The world has lost a legendary figure in actor, singer and activist Harry Belafonte. The Carmen actor and “Banana Boat” crooner passed away on Tuesday, April 27 at the age of 96.
While we lost an icon, Adrienne, Shari, David and Gina Belafonte lost their father. They are his four children from two marriages. Adrienne and Shari are his daughters from his first marriage to Marguerite Byrd (whom he was with from 1948 to 1957), and David and Gina are from his second marriage to Julie Robinson, which lasted from 1957 to 2004. (In 2007, he married third and final wife Pamela Frank).
Just last year, the world said goodbye to acting legend Sidney Poitier, who was Belafonte’s close friend. Shari Belafonte said that loss was one of the biggest her dad had to cope with.
“They were closer than brothers,” Shari said. “They have known and loved each other for more than 70 years, collaborating, living life to the fullest. While Harry was much more vocal and seemingly more instrumental in the civil rights movement via his stage presence and his navigating the dynamics between leaders and politicians, Sidney broke those barriers in a much more creative way by taking a stand in the characters he portrayed so brilliantly on film.”
She added, “They both focused on making this world a better place for all people, not just people of color. We grieve for his loss and for his wife and children, our extended family.”
Now the Belafontes are grieving the loss of the giant of their own family. To commemorate his life, not just as a star and activist but as a family man, we thought we’d share images of him with his greatest gifts — his children.
David Belafonte in 1958
David is photographed with the actor and his mother, Julie Robinson, during a trip to Italy in 1958.
18th July 1958: American calypso singing star Harry Belafonte enjoys a short holiday with his wife Julie Robynson and their nine month old son David near Genoa in Italy. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
Shari Belafonte in 1969
The star with his second wife and second daughter, Shari, a future singer, at Caesar’s Palace for the Harry & Lena opening in Las Vegas in 1969.
August 1969: American actor and singer Harry Belafonte with wife, dancer Julie Robinson, and oldest daughter, Shari, at the ‘Lena Horne-Harry Belafonte’ opening at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frank Edwards/Fotos International/Getty Images)
Adrienne Belafonte in 1954
A young Adrienne Belafonte with her guitar-playing father in 1954.
(Original Caption) 1954: Harry Belafonte playing the guitar and holding his daughter Adrienne.
Gina Belafonte in 1975
Harry with Julie and their daughter, Gina, in Cannes, France in 1975.
Le chanteur Harry Belafonte avec son épouse Julie et sa fille Gina le 25 juillet 1975 à Cannes, France. (Photo by Pool GINFRAY/MOUTIN/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
A candid shot of young David with his famous father in a Bedouin tent in the Negev Desert in Israel.
Singer Harry Belafonte and his son David in a Bedouin tent in the Negev Desert. (Photo by �� David Rubinger/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
Adrienne, David and Gina Belafonte in 1962
The star and his family, including children Adrienne, David and Gina, preparing to board a TWA flight in 1962.
Musician and actor Harry Belafonte, Adrienne Belafonte, David Belafonte and Julie Belafonte boarding a TWA airplane, January 13, 1962. (Photo by Afro American Newspapers/Gado/Getty Images)
Shari Belafonte in 1985
Father and identical daughter, Shari, are pictured at an awards gala in 1985.
American singer and actress Shari Belafonte and her father, American singer and actor Harry Belafonte attend an unspecified awards gala, location unspecified, circa 1985. Harry received the Upton Sinclair humanities award at the ceremony. (Photo by Vinnie Zuffante/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Gina Belafonte in 1986
Gina and her dad at a MLK tribute reception in New York in 1986.
NEW YORK CITY – JANUARY 20: Singer Harry Belafonte and Gina Belafonte attend Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute Reception on January 20, 1986 at the New York Hilton Hotel in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
Shari Belafonte in 1985
Shari and her dad were all smiles at the first annual Film Fund Benefit Gala in NYC, which honored Harry, in 1985.
NEW YORK CITY – OCTOBER 23: Singer Harry Belafonte and Shari Belafonte attend First Annual Film Fund Benefit Gala Honoring Harry Belafonte on October 23, 1985 at the Omni Hotel in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
David Belafonte in 1993
David, a carbon copy of mom Julie, was by his father’s side at the premiere of the film Posse in NYC in 1993.
NEW YORK CITY – MAY 10: Singer Harry Belafonte and David Belafonte attend the premiere of “Posse” on May 10, 1993 at the Criterion Theater in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
Gina, Shari and David in 1990
Along with wife Julie, three of Harry’s four children, Gina, Shari and David, attended the Nelson Mandela Awards in 1990 in Beverly Hills.
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – APRIL 1: (L-R) Gina Belafonte, SHari Belafonte, singer Harry Belafonte, Julia Robinson and David Belafonte attend Nelson Mandella Awards on April 1, 1990 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
Gina and Shari Belafonte in 1995
Gina and Shari joined their father at the 22nd Annual American Music Awards in LA in 1995.
From left, Harry Belafonte, Gina Belafonte, and Shari Belafonte attend 22nd Annual American Music Awards at the Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, California, January 30, 1995. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
Gina Belafonte in 2007
Gina shares a moment with her father at his 80th birthday party back in 2007.
American actor, singer, and activist Harry Belafonte speaks with daughter Gina Belafonte during Harry Belafonte’s birthday party on March, 3 2007 in New York City, New York at the Bryant Park Grill. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
Adrienne Belafonte in 2007
At the same birthday party, Harry shared a laugh with his daughter Adrienne.
American actor, singer, and activist Harry Belafonte speaks with daughter Adrienne Belafonte Biesemeyer during his birthday party on March, 3 2007 in New York City, New York at the Bryant Park Grill. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)