Friday, December 26, 2008

Eartha Kitt Dies at 81

Eartha Kitt, photo posted by anovelista on Flickr

We lost the legendary Eartha Kitt on Christmas Day to colon cancer. Such a great voice and inspiration. She had many wealthy suitors throughout her life. The founder of Revlon, Charles Revson for one. Yet she chose to maintain her independence to the end. Here is what the AP Wires put out right after the news broke:

Once dubbed the "most exciting woman in the world" by Orson Welles, she spent much of her life single, though brief romances with the rich and famous peppered her younger years.

Anti-War Comments

Kitt was plainspoken about causes she believed in. Her anti-war comments at the White House came as she attended a White House luncheon hosted by Lady Bird Johnson.

"You send the best of this country off to be shot and maimed," she told the group of about 50 women. "They rebel in the street. They don't want to go to school because they're going to be snatched off from their mothers to be shot in Vietnam."

For four years afterward, Kitt performed almost exclusively overseas. She was investigated by the FBI and CIA, which allegedly found her to be foul-mouthed and promiscuous.

"The thing that hurts, that became anger, was when I realized that if you tell the truth — in a country that says you're entitled to tell the truth — you get your face slapped and you get put out of work," Kitt told Essence magazine two decades later.

May she rest in peace.

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