New York

Eartha Kitt, RIP


Celebrities usually die in threes, so after the beloved triology of Yma Sumac, Nina Foch, and Betty Page passed on, I was horrified to find that Harold Pinter and Eartha Kitt had joined them on the great red carpet in the sky. Are celebs dying in fives now? And I’m not even counting Van Johnson!

More importantly, what will we do without mother Eartha? A ferocious talent and trailblazer, she brought her kittennish charms to Broadway, cabaret, and the White House, turning from meowing pusscat to raging panther when the occasion called for it, always in the height of style. Exuding sex appeal well into her twilight years, she was a soulful Lorelei Lee, purring her intricate songs about wrapping men around her bejeweled fingers while winning your cofnidence with wit and wisdom.

I once interviewed Eartha onstage at a Chelsea gay bar for an audience of drunks and was amazed that she was basicallly shy and soft spoken, not at all the virago she became when singing and dancing. The woman kept on surprising! And though I could live without so very many celebrities, there will never be another Eartha Kitt!

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