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Performing Arts

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Eartha Kitt (singer)

Eartha Kitt

Eartha Kitt (1927 – 2008) was an American singer, actress, dancer, voice actress, comedienne, activist, author, and songwriter. Eartha Mae Kitt was born in North, a small town in Orangeburg County, South Carolina. Her mother was of African and Cherokee heritage and her unknown father is believed to have been a white man.

When she was around 3 or 4 years of age, Eartha was rejected by her mother and sent to live in foster care. Four years later, Eartha was sent to live in Harlem, New York, with an aunt, who was also abusive.

Eartha Kitt’s professional career began with her dancing but quickly moved into acting and singing too. Kitt made her acting debut in 1950; she played Helen of Troy in an Orson Welles’ production. She then went on to perform in film and television, including the role of Catwoman in the 1960s series of Batman.

Her outspoken opposition to the Vietnam War led to Kitt being blacklisted in the United States. Her career took off again 10 years later with her 1978 performance in the musical Timbuktu!

Eartha Kitt continued to perform in nightclubs and for films—and record songs—until her death.

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