What is Eartha Kitt famous for?

Eartha Kitt was born on January 17, 1927 as Eartha Mae Keith in North, South Carolina. The illegitimate daughter of a colored cotton picker and a Cherokee Indian from South Carolina was sent to an aunt in New York from the age of eight and spent a difficult youth in poor conditions in the city's immigrant district. She attended high school until she was 15 and was interested in acting and dance even then. She was also a member of a church choir and - supported by her aunt - took piano lessons. Then she left school, worked for a short time in a clothing factory and at the age of 16 joined the "Dance Troupe" of Afro-American dance pioneer and choreographer Katherine Dunham1) recorded. After several years of training in dance, singing and acting at the Dunham School of Dance and Theater, Eartha Kitt toured Europe with the group.
During a performance in Paris, she had to stand in for a singer and found that singing appealed to her more than dancing. In 1951 she left the ensemble and started her own business in the "Carrols" nightclub. A little later she discovered Hollywood star Orson Welles, who described Eartha Kitt as "the most exciting woman in the world", for his idiosyncratic Parisian "Dr. Faust" production and cast her on stage with the double role of Gretchen and the beautiful Helena.

The photo was kindly sent to me by the
Photographer Virginia Shue (Hamburg) provided.
Virginia Shue has the copyright.

In 1952 the artist went back to the States and celebrated triumphant successes on Broadway with "New Faces Of 1952", which earned her the role in the film of the same name "20. Century Fox" in 1954. In addition, she published numerous records and became internationally known with titles such as "C'est si bon" (1954). In December 1953 she was represented in the American charts with the pop song "Santa Baby", a catchy tune that is still one of the most played Christmas hits every year. In the spring of 1955 she also had success in Great Britain with "Under The Bridges Of Paris", was in the charts for eleven weeks and with this title reached number 7 in the British charts. Her most famous songs include "Je cherche un homme" (I Want A Man), "Let's Do It" (1957), "Jonny, if you have a birthday" (1957), "Just an old fashioned girl" (1958) as well as the Cole Porter song "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" and the Turkish "Uska Dara" (1953, A Turkish Tale); Albums like "Love for Sale" (1965) became bestsellers and earned her "Grammy" nominations.
She was also successful in musicals and films, and in the 1950s she celebrated triumphs in the musicals "Monotonous" and "Shinbone Alley" on Broadway.
 
Photo: Eartha Kitt, taken in 1973 in the "Carlton Tower Hotel" in London
Source: Wikimedia Commons or Wikipedia
Author: Allan Warren*) (www.allanwarren.com)
Information on the license see here
*) Link: Wikipedia, English
 
In 1957 she played Renee alongside Sidney Poitier in Michael Audley's anti-racist flick "The Mark of the Hawk". an adaptation of the successful play of the same name from Broadway and a remake of a film from 1949. Over the decades, Eartha Kitt has taken on tasks for the film from time to time Series "Batman".
In 1975 she played Madame Rena alongside leading actress Pam Grier in the rather negligible action thriller "Friday Foster" (In the Web of the Black Spider), in the humorous fantasy spectacle "Erik the Viking"1) (1989, Erik the Viking) the old seer Freya, in the parody "Ernest Scared Stupid" (1991, Chaotic Halloween) the old Lady Hackmore. In 1992 she acted in Eddie Murphy's comedy "Boomerang"1) the Lady Eloise and in 1996 the Agatha K. Plummer in the children's film "Harriet the Spy"2) (Harriet the little detective) - to name just a few of her work in front of the cinema camera.
Also in 1996 she played her idol Billie Holliday on stage in "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill", a musical based on the life of the legendary jazz singer. More recently, she appeared in the 2000 American version of the Disney film "A Kingdom for a Lama"1) (The Emperor's New Groove) the character evil Yzma her voice, which she also in the sequel "A Kingdom for a Lama 2 - Kronk's great adventure"1) (2005, Kronk's New Groove) as well as in the series "Kuzco’s King's Class"1) (2006-2008, The Emperor's New School) spoke. In 2003 she also played the Far Eastern fortune teller Madame Zeroni in the film "Holes"1) (The Secret of Green Lake), which Andrew Davis had staged based on the award-winning book of the same name ("Holes") by Louis Sachar.
At the end of the 1960s, Eartha Kitt's career in the United States was interrupted for a few years because she had spoken out vehemently against the Vietnam War during an appearance in the White House in 1968. As a result of this anti-war stance, it was blacklisted and boycotted by those in power in the American record industry. Eartha Kitt went to Europe and did not return to the States until 1974. Later she once said that she would have been better silent at the time if she had known the consequences of what she said.

The photo was kindly sent to me by the
Photographer Virginia Shue (Hamburg) provided.
Virginia Shue has the copyright.
In the 1980s, Eartha Kitt, who referred to herself as a "sex kitten," returned successfully in the hit parades; the disco track "Where Is My Man?" 1983 was a huge success also in Germany. Even in old age, Eartha Kitt was tirelessly on stage on Broadway, in clubs, in the theater and in cabaret. For example, in 2001/2002 she toured across the USA with the stage play "Cinderella", gave a concert in 2004 at the "BB King Blues Club & Grill", and was six weeks before her death for a TV special that took place in February 2009 to be broadcast in front of the television cameras.
The seemingly ageless singer continued to delight the audience with her unique personality and her electrifying smoky voice, true to her motto "Rejuvenate! It's Never Too Late". This is also the title of her book, which she brought onto the market in 2001, in which she gives tips on how to stay young and fit. In 1956 the artist published her life story with the title "Thursday’s Child", followed in 1976 by a second autobiography "Alone With Me" and in 1989 she published further memoirs, which she called "I'm Still Here: Confessions Of A Sex Kitten". In 1982 a critical documentary of her life "All By Myself: The Eartha Kitt Story" was released, made by the filmmaker Christian Blackwood (1942-1992).
  
Rudi Carrell and Eartha Kitt
The photo was kindly given to me by the photographer Virginia Shue (Hamburg)
made available. Virginia Shue has the copyright.
 
Eartha Kitt succumbed to colon cancer on December 25, 2008 at the age of 81 in a New York hospital. The legendary "cat woman" with the reputation of the role of the man-murdering vamp was considered one of the most versatile artists in the USA, made a name for herself not only as a singer, but also as an actress and dancer. She won two Emmys, was nominated for a third of the prestigious television awards, and garnered several Tony and Grammy nominations. Elegance and sensuality were trademarks of the singer, who liked to portray the image of the men-wearing diva on stage. In private, Kitt was rather shy and withdrawn. She also blamed her childhood for this: she described herself as an unloved "little cotton picker dirty kid" from South Carolina. noted www.focus.de
In the course of her career, the entertainer and actress Eartha Kitt sang in ten different languages ​​and around one hundred countries around the world. In 1960 she received a "star" on the "Hollywood Walk of Fame" (6656 Hollywood Boulevard). In her life she had never forgotten what poverty can mean, used her popularity for charitable purposes, and was committed to social causes. Among other things, it financed schools for colored people, supported various AIDS organizations in the 1980s with numerous charity appearances and ensured that the epidemic was publicized.
 
Between 1960 and 1965, the world star was married to real estate agent Bill McDonald; daughter Kitt-Shapiro (born 1961), who made her mother a grandmother of four, comes from this connection. Eartha Kitt, known as the "Queen of Nightclubs", last lived in Connecticut near her daughter and grandchildren.