Thursday, December 25, 2008

"The most exciting woman in the world."

Now that the holiday's are behind us, you've probably heard Eartha Kitt's "Santa Baby" for the last time this year.

But give it one more listen before you put it back in the attic. Eartha Kitt died today. She was 81.

Orson Welles called her "the most exciting woman in the world" and in a career that spanned six decades she earned Tony and Grammy awards as well as the ire of the FBI and CIA.

At a White House luncheon hosted by Lady Bird Johnson, Kitt spoke in front of about 50 women and said "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."

For the next four years she performed almost exclusively in Europe. Twenty years later in an interview in Essence Magazine she said "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."

That chapter was put behind her after she accepted another White House invitation, this one from Jimmy Carter after her Tony Award nominated performance in "Timbuktu!"

Her first album came out in 1954 and she performed in movies, on stage and on television right through the new millennium.

And of course, she took a turn as Catwoman on the TV series "Batman" in 1967-68.

The self-proclaimed "little urchin cotton-picker from the South" died from colon cancer.

1 comment:

molly said...

so sad to see her go...