Harry Belafonte brought Hollywood to Hudson

Harry Belafonte was an athletic, clean-cut man, and he was extraordinarily handsome, but he wasn’t earthy or possessed of the physicality of Sidney Poitier, his closest contemporary. Yet within a short time he achieved national popularity. Like Poitier, his stardom was genuine. He answered a need. He appealed to certain moviegoers who liked the image of American underdogs who had a code of honor, came out on top and even got the girl in the end.

By the mid-1950s, the color barrier in Hollywood was crumbling. Black actors like Poitier were being cast as leading men. Films were changing as well. Black heroes had epic confrontations with White men in allegorical settings of film noir, science-fiction and musicals. Black actors were at the center of the stories, not just ciphers on the periphery. The Black stereotypes were seen as offensive and they gave way to more fully developed Black characters.

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Both at one time had homes in Columbia County.

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