Actress Keesha Sharp, known for her role in Lethal Weapon and as Will’s love interest in Girlfriends, has acquired the rights to the 2013 Eartha Kitt biography, America’s Mistress: The Life and Times of Eartha Kitt.
According to Shadow and Act, Brad Sharp, a musician and Keesha’s husband, will work to develop the feature film along with Keesha. And Keesha will portray Kitt. While the announcement may be news to the public, Sharp expressed interest in the film as far back as 2009.
In a statement to Deadline, Sharp said:
“Eartha Kitt was a force in the entertainment industry and an icon who opened doors for so many women, especially women of color during a time when it was not popular in America. Although I may have been compared to her in the past, I am passionate about bringing her story to life because everyone needs to know how incredible she was! People don’t mention her in the same conversation with the icons of Hollywood, but she belongs there. The biggest star at the time, Orson Welles, called her ‘the most exciting woman in the world’ for good reason. Her life was full of complexity, pain, and triumph, and I am thrilled to take on the challenge.”
I don’t have to run down her resume of this legend. But for those who don’t know, Kitt is one of the most talented, most accomplished and noteworthy entertainers of all time. And she just so happens to be a Black woman, making the stakes for this project incredibly high. After a tumultuous childhood that included everything from abuse to abandonment, Kitt managed to make it to Harlem where she began her career as a dancer before she transitioned into song and acting. Throughout her life, Kitt learned to speak four languages and sang in eleven.
Catwoman in the 1960s Batman. She sang the classic Christmas song, “Santa Baby,” making it the standard version of that song.
In addition to her artistic work, she also spoke out against racism and the Vietnam War at the White House, a move that cost her career in the United States for several years. When she finally returned to Broadway, her performance was met with multiple Tony nominations. Later in life, she starred in Boomerang, Holes, Harriet the Spy, and The Emperor’s New Groove.
With such a rich and full life, it will be interesting to see what Sharp is able to do with this project.
As of now, no studio is attached to the project. But we’ll be sure to keep you posted with new developments.