Thursday, December 25, 2008
Eartha Kitt Succumbs at 81
Sultry sex symbol of the 40, 50's and 60's died of colon cancer today. She was one of the most versatile actresses of all time, winning two Emmys, two Grammys and having several Tony nominations. Her career spanned a total of six decades, from her start as a dancer in the famed Katherine Durham troupe to her work on stage, in film and on vinyl. She penned three autobiographies throughout her life and was once dubbed the "most exciting woman in the world" by Orson Welles.
Kitt came from humble South Carolina beginnings and was of mixed heritage. She made headline news for denouncing the Vietnam War while visiting the White House. This incident caused her to be blacklisted for many years. I first remember seeing Ms. Kitt opposite Nat King Cole in the film "St. Louis Blues". Younger audiences might remember her as the much older woman after Eddie Murphy in "Boomerang". Others may remember her as one of the Catwomen on the campy 60's series "Batman".
For years, Kitt was unsure of her birthplace or birth date. In 1997, a group of students at historically black Benedict College in Columbia, S.C., located her birth certificate, which verified her birth date as Jan. 17, 1927. Kitt had previously celebrated on Jan. 26. The research into her background also showed Kitt was the daughter of a white man, a poor cotton farmer.
Enjoy Ms Kitt spreading some holiday cheer.