Saturday, August 13, 2022

How Spike Lee Helped Harry Belafonte Celebrate His 91st Birthday

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Spike Lee (L) and Harry Belafonte (Getty Images)
Spike Lee (L) and Harry Belafonte (Getty Images)

*Famed actor and activist Harry Belafonte turned 91 on March 1, and Spike Lee made sure the stage and screen legend had a fitting celebration.

The pair and their wives, Tonya Lewis Lee and Pamela Frank, had dinner with friends and family at New York’s new uptown restaurant Omar at Vaucluse on Friday night, according to Page Six:

“Spike brought out a cake and everyone sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to him as he beamed from his seat. Harry stayed long, drinking rum on the rocks. He was there with his wife and in a great mood. It was a moment,” a source told us. Patrons in the restaurant clapped for Belafonte, who turned 91 on March 1.

Born more than nine decades ago in New York City, Belafonte’s parents were immigrants from the Caribbean. He told CBS “Sunday Morning” in 2012 that his family was so poor that his mother sent him and his brother to live for years in her home country of Jamaica, which inspired the Caribbean influence on Belafonte’s music.

As previously reported, his 1956 album “Calypso” was one of 25 audio recordings marked for preservation in the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry last week. It became the first LP to sell a million copies.

“I did it as part of what would become a larger display of the music of various cultures around the world,” he explained. “I had had a deep interest in Africa and a deep interest in Latin America, but I got only to ‘Calypso’ and then the world stopped. I woke up one day and everyone was singing ‘Day-O.'”

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