Rest in Peace Eartha Kitt

Lost in the hubbub that was Christmas and the holidays in general was a tragic passing the the comic book world. Eartha Kitt passed away Thursday, December 25 at the age of 81 as a result of cancer. In tribute to her passing, The Hidden S in Phone Booth writer Mark has written the below. Please read, and send your condolences to the Kitt family. She was Purrrfect...Eartha Kitt 1927-2008 There aren't a lot of entertainers like Eartha Kitt anymore. Not so much an actress as a performer, Ms. Kitt started out as a dancer in Europe in the late 40s and eventually worked her way into the first ranks of show business after World War II. Orson Welles, one of a long line of appreciative male admirers proclaimed her "The Most Exciting Woman Alive." This was a fair point, but Kitt's ironic sexual hauteur and the "show must go on" persona allowed for a long career in film, television, Broadway and as a recording artist. Her career had some ups and downs (most notably, she experienced a downturn in popularity and bookings when she famously criticized the Johnson administration's Vietnam policy to Lady Bird Johnson's face). Kitt was also one of the first mainstream African-American sex symbols. Much of this is based on her turn as Catwoman in the legendary Batman series in the late 80s. She replaced the physically impressive Julie Newmar as Catwoman when Newmar was making a film. She only played the character in three episodes but if Kitt had walked on the moon she would still be best known as one of three glorious women who impressively filled out the lycra of Catwoman and stoked the libido of male baby boomers who were discovering the mysteries of the opposite sex. Kitt struck serious sparks with the wonderfully wooden Adam West, in particular the episode Dressed to Kill (typical dialgoue to Robin: "She may be evil, but she is attractive. You'll know more about that in a couple of years.") where, in a particularly kinky, subtext heavy plot point, she managed to capture and tie up Batgirl. Kitt saw a late career surge around the age of 50 and managed to maintain her sex symbol status well into her 70s. Despite Emmy awards, Tony and Grammy nominations her work as Catwoman remains the touchstone with regard to her popularity and persona. Her influential style of performance has informed many an over the top actress including Uma Thurman in Batman and Robin, Angelina Jolie in Wanted and (naturally) Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns.