An out-of-wedlock child, Eartha Kitt was born in the cotton fields of South Carolina, a pregnancy resulting from the rape by a white plantation owner and a sharecropper mother of African-American and Cherokee Native American descent. Given away by her mother, she arrived in Harlem at age nine, and at age 15, she quit high school to work in a Brooklyn factory. As a teenager, Kitt lived in friends' homes and in the subways. However, by the 1950s, she had sung and danced her way out of poverty and into the spotlight: performing with the Katherine Dunham Dance Troupe on a European tour, soloing at a Paris nightclub and becoming the toast of the Continent. Orson Welles called her "the most exciting girl in the world". She speaks out on hard issues... She took over the role of Catwoman for the third and final season of the television series "Batman" (1966), replacing Julie Newmar. Eartha Kitt died of colon cancer in her home in Weston, Conneticut on Christmas Day 2008.IMDb Mini Biography By: Tom Weaver <TomWeavr@aol.com>
|William O. McDonald||(6 June 1960 - 26 March 1964) (divorced) 1 child|
High pitched voice
Daughter, Kitt McDonald. Grandchildren, Justin, 8, and Rachel, 4.
Kitt's age was always a mystery, until 1998, when a group of students from her hometown in South Carolina unearthed her birth certificate. The document revealed that her true birthday is January 17, 1927.
Ranked #89 on VH1's 100 Greatest Women of Rock N Roll
Was virtually exiled from the United States after making anti-war statements during a White House luncheon with Lady Bird Johnson in 1968. However, she was welcomed back to the White House by Jimmy Carter who took office in January 1977.
Was nominated twice for Broadway's Tony Award: in 1978, as Best Actress (Musical) for "Timbuktu!"; and in 2000, as Best Actress (Featured Role - Musical) for "The Wild Party."
Was inspired to go into show business after witnessing the wild applause that the audience gave José Ferrer after one of his stage performances as Cyrano de Bergerac in 1946.
Her husband, William O. McDonald, was a real estate developer. They were married from 1960 - 1965. They had a daughter, Kitt McDonald Shapiro.
She was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 6656 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California in 1960.
Replaced Chita Rivera for a time in the Broadway revival of the musical "Nine".
In 1968, she suffered a substantial professional setback after she made anti-war statements during a White House luncheon. It was reported that she made Lady Bird Johnson, the First Lady at the time, cry when she bluntly told her, "You send the best of this country off to be shot and maimed. They rebel in the street. They don't want to go to school because they're going to be snatched off from their mothers to be shot in Vietnam." However, the public reaction to Kitt's statements was even more extreme both for and against her statements. Professionally exiled from the United States, she devoted her energies to overseas performances for nearly a decade.
Became fluent in French during her long years performing in Europe.
An aunt brought her to New York City where she attended the High School of Performing Arts, before dropping out to take on various menial jobs, including one in a factory.
Among her liaisons with wealthy men included Charles Revson, the Revlon cosmetics founder, and actor Orson Welles, who spotted her in a Paris nightclub and cast her in his Paris stage production of "Faust".
Was nominated in 1996 for a Grammy Award in traditional pop vocal performance for her album "Back in Business".
She was awarded the 1996 Joseph Jefferson Award for Actress in a Principal Role in a Musical for "Lady Day at the Emerson's Bar & Grill" at the Broadway Productions and New Athenaeum Theatre in Chicago, Illinois.
Well-known for her recordings of "Santa Baby" in the 1950s and 1960s. She died on Christmas Day 2008.
I am the original Material Girl
I have a great need for affection from an audience. I don't know whether this is because I had such a tough life when I was a child.
[at The White House, 1968] I am a mother and I know the feeling of having a baby come out of my gut. I have a baby and then you send him off to war. No wonder the kids rebel and take pot.
[on her friendship with James Dean] Jamie and I were like brother and sister. He told me, in fact, he thought of me as a sister. Our relationship was strictly platonic and spiritual.
The thing that hurts, that became anger, was when I realized that if you tell the truth - in a country that says you're entitled to tell the truth - you get your face slapped and you get put out of work.
I don't carry myself as a black person but as a woman that belongs to everybody. After all, it's the general public that made me - not any one particular group. So I don't think of myself as belonging to any particular group and never have.
I'm an orphan. But the public has adopted me and that has been my only family. The biggest family in the world is my fans.
[in an Essence magazine interview regarding her anti-war statements to 'Lady Bird Johnson' and her subsequent loss of work because of them] The thing that hurts, that became anger, was when I realized that if you tell the truth -- in a country that says you're entitled to tell the truth -- you get your face slapped and you get put out of work.
A man has always wanted to lay me down but he never wanted to pick me up
[on Orson Welles] Orson spent most of his money on women. That's why he didn't have the money to make films.
If someone would even suggest such a vulgar thing as a goodbye-themed event for me, I would pretend I didn't hear it. Goodbye to what? My whole life?
|You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.|
|With our Resume service you can add photos and build a complete resume to help you achieve the best possible presentation on the IMDb.|
Click here to add your resume and/or your photos to IMDb.