home, an apartment in Manhattan, in the United States of America, at the age of 96. O The New York Times confirmed the information, through Harry's spokesperson, who reported that the probable cause of death was heart failure.

In 1950, at the height of racial segregation in the United States, Harry Belafonte was one of the first black artists to enter the music charts and to star in TV programs, alongside famous names such as: Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald.

A New Yorker and son of Jamaican parents, Belafonte adopted tropical rhythms and generated great successes in the music industry, mainly with the album “Calypso”, from 1956, with songs that have gone down in history, such as: “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)” It is “Jamaica Farewell“.

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Live performance of Harry Belafonte singing “Day-O” (video: reproduction/Youtube/Harry Belafonte Television And Video Archive)


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Presentations on TV programs were increasingly requested and became a rage. In 1959 he was already considered the highest paid black singer. Songs like “Matilda“, “Lead Man Holler” It is “Scarlet Ribbons“, were also successful and he proved to be an eclectic person when playing hits such as country, folk and jazz.

On the silver screen, Harry starred in a musical “Carmen Jones” from 1954, which earned her friend Dorothy Dandridge the first black artist to be nominated for an Oscar as the protagonist. In the film “Island in the Tropics” from 1957, brought a romance between him and a white actress played by Joan Fontaine, which led to controversies about interracial couples on the North American continent.

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Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte in “Carmen Jones”. (Photo: reproduction/memoriascinematograficas.com)


Harry also starred in other roles in films, such as: “Men in Fury(1959), “One for God, One for the Devil (1972), “The player” (1992) “Ready-to-wear (1994), “The Color of Fury” (1995), starring alongside John Travolta. and “Infiltrated in the Klan (2018).

On his journey, Harry Belafonte won an Oscar (the honorary Jean Hearsholt Humanitarian Award in 2015), an Emmy in 1960 for variety performance in The Revlon Revue, three Grammys, including one for lifetime achievement in 2000 and a Tony , by the musical special John Murray Anderson's Almanac, in 1954.


Harry Belafonte poses with the award trophy for his career, recognized by the Locarno Film Festival in Ascona (Switzerland). (Photo: reproduction/AP/Urs Flueeler/Keystone)

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In conjunction with his artistic career, Belafonte ended up spearheading and becoming an important leader in the black civil rights movement. His old friendship with Martin Luther King Jr. led to several appearances at the movement's protests, as well as efforts to raise funds for several demonstrations led by King.

Always with clear objectives, Belafonte always fought for racial equality rights: “I hope one day I can stop answering reporters' questions as if I speak for my entire community. I hate going around marching, I hate getting calls at three in the morning to get people out of jail.“.


Harry Belafonte and Martin Luther King in moments of relaxation (photo: reproduction/memoriascinematograficas.com)


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Harry Belafonte leaves Pamela Frank, his wife, to whom he had been married for 15 years. Previously, there were two marriages that produced four children, one of them is the actress and model Shari Lynn Belafonte.

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Featured photo: Harry Belafonte during the premiere of “Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark” on Broadway, in New York, in June 201. Reproduction: Reuters/Jessica Rinaldi/Archive

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The Undressing of Harry Belafonte

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The Undressing of Harry Belafonte

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