Eartha Kitt Poster


Jump to: Overview (5)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (4)  | Trade Mark (1)  | Trivia (24)  | Personal Quotes (12)

Overview (5)

Born in North, South Carolina, USA
Died in Weston, Connecticut, USA  (colon cancer)
Birth NameEartha Mae Keith
Nicknames Kitty Charles
Mother Eartha
Miss Kitt
Height 5' 2" (1.57 m)

Mini Bio (1)

An out-of-wedlock child, Eartha Kitt was born in the cotton fields of South Carolina. Kitt's mother was a sharecropper of African-American and Cherokee Native American descent. Her father's identity is unknown. Given away by her mother, she arrived in Harlem at age nine. At 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 also spoke 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, Connecticut, on Christmas Day 2008.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Tom Weaver <TomWeavr@aol.com>

Family (4)

Spouse William O. McDonald (6 June 1960 - 26 March 1964)  (divorced)  (1 child)
Children Kitt McDonald
Parents Annie Mae Keith
Mamie Kitt
Relatives Jason Shapiro (grandchild)
Nora Mae (grandchild)

Trade Mark (1)

Distinctive voice

Trivia (24)

Kitt's age was a mystery until 1998, when a group of students from her hometown in South Carolina discovered 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 in 1978 by Jimmy Carter, after a successful return to Broadway in the original production of the musical Timbuktu!.
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 name can be seen on a marquee in the infamously terrible Edward D. Wood Jr. cult film Plan 9 from Outer Space (1957).
Her husband, William O. McDonald, was a real estate developer. They were married from 1960 to 1964. They had one daughter: Kitt McDonald.
She was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 6656 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on February 8, 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 at her home in Weston, Connecticut.
On March 13, 1953, she recorded with Henri Rene and his Orchestra the American version of the French song "C'est si bon" which was written in 1947 by Henri Betti (music) and André Hornez (lyrics). The English lyrics were written by Jerry Seelen in 1949 but Eartha Kitt sings the song in French. Eartha Kitt sang the song in New Faces (1954) and in The Nanny: A Pup in Paris (1996). Her cover version has been used in several American films and television advertisements.
Friends with Freda Payne, and Dick Gregory.
Holds two Daytime Emmy Award records. She is both the only performer to win the Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program award three times, as well as the only winner to win three consecutive awards.
She died on the same date as actress Ann Savage.
She was a year older than Adam West, making her the first actress to play Selina Kyle/Catwoman who is older than the actor opposite her playing Bruce Wayne/Batman. The only other actress to achieve this is Camren Bicondova who was two years older than David Masouz on Gotham (2014-2019).
Started as a dancer with Katherine Dunham Group touring America, Mexico, and Europe. While in Paris in solo performance seen by Orson Welles who cast her as Helen of Troy.
Was in a relationship with Arthur M. Loew Jr. (1954-1955). Loew wanted to marry Eartha, but his mother disapproved of her son marrying a nonwhite.
Is the first African American actress to portray Catwoman in live-action, followed by Halle Berry and Zoe Kravitz.

Personal Quotes (12)

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 in 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.
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?
When I was traveling in the Philippine Islands my daughter and I, from time to time, used to stay with Mr. and Mrs. Marcos. And sometimes she would come and sit somewhere up front, and she would yell out, 'Eartha, sing 'Waray Waray!'' This was one of her favorite songs. But of course, she always insisted on singing right along with me!
[on filming Saint Louis Blues with Nat 'King' Cole] We had a lot of fun together, and when filming was over I went to Las Vegas to finish up my engagement there at El Rancho Vegas. But I flew in every day to Los Angeles to help Nat with his television show. And on the last day, when I returned to my hotel in Las Vegas, my cabin was covered with bouquets of red, red, red roses, with a letter from Nat that said 'It is a pity that those of us who work in show business very seldom get a chance to know each other. I'm so glad that I got to know you.' A few days later, I received another from his wife. That was the bitchiest letter I ever read in my life.

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