Eartha Kitt’s lovely daughter, Kitt Shapiro, runs an awesome company called Simply Eartha in her honor. Kitt shared this beautiful photo of her with her mother a few days ago on the Eartha Kitt Facebook fan page.
Eartha Kitt, one of the reasons Vintage Black Glamour exists, was born 86 years ago today in North, South Carolina. In this photograph, she is shown at a cast party for “Leonard Sillman’s New Faces of 1952,” the show where she made her Broadway debut and sang, for the first time, her classic song, “Monotonous.” Photo: Museum of the City of New York
Did you know that Eartha Kitt had a follow up to her 1953 classic, “Santa Baby?” It’s called “This Year’s Santa Baby” and she had to do it. After all, everyone needs a large pear-shaped swimming pool in their life…
Sidney Poitier and Eartha Kitt in the 1957 film “The Mark of the Hawk.” Mr. Poitier portrays a London-born African who returns home for a political position. His character’s name? Wait for it… Obam. Ms. Kitt plays his stylish wife Renee. Photo: John Springer Collection/Corbis.
Incredible photo set featuring Lena Horne, Eartha Kitt, Rosalind Russell and more from Jet’s April 9, 1953 issue. It was an NAACP Benefit show and Ms. Horne is featured with the head of the NAACP, Walter White; the iconic composer W.C. Handy, legendary comedian Danny Thomas and four disabled Marines. Jazz pianist Errol Garner is pictured with singer Elaine Malbin and Eartha Kitt and shown with jazz musician Arthur Prysock. Actress Rosalind Russell is shown with Dr. S. Carter.
Cat-sitting for my friend Tayari today reminded me of this picture, model Dorothea Towles cat-sitting for Eartha Kitt in NYC, taking care of Ms. Kitt’s four cats. The photo appeared in Jet’s November 10, 1955 issue.
Courtesy of the Library’s Billy Rose Theater Division and their industrious Photography Librarian, we have a treat for today’s Caturday! Picture above is a very accommodating kitty posing with the iconic Eartha Kitt, in full Catwoman regalia.
Eartha Kitt and James Edwards in a scene from 1958’s “Anna Lucasta.” Ms. Kitt was not only the star of the film, she and Sammy Davis, Jr. had financial participation. James Edwards was the handsome, 6’2” former professional boxer who was supposed to be Hollywood’s first true Black heartthrob. According to film historian Donald Bogle, along with promising work in films like “Home of the Brave” and “The Manchurian Candidate” (he also appeared opposite Dorothy Dandridge in her screen test for Carmen Jones in 1954) Edwards was signed for a short time as a writer at Universal-International studios and wrote several stage plays. Instead of becoming the big star many had hoped he would be, Edwards career suffered because of his temper, heavy drinking and a career-crushing rumor involving an alleged argument with his White girlfriend at a Hollywood party. He was also a very proud man who was not one to “know his place.” Ossie Davis said of him, “Jim Edwards was not prepared to compromise or duck - to make that adjustment that would make white folks comfortable. Not at all.” Edwards died at the age of 51 in 1970.
Eartha Kitt and her daughter Kitt McDonald in London in 1965. I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Kitt and her daughter in 2001 when Ms. Kitt played the Fairy Godmother in “Cinderella” on Broadway and, I have to say, the mutual adoration was adorable. Photo: Bettman/Corbis