Making It: Stars Who Were Once Homeless

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Eartha Kitt

Kitt’s childhood was less than rosy. The daughter of a black Cherokee mother and white man Kitt was often ostracized for her lighter skin complexion. When her mother remarried, her stepfather refused to take in a mixed girl and her mother sent her to live with her aunt in Harlem. It was this aunt that got her started in show business. She gave little Eartha piano and dance lessons. By the time she was a teenager, Kitt was living with friends, sleeping in subways and on top of New York rooftops. She told the New York Times, “When I see the homeless now, I empathize. I know there but for the grace of God go I.”

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