Puurrfectly Poised: Style Icon Eartha Kitt

March 9, 2012  |  

Eartha Kitt was a fascinating woman with an equally fascinating story. Born in 1927, Eartha Kitt was the product of a rape between a Cherokee woman and German-Dutch man. As a young girl Eartha went to live with an aunt, who she believed was her biological mother, in South Carolina until she was eight years old. When her aunt got married, her new husband did not like the fact that Eartha was too light complected. So she moved to Harlem to live with her biological mother, although she didn’t know it at the time.

From there, Eartha started performing in Harlem and went on to become a singer, actress and a cabaret star. Spending a good portion of her career in Europe, Eartha spoke four languages and sang in seven. Always reemerging at different points in her career, Orson Welles called her “the most exciting woman in the world.” While there’s no way we can prove that, Eartha definitely was an exciting woman. If you need any proof, check out the pictures of the starlet throughout the course of her lifetime.

A young Kitt, with perfectly coiffed hair, her button nose and the tiniest waist. Despite aging, Eartha would always be known for her hourglass figure.

Long before she played Catwoman in the sixties version of the show “Batman” Eartha and her voice were likened to cats. So it’s only fitting she’d pose next to a cheetah. (Even though she’s wearing leopard.)

Who would be more fitting to take on this role? In the late ’60s when the original catwoman could no longer perform her duties. One woman’s loss is another woman’s gain.

Photos: vanessaveasley.com

Eartha smiles sweetly in a gown with a draping train.

A little older but still on a couch, Eartha’s body looks virtually the same.

The younger generation might know Ms. Eartha for her role as Lady Eloise in the ’90s hit “Boomerang” alongside Eddie Murphy. Although she had doubts about accepting the role, she went on to become one of the films stand out stars. Say it with me…”Marrrcccuusss I’m not wearing any pannntiess.” Classic.

In a performance a year before her death in 2008, Eartha still managed to show us a little leg.

Although her career in entertainment was nothing short of fascinating, Eartha also used her celebrity to take a stand on issues she felt strongly about. She spoke openly with the former first lady, Lyndon B. Johnson’s wife, about her displeasure with the U.S’ involvement in the Vietnam war and she was also a staunch advocate for same sex marriages.

Eartha passed away from colon cancer in 2008 at the age of 81.

More on Madame Noire!

Trending on MadameNoire

View Comments
Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN
  • Would have been nice to mention that her mother was BLACK also instead of just Cherokee. That quarter black was pretty strong.

  • Morenita2g

    Cherokee and German? Umm Earth was black.

  • Pingback: emoticons for facebook()

  • StuckInDaMatrix

    Beautiful, classy, elegant woman and entertainer!

  • Candacey Doris

    Eartha Kitt was awesome! She actually stood by her principles and was super beautiful. She’s definitely one of my role models.

  • Adam

    She was something else and would have been much bigger in Hollywood if she came along now. Diane Carrol is the last of the beautiful, older black divas of yesteryear.

  • Eestoomuch

    so beautiful! i remember seeing her in Batman as Catwoman when i was an itty bitty girl! she always was gorgeous to me…i think Tisha Campbell would be good to play her if they ever made a movie of her life like Halle did on Dorothy Dandridge on HBO

  • IllyPhilly

    Marcussss!! I’m too young to remember her in anything else.