Can we please have a moment of silence . . .
For the seductive, multi-talented entertainer Eartha Kitt.
The self-described "sex kitten" died Christmas Day at New York hospital from colon cancer. She was 81. Her daughter, Kitt Shapiro, was by her bedside when she passed away.
Eartha's career in screen, stage and records spans over three decades. The South Carolina born singer was among a bevy of biracial women like Lena Horne, Dorothy Dandridge and others who took Hollywood by storm in the 1950s. She started out as a dancer for the Katherine Dunham Company in New York and parlayed that into a successful stage career on Broadway. In 1978, she nabbed a Tony Award nomination for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance in Timbuktu! As a television/film star, Eartha is probably best known for her portrayal as the alluring Catwoman in the campy 1960s TV show Batman. In film, she will be mostly remembered for playing Lady Eloise in Boomerang opposite Eddie Murphy.
In a July 2006 interview with the Austin Chronicle, she acknowledged that she had colon cancer, but didn't want to elaborate on her condition. "Well, it's not a matter of me talking or not talking about it, it's a matter of realizing that I am not sitting around moping about it," she told the newspaper.
Despite having cancer, Eartha continued to perform almost until the end. She just taped a PBS special six weeks ago in Chicago. The show tentatively is set to premiere in February.
Most recently, Eartha's sultry yuletide ode, "Santa Baby," was certified gold (500,000 copies shipped) by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Eartha Kitt -- "Santa Baby"
Rest in Power, Eartha.