Eartha Kitt as Catwoman (Associated Press photo)
Sultry singer, actress and dancer Eartha Kitt, who sexily purred the evergreen holiday song “Santa Baby,” died on Christmas of colon cancer. She was 81.
Not only was Kitt a Broadway, movie and recording star, she became famous for playing the slinky cat Catwoman on the popular “Batman” TV series in 1967-68; the self-proclaimed “sex kitten” replaced Julie Newmar, who originated the role.
Kitt kept work well into this decade, opening herself up to a whole new generation of fans by playfully voicing the villianess Yzma in the hilarious 2000 Disney animated comedy “The Emperor’s New Groove.”
She also earned a Tony nomination in 2000 for “The Wild Party.”
Kitt famously rose from a poor and unloving childhood to fame and fortune: Born Jan. 17, 1927 – she didn’t even know her birthday for many, many years – in North, S.C., Kitt was the daughter of a black and Cherokee mother and white father. Her stepfather shunned her for her mixed heritage, so she was left to live with other relatives. She grew up picking cotton, but eventually ended up living with an aunt in New York, where she attended a performing arts school.
To read the full Associated Press obituary for Kitt, click here.
Our thoughts go out to Kitt’s loved ones and fans. She will be missed.