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HomeEntertainmentMarguerite Belafonte: All About Harry Belafonte’s Rocky First Marriage 

Marguerite Belafonte: All About Harry Belafonte’s Rocky First Marriage 

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Marguerite Belafonte and Harry Belafonte had a marriage that started as a fairytale but quickly went south. Here’s all we know about the couple and their time together. 

In Hollywood, most celebrity marriages start with a short dating phase, a rushed marriage, and later end with a nasty divorce. This was the case of Marguerite and Harry Belafonte’s wedding, and the couple did not seem to have a great marriage. What went wrong, and how did it all play out? Keep reading to find out. 

Marguerite Byrd Belafonte Biography 

Marguerite Belafonte (neé Byrd) was a model, actress, and celebrity ex-wife born on October 12, 1923, in Washington, District of Columbia, USA. She was famously known as the first wife of the celebrity singer, actor, and activist Harry Belafonte

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Marguerite Belafonte
Marguerite Belafonte. (Source: Facebook)

Thanks to her parents, Robert Byrd and Martena Blue, Marguerite was a woman of mixed descent, which was evident at first glance. Her father, Robert, was Scottish, while her mother’s roots were Jamaican. Therefore, Marguerite was of Scottish-Jamaican descent but also had an American nationality thanks to her place of birth. 

Her unique descent gave her special features and can be recognized as the reason for her outstanding looks. The ex-celebrity wife had two siblings, Charles R. Byrd and Beatrice B. Gilkes.

Marguerite Belafonte Educational Background 

Thanks to her parents being high achievers and career enthusiasts, education was a top priority for Marguerite ever since she was born. She had her early education and then attended Dunbar High School, where she graduated in 1941. 

Not long after, she enrolled at the Hampton Institute in Washington, D.C., where she studied Early Childhood Education. With a solid educational zeal, Marguerite decided to further her education by getting a master’s in Human Relations and Clinical Psychology from New York University. 

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Marguerite Belafonte’s Career 

Before Marguerite became a famous face, she was no more than an average lady making ends meet. After bagging her master’s degree, she became a school teacher before pursuing a career in the entertainment industry. She taught at an undisclosed institution in New York but did not feel fulfilled from her job.

Therefore, Marguerite quit and decided to try to break into the entertainment industry. Marguerite began her path as a model thanks to her unique looks. She was a model for several years and won a pageant, making her a beauty queen. 

She modeled for the NAACP Fashions for Freedom Event in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1958, and in the same year, she won her pageant crown. The pageant that made her a beauty queen is unknown but it also took place in New York. 

Curious to take on new challenges, Marguerite decided to pursue a career as an actress. She was known for her role in her first movie, “Night of the Quarter Moon” in 1959.

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Marguerite Belafonte and Harry Belafonte’s Marriage

The couple’s marriage was highly publicized until it ended in a divorce some years later. They met in 1948 while Harry was in the Navy as a sailor while Marguerite was still studying psychology.

It was love at first sight for Harry, and he pursued her despite a rule prohibiting him from dating as a sailor. He finally scored a first date and took Marguerite dancing, telling her that night that he may marry the Scottish-Jamaican beauty. 

Marguerite Belafonte and Harry Belafonte
Marguerite Belafonte and Harry Belafonte. (Source: Pinterest)

Later that same night, the two took a stroll and decided to get married on June 18, later that year. Marguerite’s parents were rightfully concerned by this sudden marriage decision as she did not inform them of her marital plans until the night before her wedding. 

Despite all odds and disapprovals, they went ahead with the wedding and seemed happy. Sadly, this happiness did not last, as they had marital issues. 

Marguerite Belafonte and Harry Belafonte’s Divorce

In January 1957, Marguerite found letters from Harry’s co-actor, Julie Robinson, which suggested that he was having an affair. While he denied this, it was hard to believe him as he went on to marry Robinson not long after his divorce from Marguerite was finalized. 

Marguerite Belafonte and Harry Belafonte
Marguerite and Harry Belafonte. (Source: Facebook)

Marguerite filed for divorce on February 28, 1957, and their marriage was officially annulled later that year. 

Who Are the Children of Marguerite Belafonte?

Marguerite is survived by two children from her marriage with Harry, Adrienne and Shari Belafonte. Adrienne was born in 1949, while Shari was born in 1957, shortly after her parents’ divorce. 

The celebrity ex-wife passed away on February 15, 1998, in Washington, D.C., at 74, due to a heart disease. 

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