Shari Belafonte

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Shari Belafonte
Born (1954-09-22) September 22, 1954 (age 61)
New York City, New York
Occupation Film, television actress, model, writer, singer

Shari Lynn Belafonte (born September 22, 1954) is an American actress, model, writer and singer. The raspy-voiced daughter of singer Harry Belafonte, she is known for her role as Julie Gilette on the 1980s television series Hotel and as a spokesperson for the diet supplement Slim-Fast during the 1990s.


Personal life[edit]

Shari Lynn Belafonte was born in New York City, the second daughter of Marguerite [née Byrd], a psychologist, and Harry Belafonte, a singer and actor. She attended Windsor Mountain School in Lenox, Massachusetts and Buxton School in Williamstown, Massachusetts, then Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts before transferring to Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Drama. She has been married twice: First to Robert Harper (May 21, 1977 – 1988). She has been married to Sam Behrens since December 30, 1989.


Belafonte began her career as a model, becoming a successful cover girl model and appearing in commercials for Calvin Klein jeans. She made her feature film debut in 1982 in the movies Time Walker and If You Could See What I Hear. She then worked as a production assistant and assistant director in public television on the East Coast before moving to Los Angeles, where she became an assistant to the publicist at Hanna-Barbera productions. While getting her hands wet "behind the scenes", she also received a number of modeling and commercial assignments, and was known to have appeared on the covers of over 300 magazines as of 2015.

Early in her career, Belafonte landed a role alongside The Beastmaster's Marc Singer when he impersonated singer Tom Sullivan in the feature film If You Could See What I Hear. Other feature films include The Time Walker, Speed Zone, the made-for-television horror-comedy film The Midnight Hour, in which she also sang a song titled "Get Dead", and Fire, Ice and Dynamite. The television producer Aaron Spelling chose her as a finalist for Julie Rogers on Charlie's Angels, a role written with her specifically in mind, but the part instead went to Tanya Roberts. In 1984, Spelling did choose her for another pilot, this one for the action-adventure series Velvet alongside Leah Ayres, Mary Margaret Humes, and Sheree J. Wilson. In the same year, Spelling signed Shari as Julie Gilette in the ABC television series Hotel, in which she starred during the show's five-year run, which extended from 1983 to 1988. It was during this time that Shari began her music career by signing a contract to record on the Metronome Records label, releasing two albums in Europe; these were The Eyes of Night in 1987 and Shari in 1989.

Belafonte made her theatrical debut in Tamara, playing the title role in the long-running Los Angeles production. Shortly thereafter, she starred as Dr. Laura Wingate in the USA Network's dramatic series Beyond Reality, which ran for two years. In addition, Shari also co-hosted the syndicated series Lifestyles with Robin Leach and Shari Belafonte, an updated version of Leach's signature program, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. As of 2006, Shari could be seen hosting a travel program called "Travels In Mexico And The Caribbean With Shari Belafonte" on NYCTV.

Belafonte's multi-faceted career also includes moderating and voiceovers. She has producing credits for theater, public and network television, and feature films. In addition to her affiliation with numerous children's, animal, and environment causes, she has also become the international spokesman for the Starlight Children's Foundation. Named by the Wall Street Journal as one of the top ten celebrity endorsers, Shari has been the spokesman for numerous corporations including Bally's International Health and Fitness, Slim-Fast, Diet System 6, and most recently, Estroven.

Belafonte also provided the voice of Lupé, the leader of the Wolf Pack, in Sonic the Hedgehog, Gerald's mother, Mrs. Johanssen, in four episodes of Hey Arnold!, Diana Cruz in an episode of The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest, and the undead Southern belle zombie Blanche in Gravedale High.

Belafonte posed nude for Playboy in the magazine's September 2000 edition, and herself was an avid photographer.


Year Title Role Notes
2010 Miami Medical Kimberly Davis
2008 Nip/Tuck Catherine Wicke
2004 The Oprah Winfrey Show Herself
2003 It's Christopher Lowell Herself
2001 The District Esther Henderson
2000 The Octopus Show Narrator
1998 Loving Evangeline Ellen Beecham
1998 Babylon 5: Thirdspace Elizabeth Trent
1998 Harlequin's Loving Evangeline Ellen Beecham
1997 Mars Doc Halliday
1997 The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest Diana Cruz
1996-1997 Hey Arnold! Mrs. Johanssen
1995 The Heidi Chronicles April Lambert
1994 French Silk Martine
1993 Sonic the Hedgehog Lupé
1991-1993 Beyond Reality Laura Wingate
1991 The Jaleel White Special Herself
1990 Fire, Ice and Dynamite Serena
1990 Gravedale High Blanche
1990 Murder by Numbers Lisa
1989 Perry Mason: The Case of the All-Star Assassin Kathy Grant
1989 Hanna-Barbera's 50th: A Yabba Dabba Doo Celebration Herself
1989 Speed Zone! Margaret
1989 The Women of Brewster Place uncredited
1987 The Late Show Herself
1987 Square One TV Herself
1986 Kate's Secret Gail
1985 The Midnight Hour Melissa Cavender
1985 Matt Houston Joanna
1984 Battle of the Network Stars Host/ABC Team
1984 The Love Boat
1984 Velvet Julie Rhodes
1983 Family Feud Herself
1983-1988 Hotel Julie Gillette
1983 Overnight Sensation Daphne
1982 Diff'rent Strokes Monique
1982 Trapper John, M.D. Maggie
1982 If You Could See What I Hear Heather Johnson
1982 Time Walker Linda Flores
1981 Hart to Hart Cleo
1981 The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo Bank Teller
1981 ABC Weekend Specials


Staff work[edit]

External links[edit]