Shari Belafonte Born in New York City, started boarding school at 12, in Massachusetts, of her own accord. She received her first camera (a brownie) from her grandmother, when she was just four years old, and always thought she'd stay behind the camera. She graduated with a BFA in Dramatic Production and Design, from the prestigious Carnegie-Mellon University in just 3 years. Upon graduating, Shari became a production asst/asst director at WETA/Public TV in Washington, DC. She then moved to Los Angeles, and worked at Hanna-Barbera Productions as an Asst. Publicist. Her “on” camera career started in the real life bio-pic IF YOU COULD SEE WHAT I HEAR, portraying blind musician Tom Sullivan's girlfriend, Heather. Then she played Julie Gillette in the popular series HOTEL and went on to guest star in numerous television shows and TV movies. She starred in the supernatural series BEYOND REALITY, where she played paranormal psychologist, Dr. Laura Wingate.
Gracing hundreds of magazine covers worldwide (including Vogue, Mademoiselle, Harper's Bazaar Germany, Italian Taxi, Self, Essence and Playboy etc...) she was also touted as one of the leading commercial spokespersons by The Wall Street Journal, and was seen in commercial's for Mastercard, Calvin Klein, Diet Coke, Bally's, Lawry's, and others, and has done Voice Overs for Boeing, NASA, Sony Vaio and Lincoln/Mercury and many cartoons for Hanna-Barbera, Disney and others and books on tape. She just voiced the soon to be released documentary on the late Los Angeles Mayor, Tom Bradley. Shari can also be seen in a new internet video, which has just been posted, for a project called “Inspired To Lose” (www.inspiredlosing.com ). She photographed six people who have had significant weight loss, and who have a desire to get their messages out to the masses. 1 in 3 people in the United States is obese.
Shari has done her share of hosting duties as well. Included are TRAVELS IN MEXICO AND THE CARIBBEAN for PBS, ESPN'S NEW AMERICAN SPORTSMAN, LIFESTYLES WITH ROBIN LEACH AND SHARI BELAFONTE, iNEXT TV'S DESTINATIONS, and she's done segments for THE TODAY SHOW, GOOD MORNING AMERICA, ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT, CBS's, WOMEN2WOMEN. Not just a “talking head,” she worked with manufacturers to bring to light the concerns of todays marketplace consumer. One concern was MSG. Thus, Lawry's excluded MSG from their ever popular “Lawry's Seasoning Salt,” while she was the spokesperson. Also, she recommended a “don't drink and drive” campaign, that Coors beer first to launched in the early 80's. All the liquor companies followed suit shortly after. She has kept her finger on the pulse of strategic marketing ever since.
Shari had two Pop album's in Germany. “Shari” and “Eyes of Night.” Her single “Gimme Your Pop” stayed on Germany's Top 50's chart for 48 weeks in a row, and the duet she did with Pop British star, Chris Norman also stayed on the charts equally as long.
Shari has spent almost as much time behind the camera, shooting stills and video for short feature films, international ads, music videos as well as EPK's and travelogues. She's had numerous gallery showings of her silk art and her photography, on the East Coast, including NY's Village gallery, The Chair And The Maiden and the prestigious Carnegie Hall Museum, in Alderson. Her shows have included “Postcards From Cuba,” “Italia,” and the never ending “Mythostories.” She's also had several shows on the West Coast at the prestigious Gallery 444/446 in Palm Springs, The Boton Gallery in Santa Monica and in Laguna Nigel, as well as in Las Vegas at the Danny Ganz Center and in Petersberg, VA at the New Millenium Studios.
She was recently in Cuba, shooting some footage and stills for her father's HBO Bio-pic, SING YOUR SONG. She's even a certified Steadicam Operator. Shari was also the Producer of the award winning short, BETTY'S TREATS, and the Executive Producer of the yet to be released LAST SUPPER, starring her father, Harry Belafonte. She will be seen as teacher Robin Rivers in the film festival released feature TEACHER OF THE YEAR and is currently in post-production on the supernatural film PRIMROSE LANE, where she plays Dr. Hunt, a psychic Chiropractor, and has just finished a part as Flo, the Librarian in an upcoming Eric Stoltz directed feature.
Shari, recently joined forces with 3 Faces Marketing Management, to expand and promote their Entertainment and commercial division. She currently serves on the board of Lili Claire Communications, and has for a few years. The Lili Claire Foundation is for children with neuro-genetic conditions, such as Autism, Down Syndrome, William's Syndrome, Fragile X and Fetal Alchol Syndrome. LCF provides services to those children, and their families, the world over, free of charge. Shari hosts and co-hosts events for them each year, and serves on the board in the theatrical production division. They are currently in development on a number of projects, both live and for television and film. She also hosted the launch of “Women Of War,” one of the documentaries depicting the horrific expose of sexual assault in the military. 1 in 3 women who join the armed forces have been sexually assaulted.
Shari's also partial to Best Friends Animals Society, the “No Kill” animal shelter, in Utah and Los Angeles; The Charleston Animal Shelter which is also a “No Kill” facility, and anything to bring awareness to the safety and care of all animals, and is promoting a NO KILL LA agenda in Los Angeles.
Name: Shari Belafonte Aka Pooch Behrens
Lives in: Los Angeles, California
Company: Sowelu Entertainment, Ltd and SasleoCine Prod.
Occupation: Actor, Camera Operator, Cinematographer, Director, Director of Photography, Host/presenter, Photographer (Still), Producer, Screenwriter, Singer, Steadicam Operator and Voice Artist
Unique traits: Is as happy behind the camera as she is in front.
Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA)