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Eartha Kitt

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Eartha Kitt
Kitt in 1957
Eartha Mae Keith

(1927-01-17)January 17, 1927
DiedDecember 25, 2008(2008-12-25) (aged 81)
Other namesMother Eartha,[3] Kitty
  • Singer
  • actress
  • comedian
  • dancer
  • songwriter
  • activist
Years active1942–2008
Known forCatwoman in Batman
John W. McDonald
(m. 1960; div. 1964)
Musical career

Eartha Mae Kitt (born Eartha Mae Keith; January 17, 1927 – December 25, 2008) was an American singer and actress known for her highly distinctive singing style and her 1953 recordings of "C'est si bon" and the Christmas novelty song "Santa Baby".

Kitt began her career in 1942 and appeared in the 1945 original Broadway theatre production of the musical Carib Song. In the early 1950s, Kitt had six US Top 30 entries, including "Uska Dara" (1953) and "I Want to Be Evil" (1953). Her other recordings include the UK Top 10 song "Under the Bridges of Paris" (1954), "Just an Old Fashioned Girl" (1956) and "Where Is My Man" (1983). Orson Welles once called her the "most exciting woman in the world".[4] Kitt starred as Catwoman in the third and final season of the television series Batman in 1967.

In 1968, Kitt's career in the U.S. deteriorated after she made anti-Vietnam War statements at a White House luncheon. Ten years later, Kitt made a successful return to Broadway in the 1978 original production of the musical Timbuktu!, for which she received the first of her two Tony Award nominations. Kitt's second was for the 2000 original production of the musical The Wild Party. Kitt wrote three autobiographies.[5]

Kitt found a new generation of fans through her roles in the Disney films The Emperor's New Groove (2000), in which she voiced the villainous Yzma, and Holes (2003). Kitt reprised the role as Yzma in the direct-to-video sequel Kronk's New Groove (2005), as well as the animated series The Emperor's New School (2006–2008). Her work on the latter earned her two Daytime Emmy Awards. Kitt posthumously won a third Emmy in 2010 for her guest performance on Wonder Pets!

Early life[edit]

Eartha Mae Keith was born in the small town of North, South Carolina[6][7] on January 17, 1927.[6][8] Her mother, Annie Mae Keith (later Annie Mae Riley), was of Cherokee and African descent. Though she had little knowledge of her father, it was reported that he was the son of the owner of the plantation where she had been born, and that Kitt was conceived by rape.[8][9][10] In a 2013 biography, British journalist John Williams claimed that Kitt's father was a white man, a local doctor named Daniel Sturkie.[11] Kitt's daughter, Kitt McDonald Shapiro, has questioned the accuracy of the claim.[12]

Eartha's mother soon went to live with a black man who refused to accept Eartha because of her relatively pale complexion. Kitt was raised by a relative named Aunt Rosa, in whose household she was abused. After the death of Annie Mae, Eartha was sent to live with another close relative named Mamie Kitt (who Eartha later came to believe was her biological mother) in Harlem, New York City,[8] where Eartha attended the Metropolitan Vocational High School (later renamed the High School of Performing Arts).[13]


Kitt photographed by Carl Van Vechten, October 19, 1952

Kitt began her career as a member of the Katherine Dunham Company in 1943 and remained a member of the troupe until 1948. A talented singer with a distinctive voice, Kitt recorded the hits "Let's Do It", "Champagne Taste", "C'est si bon" (which Stan Freberg famously burlesqued), "Just an Old Fashioned Girl", "Monotonous", "Je cherche un homme", "Love for Sale", "I'd Rather Be Burned as a Witch", "Kâtibim" (a Turkish melody), "Mink, Schmink", "Under the Bridges of Paris", and her most recognizable hit "Santa Baby", which was released in 1953. Kitt's unique style was enhanced as she became fluent in French during her years performing in Europe. Kitt spoke four languages and sang in 11, which she demonstrated in many of the live recordings of her cabaret performances.[14]

Career peaks[edit]

Kitt as Catwoman in the Batman television series, 1967

In 1950, Orson Welles gave Kitt her first starring role as Helen of Troy in his staging of Dr. Faustus. Two years later, Kitt was cast in the revue New Faces of 1952, introducing "Monotonous" and "Bal, Petit Bal", two songs with which she is still identified. In 1954, 20th Century Fox distributed an independently filmed version of the revue entitled New Faces, in which Kitt performed "Monotonous", "Uska Dara", "C'est si bon",[15] and "Santa Baby". Though it is often alleged that Welles and Kitt had an affair during her 1957 run in Shinbone Alley, Kitt categorically denied this in a June 2001 interview with George Wayne of Vanity Fair. "I never had sex with Orson Welles," Kitt told Vanity Fair: "It was a working situation and nothing else."[16] Her other films in the 1950s included The Mark of the Hawk (1957), St. Louis Blues (1958) and Anna Lucasta (1958).

Throughout the rest of the 1950s and early 1960s, Kitt recorded; worked in film, television, and nightclubs; and returned to the Broadway stage, in Mrs. Patterson (during the 1954–1955 season), Shinbone Alley (in 1957), and the short-lived Jolly's Progress (in 1959).[17] In 1964, Kitt helped open the Circle Star Theater in San Carlos, California. In the late 1960s, Batman featured Kitt as Catwoman after Julie Newmar had left the show in 1967. She appeared in a 1967 Mission: Impossible episode "The Traitor", as Tina Mara, a contortionist.

In 1956, Kitt published an autobiography called Thursday's Child, which would later serve as inspiration for the name of the 1999 David Bowie song "Thursday's Child".[18][19]

The "White House Incident"[edit]

On 18 January 1968[20][21] during Lyndon B. Johnson's administration, Kitt encountered a substantial professional setback after she made anti-war statements during a White House luncheon.[22][23] Kitt was asked by First Lady Lady Bird Johnson about the Vietnam War. She replied: "You send the best of this country off to be shot and maimed. No wonder the kids rebel and take pot."[14] During a question-and-answer session, Kitt stated:

The children of America are not rebelling for no reason. They are not hippies for no reason at all. We don't have what we have on Sunset Blvd. for no reason. They are rebelling against something. There are so many things burning the people of this country, particularly mothers. They feel they are going to raise sons – and I know what it's like, and you have children of your own, Mrs. Johnson – we raise children and send them to war.[24][25]

Kitt's remarks reportedly caused Mrs. Johnson to burst into tears.[9] It is widely believed[26] that Kitt's career in the United States was ended following her comments about the Vietnam War,[27][28] after which she was branded "a sadistic nymphomaniac" by the CIA.[12] A CIA dossier about Kitt was discovered by Seymour Hersh in 1975. Hersh published an article about the dossier in The New York Times.[29] The dossier contained comments about Kitt's sex life and family history, along with negative opinions of her that were held by former colleagues. Kitt's response to the dossier was to say: "I don't understand what this is about. I think it's disgusting."[29] Following the incident, Kitt devoted her energies to performances in Europe and Asia.[30]

In February 2022, Catwoman vs. the White House,[31][32] The New Yorker short documentary, directed by Scott Calonico used photos, clippings and footage to show how Kitt disrupted the White House luncheon, taking Lyndon B. Johnson to task.[33]


In the 1970s, Kitt appeared on television several times on BBC's long-running variety show The Good Old Days, and in 1987 took over from fellow American Dolores Gray in the London West End production of Stephen Sondheim's Follies and returned at the end of that run to star in a one-woman-show at the same Shaftesbury Theatre, both to tremendous acclaim. In both those shows, Kitt performed the show-stopping theatrical anthem "I'm Still Here". Kitt returned to New York City in a triumphant turn in the Broadway spectacle Timbuktu! (a version of the perennial Kismet, set in Africa) in 1978. In the musical, one song gives a "recipe" for mahoun, a preparation of cannabis, in which her sultry purring rendition of the refrain "constantly stirring with a long wooden spoon" was distinctive.[citation needed] Kitt was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance. In the late 1990s, Kitt appeared as the Wicked Witch of the West in the North American national touring company of The Wizard of Oz.[34] In 2000, she again returned to Broadway in the short-lived run of Michael John LaChiusa's The Wild Party. Beginning in late 2000, Kitt starred as the Fairy Godmother in the U.S. national tour of Cinderella.[35] In 2003, she replaced Chita Rivera in Nine. Kitt reprised her role as the Fairy Godmother at a special engagement of Cinderella, which took place at Lincoln Center during the holiday season of 2004.[36] From October to early December 2006, Kitt co-starred in the off-Broadway musical Mimi le Duck.


In 1978, Kitt did the voice-over in a television commercial for the album Aja by the rock group Steely Dan. In 1988, she voiced Vietnam After The Fire. a British documentary which looked at the legacy left to the Vietnamese people after the devastation of the war and showed the effects of bombings and defoliants on farmland and forests 13 years after the war ended.[37] One of Kitt's more unusual roles was as Kaa in a 1994 BBC Radio adaptation of The Jungle Book. In 1998, she voiced Bagheera in the live-action direct-to-video Disney film The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story. Kitt also lent her distinctive voice to Yzma in The Emperor's New Groove (for which she won her first Annie Award) and reprised her role in Kronk's New Groove and The Emperor's New School, for which Kitt won two Emmy Awards and, in 2007–08, two more Annie Awards for Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production. From 2002 to 2006, she also voiced the villain Vexus in the Nickelodeon series My Life as a Teenage Robot.

Later years[edit]


In 1984, Kitt returned to the music charts with a disco song titled "Where Is My Man", the first certified gold record of her career. "Where Is My Man" reached the Top 40 on the UK Singles Chart, where it peaked at No. 36;[38] the song became a standard in discos and dance clubs of the time and made the Top 10 on the US Billboard dance chart, where it reached No. 7.[39] The single was followed by the album I Love Men on the Record Shack label. Kitt found new audiences in nightclubs across the UK and the United States, including a whole new generation of gay male fans, and she responded by frequently giving benefit performances in support of HIV/AIDS organizations. Kitt's 1989 follow-up hit "Cha-Cha Heels" (featuring Bronski Beat), which was originally intended to be recorded by Divine, received a positive response from UK dance clubs, reaching No. 32 in the charts in that country. In 1988, Kitt replaced Dolores Gray in the West End production of Stephen Sondheim's Follies as Carlotta, receiving standing ovations every night for her rendition of "I'm Still Here" at the beginning of act 2. Kitt went on to perform her own one-woman show at the Shaftesbury Theatre to sold-out houses for three weeks in early 1989 after Follies.


Kitt appeared with Jimmy James and George Burns at a fundraiser in 1990 produced by Scott Sherman, an agent from the Atlantic Entertainment Group. It was arranged that James would impersonate Kitt and then Kitt would walk out to take the microphone. This was met with a standing ovation.[40] In 1991, Kitt returned to the screen in Ernest Scared Stupid as Old Lady Hackmore. In 1992, she had a supporting role as Lady Eloise in Boomerang. In 1995, Kitt appeared as herself in an episode of The Nanny, where she performed a song in French and flirted with Maxwell Sheffield (Charles Shaughnessy). In November 1996, Kitt appeared in an episode of Celebrity Jeopardy!. She also did a series of commercials for Old Navy.


In 2000, Kitt won an Annie Award for her starring voice role as "Yzma" in the Disney feature film The Emperor's New Groove, later reprising the role in 2005 in Disney's Kronk's New Groove. Kitt returned once again to the silver screen in 2003 with the charming role of Madame Zeroni in the film Holes based on the book by the same name, by author Louis Sachar. In August 2007, Kitt was the spokesperson for MAC Cosmetics' Smoke Signals collection. She re-recorded "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" for the occasion, was showcased on the MAC website, and the song was played at all MAC locations carrying the collection for the month. Kitt also appeared in the 2007 independent film And Then Came Love opposite Vanessa Williams. In her later years, Kitt made annual appearances in the New York Manhattan cabaret scene at venues such as the Ballroom and the Café Carlyle.[14] As noted, Kitt did voice work for the animated projects The Emperor's New Groove and its spinoffs, as well as for My Life as a Teenage Robot. In April 2008, just months before her death, Kitt appeared at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival; the performance was recorded.[citation needed] Kitt was also a guest star in "Once Upon a Time in Springfield" of The Simpsons, where she was depicted as one of Krusty's past marriages.

Personal life[edit]

Kitt at the Carlton Tower hotel in London, 1973
Kitt performing in concert, 2007

Kitt married John William McDonald, an associate of a real estate investment company, on June 9, 1960.[41] Their daughter, Kitt McDonald, born on November 26, 1961, and baptized Catholic at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church.[42] Eartha Kitt and McDonald separated on July 1, 1963, and divorced on March 26, 1964.[43]

A longtime Connecticut resident, Kitt lived in a converted barn on a sprawling farm in the Merryall section of New Milford for many years and was active in local charities and causes throughout Litchfield County. She later moved to Pound Ridge, New York, but returned in 2002 to the southern Fairfield County, Connecticut town of Weston, in order to be near her daughter Kitt and family. Her daughter, Kitt, married Charles Lawrence Shapiro in 1987.[44]


Kitt was active in numerous social causes in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1966, she established the Kittsville Youth Foundation, a chartered and non-profit organization for underprivileged youths in the Watts area of Los Angeles.[45] Kitt was also involved with a group of youths in the area of Anacostia in Washington, D.C., who called themselves "Rebels with a Cause". She supported the groups' efforts to clean up streets and establish recreation areas in an effort to keep them out of trouble by testifying with them before the House General Subcommittee on Education of the Committee on Education and Labor. In her testimony, in May 1967, Kitt stated that the Rebels' "achievements and accomplishments should certainly make the adult 'do-gooders' realize that these young men and women have performed in 1 short year – with limited finances – that which was not achieved by the same people who might object to turning over some of the duties of planning, rehabilitation, and prevention of juvenile delinquents and juvenile delinquency to those who understand it and are living it". Kitt added that "the Rebels could act as a model for all urban areas throughout the United States with similar problems".[46] "Rebels with a Cause" subsequently received the needed funding.[47] Kitt was also a member of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom; her criticism of the Vietnam War and its connection to poverty and racial unrest in 1968 can be seen as part of a larger commitment to peace activism.[48] Like many politically active public figures of her time, Kitt was under surveillance by the CIA, beginning in 1956. After The New York Times discovered the CIA file on Kitt in 1975, she granted the paper permission to print portions of the report, stating: "I have nothing to be afraid of and I have nothing to hide."[29]

Kitt later became a vocal advocate for LGBT rights and publicly supported same-sex marriage, which she considered a civil right. She had been quoted as saying: "I support it [gay marriage] because we're asking for the same thing. If I have a partner and something happens to me, I want that partner to enjoy the benefits of what we have reaped together. It's a civil-rights thing, isn't it?"[49] Kitt famously appeared at many LGBT fundraisers, including a mega event in Baltimore, Maryland, with George Burns and Jimmy James.[40] Scott Sherman, an agent at Atlantic Entertainment Group, stated: "Eartha Kitt is fantastic... appears at so many LGBT events in support of civil rights." In a 1992 interview with Dr. Anthony Clare, Kitt spoke about her gay following, saying:

We're all rejected people, we know what it is to be refused, we know what it is to be oppressed, depressed, and then, accused, and I am very much cognizant of that feeling. Nothing in the world is more painful than rejection. I am a rejected, oppressed person, and so I understand them, as best as I can, even though I am a heterosexual.[50]


Kitt died of colon cancer on Christmas Day 2008 at her home in Weston, Connecticut; she was 81 years old.[7][51][52] Her daughter, Kitt McDonald, described her last days with her mother:

I was with her when she died. She left this world literally screaming at the top of her lungs. I was with her constantly, she lived not even 3 miles from my house, we were together practically every day. She was home for the last few weeks when the doctor told us there was nothing they could do any more. Up until the last two days, she was still moving around. The doctor told us she will leave very quickly and her body will just start to shut down. But when she left, she left the world with a bang, she left it how she lived it. She screamed her way out of here, literally. I truly believe her survival instincts were so part of her DNA that she was not going to go quietly or willingly. It was just the two of us hanging out [during the last days] she was very funny. We didn't have to [talk] because I always knew how she felt about me. I was the love of her life, so the last part of her life we didn't have to have these heart to heart talks. She started to see people that weren't there. She thought I could see them too, but, of course, I couldn't. I would make fun of her like, "I'm going to go in the other room and you stay here and talk to your friends."[53]


Studio albums



Year Film Role Notes
1948 Casbah Uncredited
1951 Parigi è sempre Parigi Herself
1954 New Faces
1957 The Mark of the Hawk Renee
1958 St. Louis Blues Gogo Germaine
1958 Anna Lucasta Anna Lucasta
1961 Saint of Devil's Island Annette
1965 Uncle Tom's Cabin Singer Uncredited role
Synanon Betty
1971 Up the Chastity Belt Scheherazade
1975 Friday Foster Madame Rena
1979 Butterflies in Heat Lola
1985 The Serpent Warriors Snake Priestess
1987 Master of Dragonard Hill Naomi
Dragonard Naomi
The Pink Chiquitas Betty / The Meteor (voice)
1989 Erik the Viking Freya
1990 Living Doll Mrs. Swartz
1991 Ernest Scared Stupid Old Lady Hackmore
1992 Boomerang Lady Eloise
1993 Fatal Instinct First Trial Judge
1996 Harriet the Spy Agatha K. Plummer
1997 Ill Gotten Gains The Wood (Voice)
1998 I Woke Up Early the Day I Died Cult Leader
The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story Bagheera (voice)
2000 The Emperor's New Groove Yzma (voice)
2002 Anything But Love Herself
2003 Holes Madame Zeroni
2005 Preaching to the Choir Ms. Nettie
Kronk's New Groove Yzma (voice) Direct-to-video
2007 And Then Came Love Mona


Year Title Role Notes
1952–1963 The Ed Sullivan Show Herself 15 episodes
1963–1978 The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson Herself 8 episodes
1964–1979 The Mike Douglas Show Herself 16 episodes
1965 I Spy Angel Episode: "The Loser"
Nominated–Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Single Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Drama
1965 The Eartha Kitt Show Herself
1967 Mission: Impossible Tina Maria Episode: "The Traitor"
1967–1968 Batman Selina Kyle / Catwoman 5 episodes
1969 The Dick Cavett Show Herself 1 episode
1972 Lieutenant Schuster's Wife Lady TV movie
1973–1978 The Merv Griffin Show Herself 3 episodes
1974 The Protectors Carrie Blaine Episode: "A Pocketful of Posies"
1978 Police Woman Amelia Episode: "Tigress"
To Kill a Cop Paula TV movie
1983 A Night on the Town Unknown role TV movie
1985 Miami Vice Santería Priestess Chata Episode: "Whatever Works"
1989 After Dark Herself Episode: "Rock Bottom?"
Extended appearance on British discussion programme, together with Simon Napier-Bell and Pat Kane among others
1993 Jack's Place Isabel Lang Episode: "The Seventh Meal"
Matrix Sister Rowena Episode: "Moths to a Flame"
1994 Space Ghost Coast to Coast Herself Episode: "Batmantis"
1995 The Magic School Bus Mrs. Franklin (voice) Episode: "Going Batty"
New York Undercover Mrs. Stubbs Episode: "Student Affairs"
Living Single Jacqueline Richards Episode: "He Works Hard for the Money"
Nominated–NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
1996 The Nanny Herself Episode: "A Pup in Paris"
1997 The Chris Rock Show Herself 1 episode
1997–2000 The Rosie O'Donnell Show Herself 2 episodes
1998 The Wild Thornberrys Lioness #1 (voice) Episode: "Flood Warning"
1999 The Famous Jett Jackson Albertine Whethers Episode: "Field of Dweebs"
2000 Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child The Snow Queen (voice) Episode: "The Snow Queen"
Welcome to New York June 2 episodes
2001 The Feast of All Saints Lola Dede TV movie
Santa, Baby! Emerald (voice) TV movie
2002–2006 My Life as a Teenage Robot Queen Vexus (voice) 7 episodes
2003 Hollywood Squares Herself 5 episodes
2005 Larry King Live Herself 2 episodes
2006–2008 The Emperor's New School Yzma (voice) Annie Award for Best Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production (2007–2008)
Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program (2007–2008)
2007 American Dad! Fortune Teller (voice) Episode: "Dope and Faith"
2008 An Evening with Eartha Kitt Herself Hosted by Gwen Ifill for PBS
2009 Wonder Pets! Cool Cat (voice) Episode: "Save the Cool Cat and the Hip Hippo/Tuck and Buck"
Aired posthumously
Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program
2010 The Simpsons Herself (voice) "Once Upon a Time in Springfield"
Aired posthumously


Year Film Role
1982 All by Myself: The Eartha Kitt Story Herself
1995 Unzipped
2002 The Making and Meaning of We Are Family
The Sweatbox (unreleased)

Stage work[edit]

Year Title Location Role Notes
1945 Blue Holiday Broadway Performer as a member of the Katherine Dunham Troupe; a short-lived production at the Belasco Theatre[54]
Carib Song Broadway Company as a member of the Katherine Dunham Troupe; performed at the Adelphi Theatre as an Original Broadway production[54]
1946 Bal Nègre Broadway, and Europe Performer as a member of the Katherine Dunham Troupe; widely acclaimed Concert at the Belasco Theatre[54]
unknown Mexico Performer performed successfully as a member of the Katherine Dunham Troupe which was under contract with Teatro Americano for more than two months at the request of Doris Duke[54]
1948 Caribbean Rhapsody West End, and Paris Chorus girl as a member of the Katherine Dunham Troupe; performed at the Prince of Wales Theatre (West End) and Théâtre des Champs-Élysées (Paris)[55][54]
1949–1950 unknown Paris Herself,
first solo show / leading performance; performed at Carroll's Niterie; is where Orson Welles discovered her[55][56][57]
1950 Time Runs Paris[8] Helen of Troy In segment based on Faust; performed "Hungry Little Trouble" written by Duke Ellington; cast by Orson Welles[55]
An Evening With Orson Welles Frankfurt[58]
1951 Dr. Faustus Paris with Orson Welles
1952 New Faces of 1952 Broadway Polynesian girl,
Featured dancer,
Featured singer
1954 Mrs. Patterson Broadway Theodora (Teddy) Hicks Original Broadway production
1957 Shinbone Alley Broadway Mehitabel Original Broadway production
1959 Jolly's Progress Broadway Jolly Rivers
1965 The Owl and the Pussycat U.S. National tour Performer
1967 Peg Regional (US)
1970 The High Bid London Performer
1972 Bunny London Performer
1974 Bread and Beans and Things Aquarius Theater[59] Performer
1976 A Musical Jubilee U.S. National tour Performer
1978 Timbuktu! Broadway Shaleem-La-Lume Nominated–Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical
1980 Cowboy and the Legend Regional (US) Performer
1982 New Faces of 1952 (Revival) Off-off-Broadway Polynesian girl
Featured dancer
Featured singer
1985 Blues in the Night U.S. National tour Performer
1987 Follies (London Revival) London Carlotta Campion Replacement for Dolores Gray
1989 Aladdin Palace Theatre, Manchester Slave of the Ring
1989 Eartha Kitt in Concert London Performer
1994 Yes Edinburgh Performer
1995 Sam's Song Unitarian Church of All Souls Performer Benefit concert
1996 Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill Chicago Billie Holiday
1998 The Wizard of Oz (return engagement) Madison Square Garden, and U.S. National tour Miss Gulch/The Wicked Witch
2000 The Wild Party Broadway Delores Original Broadway production
Nominated–Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Nominated–Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical
Cinderella Madison Square Garden, and U.S. National tour Fairy Godmother
2003 Nine Broadway Liliane La Fleur Replacement for Chita Rivera
2004 Cinderella (New York City Opera revival) David H. Koch Theater Fairy Godmother
2006 Mimi le Duck Off-off-Broadway Madame Vallet
2007 All About Us Westport Country Playhouse Performer

Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2000 The Emperor's New Groove Yzma voice role

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2001 Annie Awards Best Voice Acting by a Female Performer in an Animated Feature Production The Emperor's New Groove Won [60]
2006 Best Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production The Emperor's New School (Episode: "Kuzclone") Won [61]
2007 The Emperor's New School (Episode: "The Emperor's New Musical") Won [62]
2001 Black Reel Awards Best Supporting Actress The Emperor's New Groove Nominated [63]
2007 Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program The Emperor's New School Won [64]
2008 Won [65]
2010 Wonder Pets! (Episode: "Save the Cool Cat and the Hip Hippo") Won [66]
2000 Drama Desk Awards Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical The Wild Party Nominated [67]
2005 DVD Exclusive Awards Best Animated Character Performance (Voice and Animation in a DVD Premiere Movie) Kronk's New Groove Nominated
1969 Grammy Awards Best Recording for Children Folk Tales of the Tribes of Africa Nominated [68]
1995 Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance Back in Business Nominated
1995 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Living Single (Episode: "He Works Hard for the Money") Nominated
1966 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Single Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Drama I Spy (Episode: "The Loser") Nominated [69]
1978 Tony Awards Best Leading Actress in a Musical Timbuktu! Nominated [70]
2000 Best Featured Actress in a Musical The Wild Party Nominated [71]
  • In 1960, the Hollywood Walk of Fame honored her with a star, which can be found on 6656 Hollywood Boulevard.[72][73]
  • In 2016, January 17 was announced as Eartha Kitt Day in Kitt's home state of South Carolina. In 2022 the day was enshrined into state law in SC Code § 53-3-75 (2022).[74] South Carolinian Sheldon Rice is credited for beginning the push for legislation declaring her birthday as a state holiday since the time of her death in 2008. State Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter first introduced the legislation to create the State holiday in 2011.[74]


