Thursday, December 25, 2008

RIP Eartha Kitt

A sad note on Christmas, legendary singer/actress Eartha Kitt died today @ 81 years of age. Like most people in my generation I first encountered her purrrfection as one incarnation of "Catwoman" on syndicated reruns of the campy 60s Batman series. I always meant to attend one of her cabaret shows here in NYC but never did (pricey $) but I was able to see her on Broadway once in The Wild Party where she stopped the show with the 11th hour eventual classic (just wait) "When It Ends." Though she was always more of a celebrity and TV star than a film actress, she did that too: recent credits included Holes and voicing Yzma for Disney's The Emperor's New Groove. You'll also undoubtedly remember her great purring cameo in the Isaac Mizrahi documentary Unzipped.

Here's Eartha doing her classic "Santa Baby". She was still performing in her early 80s. Here's to indisputable longevity and individuality. Eartha had both.



[source news]

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

too bad, yet i'm unfazed.

Cengiz said...

Harold Pinter also died today. Two legends died. So sad. Both will be missed.

Michael said...

RIP.Kitt
Also, RIP HAROLD PINTER

Catherine said...

Yup, Eartha and Harold both departing on the same day. Neither death was a tragedy - both lived long and fruitful lives, but I can't help feeling a little sad about both of them. It's strange, about Eartha Kitt (actually, Pinter too, now that I think about it) I never actually thought that she would die someday. With loads of ageing singers/actors/musicians/writers I admire, I always wonder when they'll go, but for Kitt she seemed such an eternal presence. Everyone has a different touchstone for her. Personally, I grew up loving her as the crazy old lady in Harriet the Spy and her magnificent vocal work in The Emperor's New Groove, then as I got a little older I started listening to her music and catching glimpses of her in old films. She was such a classy broad, with that voice (I'm just remembering her appearance as the celebrity guest on What's My Line, when she resorts to a hilarious muffled squeak to try and disguise her voice!). She'll be missed.

Nono said...

Anonymous...thank you for your tact. ::eye roll:: Sad...two legends. Do you notice that public figures almost never die alone?

Nono said...

Here's a throwback of her:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOMmSbxB_Sg&eurl=http://theybf.com/

Chris Na Taraja said...

When I lived in Berlin 13 years ago, Eartha Kitt was a huge star who performing constantly live onstage in Germany, France and all over the world.

People who saw her live say that she was electrifying and wonderful.

I'm sorry that I too assumed she would live forever and never saw her live.

Brian24 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian24 said...

I saw Eartha perform several times in Washington, DC, both at the small and intimate Blues Alley Jazz and the larger Warner Theater. I was lucky enough to be seated in the front row for one of her performances at Blues Alley, and as anyone who ever saw her perform will tell you, she loved to tease the men in her audience. I got it good from her that night -- she even tapped me on the head with her microphone when I dared to engage her in a staring contest -- and at the end of the show she gave me a big hug. I will never forget that moment. She was just lovely.