- Harry Belafonte was a musician, known as the ‘King of Calypso.’
- Harry was married three times throughout his life.
- He had four children from his first two marriages and two step-children, as well as a three step-grandchildren.
- Harry died at 96 on April 25, 2023.
Harry Belafonte was a proud father to a large family. The late ‘King of Calypso’ had four children, two with ex-wife Marguerite Byrd and two with second ex-wife Julie Robinson. Harry was married to his third wife, Pamela Frank from 2008 until his death.
Harry died from congestive heart failure at 96 on Tuesday, April 25, 2023, per The New York Times. He was survived by his four children and Pamela as well as his two step-children and his three step-grandchildren. Each of Harry’s grown children has made their own path in life, all while staying close to their dad until his passing. Meet each of his four kids below.
Harry’s eldest daughter with Marguerite Byrd, Adrienne, has forged her own path away from her dad’s spotlight. She has spent 25 years leading a private counseling practice for children and families. Adrienne graduated from West Virginia State College with a Bachelors in Art and went on to receive her Master’s in Art in Community Counseling. Adrienne was even West Virginia State College’s keynote speaker in 2019, at a commemorative event honoring the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. Sister Shari shared a sweet photo of Adrienne and Harry hugging each other, dressed to the nines for the event.
A former close friend of MLK, Harry clearly passed along the humanitarian gene to Adrienne, who also serves as executive director of the Anir Foundation with her daughter, Rachel Blue Belafonte. The organization, founded in 1997, offers socially responsible volunteer opportunities in Southern and Eastern Africa.
Shari Belafonte, the youngest daughter of Harry and Marguerite, was born in 1954. Unlike Adrienne, Shari has pursued a career in acting, making her big-screen debut in 1982’s If You Could See What I Hear. Shari saw her career take off in 1983 when she was cast as Julie Gillette in ABC’s drama Hotel, and has since had roles in General Hospital, The Morning Show, and Sistas. Most recently, Shari had a guest roll on FOX’s 9-1-1.
After divorcing her first husband, Robert Harper, in 1988, Shari married ‘General Hospital’ actor Sam Behrens in 1989. The couple has been together ever since. They have no children.
Harry’s only son and first child with Julie Robinson, David Belafonte was born in 1957. Like Shari, David also dabbled in the entertainment industry and had small roles on Timebomb and Across the Tracks. Throughout his life, David has continued to work closely with Harry, working behind the scene’s on Harry’s 1997 TV special “An Evening with Harry Belafonte & Friends.” David was previously the vice president of Belafonte Enterprises, an entertainment publishing company originally founded by his father.
David has been happily married to model Malena Belafonte (neé Mathieson) since 2000. They have one daughter together, Serafina, who was born in 2003.
The youngest of the bunch, Harry had his second child with Julie, a baby girl named Gina, in 1961. Like her two older siblings, Gina has also been taking acting roles since the 80s, and found her big break as Carmela Pagan in The Commish. After taking a long hiatus from acting, Gina returned to the big screen in 2016 with a role in Courting Des Moines, and also worked on the critically acclaimed biopic BlacKkKlansman directed by Spike Lee.
Also an activist, Gina is involved with Sankofa.org, a social justice organization founded by Harry that “educates, motivates, and activates artists and allies in service of grassroots movements and equitable change” according to its website. On top of her two careers, Gina is also a mom to one daughter, who she shares with her husband Scott McRay. After her dad’s passing, Gina shared a photo of him on her Instagram and simply wrote, “Love you dad.”