Eartha Kitt, who starred as Catwoman during the 1967-68 season of the television version of Batman, died December 25 following a long struggle with colon cancer. The fabulous singer-actress was 81.
Kitt was born on a cotton farm in 1927 and was raised by various individuals–including, she claimed, an abusive, neglectful family–before reuniting with her birth mother in New York City. There, she rose above her traumatic early life and made her debut as a member of the Katherine Dunham Company, the first African American modern dance company. She was also well-known as a cabaret singer, with hits such as Let’s Do It, Champagne Taste, C’est si bon, and Santa Baby.
Kitt thrived as an actress throughout her lifetime, starring in films such as the Orson Welles-directed Dr. Faustus, and The Mark of the Hawk, co-starring Sidney Poitier. She went on to star on Broadway in Timbuktu!, among others. Although she courted her fair share of controversy and even left the United States for Europe for a time after inciting a national furor by voicing anti-Vietnam sentiments during a visit to the White House, Kitt always emerged triumphant, winning new generations of fans with her vocal performances in Disney’s Jungle Book: Mowgli’s Story and The Emperor’s New Groove.
For comic book fans, however, the perennial image of Ms. Kitt is her in full Catwoman regalia in the third season of TV’s Batman. Her distinctive, purring voice and lithe figure helped her achieve the seemingly impossible–step into the shoes of the much-admired Julie Newmar–as she made the role of Catwoman her own. She will be missed.
Any Eartha Kitt fans out there? Post about your favorite memories below!
Author : Elisabeth@TFAW