Eartha Kitt(1928-2008), Singer
Sitter in 8 portraits
Born on a cotton plantation in the deep south of the United States and abandoned by her mother, Kitt grew up with an aunt. Graduating from the New York School of Performing Arts, she made her New York debut as a dancer in Blue Holiday (1945). After being called the "most exciting woman in the world" by Orson Welles, he cast her as Helen of Troy in Dr Faustus. She later starred in Batman (1967), owning the role of 'Catwoman' and subsequently becoming the first black woman to achieve mainstream TV success in America. Her distinctive singing style gave her many hits including the Christmas song "Santa Baby". Despite her 'sex kitten' status, she was an outspoken activist for civil rights.