|Birth: ||Jan. 17, 1927|
South Carolina, USA
|Death: ||Dec. 25, 2008|
Entertainer. Born Eartha Mae Keith, she was raised in South Carolina and New York City, joined the Katherine Dunham Company and made her film debut with them in 1948's "Casbah". In 1950 she got her first starring role on stage, playing Helen of Troy in Orson Welles' "Dr. Faustus". In 1958, Kitt appeared with Sidney Poitier in "The Mark of the Hawk". She appeared on film and television throughout the 1950s and 1960s while also establishing herself as a recording artist and nightclub singer, gaining icon status in the Catwoman role on the 1960s "Batman" TV series after replacing Julie Newmar. In 1968 Kitt made statements critical of the Vietnam War at a White House luncheon, reportededly reducing First Lady Lady Bird Johnson to tears. The public reaction led to her professional exile from the US, but she continued to perform overseas. In 1978 she returned to the New York stage in "Timbuktu!". In the 1990s she appeared as the Wicked Witch of the West in the North American touring company of "The Wizard of Oz", and she had a role in the Eddie Murphy film "Boomerang" in 1992. In 2000 she starred as the Fairy Godmother in the national tour of "Cinderella", and in 2003 she replaced Chita Rivera in "Nine". A talented singer with a distinctive voice and cadence that reflected her foreign language fluency (her repertoire included songs in ten languages), her hits include "C'est si bon", "Monotonous", "Love for Sale", and her most recognizable hit, "Santa Baby". Kitt's distinctive voice led to work in animation, including the role of Yzma in the Disney film "The Emperor's New Groove" and its spin-off TV series "The Emperor's New School", for which she won an Emmy Award. Kitt also wrote three memoirs, 1956's "Thursday's Child", 1976's "Alone with Me, and 1989's "I'm Still Here: Confessions of a Sex Kitten". She died after being treated for colon cancer at New York's Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. (bio by: Bill McKern)
"Here's to Life"
Specifically: Ashes interred in a birdbath at a private residence.
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bill McKern
Record added: Dec 25, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 32398636
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