Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Harry Belafonte as THE ANGEL LEVINE

He's a singer, an actor and an extraordinary social activist.  You will see network news footage of his 1960s Civil Rights marching in the powerful new film, Selma.  He was a friend to Dr. Martin Luther King, the leader of the Selma march for racial equality.  And he is a great inspiration to me.  I'm just wild about Harry Belafonte.  I have been since I was a kid in South Central L.A. watching him network TV entertainment shows.  Back when Bob Hope hosted the Academy Awards, Harry performed on an Oscars telecast.

In early November, the dapper 87 year old became an Oscar recipient.  His honorary Oscar came for his humanitarian efforts, such as his work with Unicef.  His activism goes back over decades.  He and his longtime friend, actor Sidney Poitier, were present with Dr. Martin Luther King at the historic 1963 March on Washington for Civil Rights.  Harry spoke at the march.
Sidney was with him there in Washington.
Sidney took the stage to honor Harry that night in Hollywood when he got his Oscar.
This was at the Governor's Awards.  Highlights will be aired in next year's Oscars telecast.
Veteran film actress Maureen O'Hara, now 94, also received a lifetime Oscar.

Belafonte's friendship with Dr. King carried over to a very special night on NBC.                          

That night in early 1968 had a connection to Belafonte's satirical comedy/drama, The Angel Levine, made two years later.  Here's my short 2011 podcast on the movie and the NBC entertainment connection:

The Tonight Show is now back in New York City, hosted by Jimmy Fallon.  Dr. Martin Luther King is now portrayed brilliantly in Selma by British actor David David Oyelowo.
You must see the film directed by Ava DuVernay.  It opens in selected cities on Christmas Day.  It opens nationwide on January 9th.  I will be stunned if Selma does not get an Oscar nomination for Best Picture.

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