Shari Lynn Belafonte is an American actress, writer, singer as well as a former Playboy model. She is popular for her portrayal of the character ‘Julie Gillette’ on the ABC prime-time drama series ‘Hotel’. She started her career as a model and has posed in front of the camera for top brands like Calvin Klein. She eventually moved on to acting and has also worked as an assistant director. She is a singer as well and recorded two albums in the late 1980s. While she is better known as a television actress, she has also made quite a few appearances in films. Her movie credits include the popular biography/drama movie on musician Tom Sullivan, titled ‘If You Could See What I Hear’. Besides her career in the show business, she is actively engaged in educating the youth about health issues and has worked as a spokesperson for the diet supplement ‘Slim-Fast’.
Shari Belafonte started her professional career as a model and was featured as a cover girl in various fashion magazines. She also posed for top brands like Calvin Klein jeans. She made her first appearance in a film in 1982 when she played the role of ‘Heather Johnson’ in the biography/drama film, ‘If You Could See What I Hear’, based on the life story of the legendary blind musician ‘Tom Sullivan’. The film was directed by Eric Till and Shari’s work was appreciated by the audience. The same year, she featured in another film titled ‘Time Walker’, also known as ‘Being from Another Planet’, directed by Tom Kennedy.
After her entry into the film industry, Shari moved to Los Angeles and started working as an assistant to the publicist at Hanna-Barbera Productions. By this time she had already done two films and had made several appearances on different television shows including ‘The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo’, ‘Different Strokes’ and ‘Trapper John, M.D.’ She continued her modeling career as well and posed for the best fashion magazines.
In 1983, Shari was offered a main role on the ABC prime-time drama series ‘Hotel’. The show ran for five years on prime-time and became hugely successful for both the production company and for Shari. Along with appearing in ‘Hotel’, Shari worked on various other television and film projects as well. These included the series ‘Family Feud’, ‘The Love Boat’, ‘Matt Houston’, and the comedy horror film ‘The Midnight Hour’ where she played the role of ‘Melissa Cavender.’
She also started taking an interest in music during the 1980s. Shari signed a contract with the Metronome Records and recorded two albums titled ‘The Eyes of Night’ and ‘Shari’ in 1987 and 1989, respectively.
Meanwhile, Shari was chosen by television producer Aaron Spelling for the role of Julie Rogers on ‘Charlie's Angels’; however, the role did not go to her and went to Tanya Roberts instead. But later on Aaron Spelling did sign her for the action-adventure series ‘Velvet’ in which Shari featured alongside Leah Ayres, Mary Margaret Humes, and Sheree J. Wilson. In the 1990s, she appeared in the drama series ‘Beyond Reality’ and ‘Hey Arnold!’, and films like ‘Fire, Ice and Dynamite.’
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Shari Belafonte was born in New York City on September 22, 1954, to singer-actor Harry Belafonte and Marguerite Belafonte, a professional psychologist. She traveled with her family around the state of Massachusetts during her early days and attended different schools like Windsor Mountain School in Lenox, Buxton School in Williamstown, and Hampshire College in Amherst. She graduated from the Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Drama.
Shari married her first husband Robert Harper on May 21, 1977 but they divorced in 1988. A year later, on December 30, 1989, she married her present husband Sam Behrens.
She has worked for numerous causes related to children, animals, and environment, and has served as the international spokesperson for the Starlight Children's Foundation as well as the spokesperson for several corporations including Slim-Fast, Diet System 6, Bally's International Health and Fitness, and Estroven. She is also very passionate about photography.