  1. ^ "Obituary: Eartha Kitt"Archived April 19, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. The Guardian. Dec 26 2008. Retrieved April 23, 2024.
  2. ^ "Eartha Kitt dies at 81; TV’s Catwoman, sultry singer of ‘Santa Baby’" Archived December 28, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. Lon Angeles Times. Dec 26 2008. Retrieved April 23, 2024.
  3. ^ "Mother Eartha" Archived January 1, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. Philadelphia City Paper. January 17–24, 2002. Retrieved October 9, 2013.
  4. ^ Messer, Kate X. (July 21, 2006). "Just An Old Fashioned Cat". The Austin Chronicle.
  5. ^ Kitt, Eartha (1990). I'm Still Here. London: Pan. ISBN 0-330-31439-4. OCLC 24719847.
  6. ^ a b Jack, Adrian (December 17, 2008). "Obituary: Eartha Kitt". The Guardian. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Singer-actress Eartha Kitt dies at 81". MSNBC. December 26, 2008. Archived from the original on January 12, 2018. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
  8. ^ a b c d "Eartha Kitt: Singer who rose from poverty to captivate audiences around the world with her purring voice". The Telegraph. December 26, 2008. Archived from the original on January 11, 2022. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  9. ^ a b Sandra Hale Schulman (February 26, 2009). "Eartha Kitt, Chanteuse, Cherokee, and a seducer of audiences, Walked On at 81". Indian Country News. Archived from the original on August 3, 2013.
  10. ^ Weil, Martin (December 26, 2008). "Bewitching Entertainer Eartha Kitt, 81". The Washington Post. p. B05.
  11. ^ Williams, John L. (2013). America's Mistress : The Life and Times of Eartha Kitt. London: Quercus. ISBN 978-0-85738-575-8. OCLC 792747512.
  12. ^ a b Luck, Adam (October 19, 2013). "Eartha Kitt's life was scarred by her failure to learn the identity of her White father, says daughter". The Observer. ISSN 0029-7712. Retrieved April 29, 2023.
  13. ^ "Singer, Broadway Star Eartha Kitt Dies". Billboard. Associated Press. December 25, 2008. Retrieved September 3, 2019.
  14. ^ a b c Hoerburger, Rob (December 25, 2008). "Eartha Kitt, a Seducer of Audiences, Dies at 81". The New York Times.
  15. ^ Hall, Phil (January 4, 2001). "New Faces". Film Threat.
  16. ^ Wayne, George (June 2001). "Back to Eartha". Vanity Fair. p. 160.
  17. ^ "Eartha Kitt". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
  18. ^ Kitt, Eartha (November 25, 1956). "Thursday's child". New York, Duell, Sloan and Pearce – via Internet Archive.
  19. ^ Kielty, Martin (November 29, 2020). "Does David Bowie Biopic 'Stardust' Benefit From Being Unofficial?". Ultimate Classic Rock.
  20. ^ Brown, DeNeen L. (January 19, 2018). "'Sex kitten' vs. Lady Bird: The day Eartha Kitt attacked the Vietnam War at the White House". Washington Post. Retrieved April 10, 2023.
  21. ^ Buck, Stephanie (March 13, 2017). "The black actress who made Lady Bird Johnson cry; The truth hurts". Medium. Archived from the original on May 31, 2017. Retrieved January 12, 2018.
  22. ^ Amorosi, A. D. (February 27, 1997). "Eartha Kitt". Philadelphia City Paper. Archived from the original on January 6, 2009.
  23. ^ James, Frank (December 26, 2008). "Eartha Kitt versus the LBJs". The Swamp. Archived from the original on January 14, 2009.
  24. ^ Miller, Danny (December 27, 2008). "Ertha Kitt, CIA Target". HuffPost.
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  26. ^ Beschloss, Michael. "Eartha Kitt also played "Catwoman" in "Batman" (1966-1968)--met LBJ and later told Lady Bird Johnson at this January 1968 White House lunch". Twitter. Retrieved April 10, 2023. Eartha Kitt also played "Catwoman" in "Batman" (1966-1968)--met LBJ and later told Lady Bird Johnson at this January 1968 White House lunch, "I have a baby and then you send him off to war. No wonder the kids rebel and take pot"—generating a backlash against her career:
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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Batman role
Preceded by Catwoman actress
Succeeded by