Savvy Sistahs SOAR : Eartha Mae Kitt (January 17, 1927 – December 25, 2008)
Why she SOARS: Despite early personal struggles she made her mark in the entertainment industry as singer, dancer and actress.
Eartha Mae Kitt was an international star who gave new meaning to the word versatile. She distinguished herself in film, theater, cabaret, music and on television. Miss Kitt was one of only a handful of performers to be nominated for a Tony (three times), the Grammy (twice), and Emmy Award (twice). She regularly enthralled New York nightclub audiences during her extended stays at The Cafè Carlyle and these intimate performances have been captured in her recording, Eartha Kitt, Live at The Carlyle.
Miss Kitt was ostracized at an early age because of her mixed-race heritage. At eight years old, she was given away by her mother and sent from the South Carolina cotton fields to live with an aunt in Harlem. In New York her distinct individuality and flair for show business manifested itself, and on a friend’s dare, the shy teen auditioned for the famed “Katherine Dunham Dance Troupe.” She won a spot as a featured dancer and vocalist and before the age of twenty, toured worldwide with the company.
In 1967, Miss Kitt made an indelible mark on pop culture as the infamous “Catwoman” in the television series, “Batman.” She immediately became synonymous with the role and her trademark growl became imitated worldwide.
“Don’t depend on other people to be responsible for you. Don’t make yourself stressed out over nonsensical things like material things.”
Bio courtesy of EarthaKitt.com