- Spent a good deal of his childhood in Jamaica.
- Enlisted in the Navy after a learning disability caused him to discontinue his high-school education.
- Was encouraged by his mentor and fellow entertainer Paul Robeson to urge an audience to join in singing songs with him.
- Cinematic debut was in the 1953 drama Bright Road.
- Made recording history in 1956 when his third album, Calypso, sold more than one million copies. It was the first 33 1/3 rpm LP by a solo artist to sell one million copies. The LP included the hits "Day-O (Banana Boat Song)" and "Jamaica Farewell."
- Became the first African-American TV producer with 1960's Tonight With Harry Belafonte; the program won an Emmy.
- Appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador to UNICEF in March 1987.
- Recipient of many accolades including Kennedy Center Honors in 1989, National Medal of the Arts in 1994 and BET Humanitarian Award in 2006.
- 1954, Tony — Actor, Supporting or Featured (Musical): Winner
- 2006, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
- 1960, Emmy — Outstanding Performance in a Variety or Musical Program: Winner
- 1956, Emmy — Best Male Singer: Nominee
- 1971, Emmy — Outstanding Single Program - Variety or Musical: Nominee
- 1961, Emmy — Outstanding Performance in a Variety or Musical Program or Series: Nominee
- 2007, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Acting Ensemble: Nominee
- 2014, Oscar — Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award: Winner
- 1956, Emmy — Best Specialty Act - Single or Group: Nominee
- Harold George Belafonte Sr. — Father
- Melvine Belafonte — Mother
- Jane Love — Grandmother
- Adrienne Belafonte Biesemeyer — Daughter
- Shari Belafonte — Daughter
- David Michael Belafonte — Son
- Julie Robinson — Ex-wife
- Marguerite Byrd — Ex-wife
- Gina Belafonte — Daughter
- Pamela Belafonte — Wife
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