Well known singer, celebrity and award winning actress Eartha Kitt, who’s perhaps best known for her “sex kitten” role as Catwoman in the 1960s Batman TV series has died from colon cancer. Younger audiences may recognize Kitt though for her supporting role as ‘Lady Eloise’ in the hit movie Boomerang co-starring Eddie Murphy and Robin Givens.
The South Carolina native, who became an infamous symbol of elegance and sensuality, was 81 years old at the time of her death.
Patty Freeman, Eartha Kitt’s publicist, said Kitt died in New York with her daughter, Kitt Shapiro, at her side.
Born a mixed-raced daughter on a cotton plantation in a small town in North, S.C., Kitt made her Broadway debut at 18 years old after launching her career in the 1940s with Katharine Dunham’s dance company.
After becoming so well known after her role as Catwoman, Kitt also became insider-known as a serious activist who pushed everything from voting rights to HIV/AIDS awareness programs which she frequently gave benefit performances in support of.
In the 1960s, Kitt even denounced the Vietnam War during a visit to the White House which was attended by President Lyndon Johnson’s wife, Lady Bird.
Throughout the years, Kitt has continued to act, perform on broadway and sing. Most recently, she received a gold record for her song “Santa Baby” recorded in 1953 before she died.