Shari Belafonte

Shari Lynn Belafonte (born September 22, 1954) is an American actress, model, writer and singer. The daughter of singer Harry Belafonte, she is known for her role as Julie Gillette[1] on the 1980s television series Hotel and as a spokesperson for the diet supplement Slim-Fast during the 1990s.

Shari Belafonte
Shari Lynn Belafonte

(1954-09-22) September 22, 1954
New York City
  • Actress
  • model
  • writer
  • singer
Years active1981–present
Known for
  • Robert Harper (m. 19771988)
  • Sam Behrens (m. 1989)
Parent(s)Harry Belafonte and Marguerite (née Byrd) Belafonte

Early life

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.


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 portrayed 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 NYC Media.

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.

In mid-December 2015, it was announced that Belafonte would take over the role of Mayor Janice Lomax from Saidah Arrika Ekulona on January 19, 2016, on the ABC daytime soap opera General Hospital.[2][3]

In 2018, Belafonte was awarded "Best Actress, Drama Inspirational" at the LA Live Film Festival for her role as Hazel Montgomery in Plastic Daydream.

Personal life

Belafonte has been married twice: First to Robert Harper (May 21, 1977 – 1988). She has been married to Sam Behrens since December 30, 1989. Belafonte posed nude for Playboy in the magazine's September 2000 edition, and was herself an avid photographer.



Year Title Role Notes Ref
1982 If You Could See What I Hear Heather Johnson
Time Walker Linda Flores
1984 Overnight Sensation Daphne Short film
1989 Speed Zone Margaret
1990 Murder by Numbers Lisa Directed and written by Paul Leder.
Fire, Ice and Dynamite Serena
1997 Mars Doc Halliday Directed by Jon Hess.
2018 Plastic Daydream Hazel Montgomery Directed by Kathy Kolla.


Year Title Role Notes Ref
1979 ABC Weekend Specials Episode: "The Big Hex of Little Lulu" (S 3:Ep 1)
1981 The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo Bank Teller Episode: "What're Girls Like You Doing in a Bank Like This?" (S 2:Ep 12)
Hart to Hart Cleo Episode: "The Latest In High Fashion Murder" (S 2:Ep 17)
1982 Trapper John, M.D. Maggie Episode: "Three on a Mismatch" (S 4:Ep 4)
Diff'rent Strokes Monique Episode: "The Older Woman" (S 5:Ep 7)
1983–1988 Hotel Julie Gillette Main cast
1983 Battle of the Network Stars ABC Team Episode: "Special #15" (S 8:Ep 1)
Family Feud Herself Episode: "Battle of the Perfect 10s"
1984 The Love Boat Terry Cook Episode: "Love Is Blind/Baby Makers/Lady & The Maid/Luise Rainer" (S 7:Ep 22)
Velvet Julie Rhodes A made-for-television film directed by Richard Lang.
Battle of the Network Stars Host Episode: "Special #16" (S 8:Ep 2)
1985 Matt Houston Joanna Episode: "New Orleans Nightmare" (S 3:Ep 18)
The Midnight Hour Melissa Cavender
  • Also known as In the Midnight Hour.
  • An American comedy-horror film.
  • A made-for-television film directed by Jack Bender.
1986 Kate's Secret Gail A made-for-television film directed by Arthur Allan Seidelman
1987 Square One TV Herself Episode: "Episode 107" (S 1:Ep 7)
The Late Show Herself
  • Original Host was Joan Rivers.
  • Episode: "October 13, 1986" (S 1:Ep 3)
1989 The Women of Brewster Place Cameo appearance
Hanna-Barbera's 50th: A Yabba Dabba Doo Celebration Herself
Perry Mason: The Case of the All-Star Assassin Kathy Grant 12th made-for-television film based on Perry Mason. [4]
1990 Gravedale High Blanche
1991 The Jaleel White Special Herself
1991–1993 Beyond Reality Laura Wingate Main cast
1994 Sonic the Hedgehog Lupé (voice) Episodes:
  • "Cry of the Wolf" (S 2:Ep 10)
  • "The Doomsday Project" (S 2:Ep 13)
French Silk Martine
1995 The Heidi Chronicles April Lambert A made-for-television film by Wendy Wasserstein adapted from her play of the same name.
1996–1997 Hey Arnold! Mrs. Johanssen (voice) Recurring seasons 1 and 2.
1997 The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest Diana Cruz (voice) Episode: "Other Space" (S 2:Ep 16)
1998 Babylon 5: Thirdspace Elizabeth Trent
Loving Evangeline Ellen Beecham A made-for-television film
2000 The Octopus Show Narrator
2001 The District Esther Henderson Episode: "The Project" (S 2:Ep 4)
2003 It's Christopher Lowell Herself Episode: "Do-Gooders" (S 5:Ep 11)
2004 The Oprah Winfrey Show Herself
2008 Nip/Tuck Catherine Wicke Episode:"Lulu Grandiron" (S 5:Ep 12)
2010 Miami Medical Kimberly Davis Episode: "Golden Hour" (S 1:Ep 5)
2016–2017 General Hospital Mayor Janice Lomax Unknown episodes
2019 gen:LOCK Roberta Chase Episode: "The Pilot" (S 1:Ep 1)
2019 The Morning Show Julia Recurring Role


  • Eyes Of Night (1987)
  • Shari (1989)

Staff work

  • The Big Empty (2003) – Still Photographer
  • Betrunner (2004) – Still Photographer
  • Betty's Treats (2004) – Still Photographer/Producer
  • Lonesome Matador (2005) – Still Photographer


  1. "Shari Belafonte: Julie Gillette". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  2. SOD (December 15, 2015). "SHARI BELAFONTE IS GH'S NEW MAYOR". Soap Opera Digest. United States. American Media, Inc. Archived from the original on December 18, 2015. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  3. Fairman, Michael (December 15, 2015). "General Hospital Recasts The Role Of Mayor Lomax With Shari Belafonte!". On-Air On-Soaps. United States: Michael Fairman Soaps, Inc. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  4. "Perry Mason (1985–1993)". The Classic TV Archive. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  5. "French Silk". Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  6. Lamb, Joyce (October 27, 2013). "Interview: Sandra Brown, author of 'Deadline'". USA Today. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
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