Brown - Dark
Brown - Dark
Columbia, South Carolina, USA
Place of Death
Weston, Connecticut, USA
Claim to Fame
Elegant, Sophisticated, Confident, Playful, Stylish, Romantic, Carefree, Dramatic, Theatrical, Refined/Mannered, Sentimental, Witty
Has Detailed Data (New)
Profile Bio Text
Eartha Mae Kitt (January 17, 1927 – December 25, 2008) was an American actress, singer, and cabaret star. She was perhaps best known for her 1953 Christmas song "Santa Baby". Orson Welles once called her the "most exciting woman in the world." She took over the role of Catwoman for the third season of the 1960s Batman television series, replacing Julie Newmar, who was unavailable for the final season. Kitt was born Eartha Mae Keith on a cotton plantation in the town of North, South Carolina, a small town in Orangeburg County near Columbia, South Carolina. Her mother was of Cherokee and African-American descent and her father of German or Dutch descent. She claimed she was conceived by rape. Kitt was raised by a woman named Anna Mae Riley, an African-American woman whom she believed to be her mother. Anna Mae went to live with a black man when Eartha was 8, and he refused to accept her because of her lighter complexion. She lived with another family until Riley`s death. She was then sent to live in New York City with Mamie Kitt, who she learned was her biological mother; she had no knowledge of her father, except that his surname was Kitt and that he was supposedly a son of the owner of the farm where she had been born. Newspaper obituaries state that her white father was "a poor cotton farmer." Kitt began her career as a member of the Katherine Dunham Company and made her film debut with them in Casbah (1948). A talented singer with a distinctive voice, her hits include "Let`s Do It", "Champagne Taste", "C`est si bon", "Just an Old Fashioned Girl", "Monotonous", "Je cherche un homme", "Love for Sale", "I`d Rather Be Burned as a Witch", "Uska Dara", "Mink, Schmink", "Under the Bridges of Paris", and her most recognizable hit, "Santa Baby", which was released in 1953. Kitt`s unique style was enhanced as she became fluent in the French language during her years performing in Europe. She had some skill in other languages too, which she demonstrates with finesse in many of the live recordings of her cabaret performances.
After romances with the cosmetics magnate Charles Revson and banking heir John Barry Ryan III, she was married to John William McDonald, an associate of a real-estate investment company, from June 6, 1960, to 1965. They had one child, a daughter, Kitt (born. November 26, 1961, married Charles Lawrence Shapiro). Kitt had two grandchildren, Jason and Rachel Shapiro. A long-time Connecticut resident, Kitt lived in a converted barn on a sprawling farm in the Merryall section of New Milford for many years and was active in local charities and causes throughout Litchfield County. Subsequently moving to Pound Ridge, New York, then in 2002 Kitt moved to the southern Fairfield County town of Weston, Connecticut to be near her daughter`s family.
Kitt became a vocal advocate for homosexual rights and publicly supported same-sex marriage, which she believed to be a civil right. She had been quoted as saying: "I support [homosexual marriage] because we`re asking for the same thing. If I have a partner and something happens to me, I want that partner to enjoy the benefits of what we have reaped together. It`s a civil-rights thing, isn`t it?" Kitt died from colon cancer on Christmas Day, 2008 at her Weston, Connecticut home.
Couple Profile Source
Full Name at Birth
Eartha Mae Keith
Singer, actress, dancer, activist, comedian, author
Has Detailed Data (Music)
Eartha Kitt (January 17, 1927 – December 25, 2008) was an American singer, actress, dancer, activist and comedian, known for her highly distinctive singing style and her 1953 recordings of "C'est si bon" and the enduring Christmas novelty smash "Santa Baby", which were both US Top 10 hits. Orson Welles once called her the "most exciting woman in the world". Kitt began her career in 1942 and appeared in the 1945 original Broadway theatre production of the musical Carib Song. In the early 1950s, she had six US Top 30 hits, including "Uska Dara" and "I Want to be Evil". Her other notable recordings include the UK Top 10 hit "Under the Bridges of Paris" (1954), "Just an Old Fashioned Girl" (1956) and "Where Is My Man" (1983). She starred in 1967 as Catwoman, in the third and final season of the television series Batman. In 1968, her career in America suffered after she made anti-war statements at a White House luncheon. Ten years later, she made a successful return to Broadway in the 1978 original production of the musical Timbuktu!, for which she received the first of her two Tony Award nominations. Her second was for the 2000 original production of the musical The Wild Party. Kitt wrote three autobiographies – Thursday's Child (1956), Alone with Me (1976) and I'm Still Here: Confessions of a Sex Kitten (1989). She also played Lady Eloise in the 1992 film Boomerang, starring Eddie Murphy. Kitt found a new generation of fans through her roles in the Disney films The Emperor's New Groove (2000), in which she voiced the villainous Yzma, and Holes (2003). She reprised the role as Yzma in the direct-to-video sequel Kronk's New Groove (2005), as well as the animated series The Emperor's New School (2006–2008). Her work on the latter earned her two Daytime Emmy Awards. She posthumously won a third Emmy in 2010 for her guest performance on Wonder Pets.
Has Detailed Data (105)
Has Detailed Data (76)
Music Profile Complete
(2000) TV commercial (voice-over): FLoor Buster.
Cause of Death
Music Genre (Text)
Vocal jazz, Cabaret, Dance, Torch
RCA Victor (1953–59), Kapp (1959–60), MGM (1962), EMI (1963–65), GNP Crescendo (1965), Decca (1965), Spark (1970), Can't Stop Inc. (1984), Ariola (1989–90), ITM (1991–92), DRG (1994), Strike Force (2008)
RCA Victor, Kapp, Mgm, Emi, GNP Crescendo, Decca, Spark, Can't Stop, Ariola, Itm, Drg, Strike Force
Julie Newmar, Lena Horne, Della Reese, Miles Davis, Sammy Davis Jr., Josephine Baker
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