Friday, January 9, 2009

You know I could have sworn I did Eartha Kitt, and I was totally going to recycle it. I think that she is/was one of the most beautiful women there ever was, and just slightly ( oh who am I kidding A LOT) awesome.
But I hadn't done her. So now to rectify that....

Eartha Mae Keith was born on a cotton plantation in a town called North, in South Carolina. (absurd, isn't it? She was from North South Carolina...). Her mother was of Cherokee and African American, and her father was German, and Dutch. Sadly, she was conceived by rape.
She was raised by her Aunt, whom she believed was her mother, but not very well treated, nor supervised. She later said in many interviews that she suffered much abuse and neglect at the hands of a family her aunt had entrusted her too, and lived with a constant fear or rejection. Her Aunt died, and she was sent to NYC to live with Mamie Kitt, who was her bio mom.
Her career started as a member of a dance company, and with some brief singing roles in films. She became fluent in French, and performed in Paris for years. She had her first starring role in film in 1950 in an Orson Welles film, playing Helen of Troy in Dr. Faustus. It is rumored that she had an affair with Welles, though she denies it.
She did tons of film work, and even helped to open a theater in San Carlos, Calif. One of her most memorable roles, however, was playing Catwoman in Batman, after Julie Newmar left the role.
Never one to hold back, Eartha spoke her piece at a White House luncheon she'd been invited to by Lady Bird Johnson Mrs. Johnson asked Eartha about the Vietnam War, to which she replied "You send the best of this country off to be shot and maimed. No wonder the kids rebel and take pot." Supposedly, Lady Bird cried over this, and the public opinion of the statement went to the extreme, both for and against her. She was ostracized in the US, and soon after began to devote her time to working overseas.
Eventually, she not only came back stateside, but she came back to Broadway. In 1984, she had a disco hit called Where Is My Man", her first gold record. SHe ended up with a large, cult following of Gay men, and frequently gave benefit performances in support of HIV/AIDS foundations.
In her later years, she continued to work on Broadway, and was toured as the Wicked Witch of the West with the Nrth American Touring Company's version of the Wizard of Oz. She continued to perform on film, in Boomerang, and played the fairy Godmother to Cinderella on television, and stage. Another great role she managed to perform with her very distinctive voice was Kaa, from the Jungle Book for the BBC radio version, and, she voiced Yzma in "The Emperors New Groove."
She also made annual appearances in New York in Manhattan, in the Caberet scene, at different ballrooms.
All in all, she also wrote three autobiographies, "Thursday's Child", "Alone with Me" and "I'm Still here: Confessions of a Sex Kitten". She was also the spokesperson for MAC Cosmetics in 07

She had many romantic relationships, and was Married to a man name John William McDonald, for five years. They had one child, a daughter, named Kitt.
Eartha became very vocal in her support of gay rights, publicly supporting same sex marriage, likening it to Civil Rights.
She died, on Christmas Day, of 08, of Colon Cancer..


Anonymous said...

She is beautiful. I love that picture.


Bubblewench said...

She is beautiful, but I have met and worked w/her in the theater and she was a real bitch.

bernthis said...

Hell of a woman. We need as many like her as we can get in this world today

holly said...

wow i wasn't prepared for the dying bit.

i have several recordings of hers. mainly because she's feature on some lounge cds i have, and not that i particularly like the songs.

sybil law said...

I can't believe you haven't done her before, either!! Still - good one!

Mary said...

I always wished I could purr the way she did.

Daryl said...

I cant believe holly didnt know she died.

And, Bubblewench, I know someone who worked with her and said the same ..