Eartha Kitt, the beautiful sultry voiced "sex kitten" has died from colon cancer. The singer, dancer and actress was 81.
I loved this talented woman. I remeber wanting to be her back in the late 60's watching her on Batman. She was none other than "Cat Woman" on this weekly series that I loved, especially when she made an appearance. (Julie Newmar played the original Cat Woman, Eartha replaced her in 1967).
She spent 60 years entertaining us with her dancing, acting and singing. Her version of Santa Baby will always be my favorite. She was very beautiful. Being of mixed race was controversal for her time, but the strong Eartha prevailed. Even after her black - Cherokee mother remarried and her step father refused to talk to a child of mixed race. She then lived with relatives. (Her father was white). She also was outspoken which got her in trouble often. She spent many years overseas after her denouncing the Vietnam War. She was investagated by both the CIA and the FBI.
"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," Kitt told Essence magazine two decades later.
From Broadway to the Cinema, she found her place. Her albums (I favor the earlier ones from the 50's) and her many appearences throughout the years, she would make her way through.
While on stage, she was daringly sexy and always flirtatious. Offstage, however, Kitt described herself as shy and almost reclusive, remnants of feeling unwanted and unloved as a child. She referred to herself as "that little urchin cotton-picker from the South, Eartha Mae."
She died on Christmas day. How fitting with her Santa Baby song. I will always remember her with a smile. She was one of the great ones. She will be missed but not forgotten.