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Eartha Kitt dies aged 81



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Eartha Kitt, the singer, cabaret star and actress once described by Orson Welles as “the most exciting woman in the world”, died on Christmas Day, aged 81, after a battle with colon cancer.

In a wildly varied life Kitt, born in the cotton fields of Carolina, played Catwoman in the Batman TV series, starred opposite Sidney Poitier on the silver screen, played both the Fairy Godmother and Wicked Witch Of The West in stage productions of Cinderella and The Wizard Of Oz respectively, voiced Kaa the python in a BBC radio adaptation of The Jungle Book, worked with Bronski Beat on the 1989 hit Cha-Cha Heels and gave several benefit concerts supporting HIV/AIDS organisations. 

The woman who defined the term “sex kitten” performed her final London shows in 2008 at the Pigalle Club in Piccadilly.


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