Eartha Mae Keith was born on the 17th January 1927, in North, a town in South Carolina, USA, and died on the 25th December 2008 in Weston, Connecticut, USA. She was an American singer, cabaret star, dancer, actress and activist, best known for her recordings “C’est Si Bon” (1953) and Christmas novelty hit “Santa Baby” (1953). Thanks to her versatility as an artist, Kitt consistently increased her net worth from when her career started in 1943; she was active in the entertainment industry until 2008. Have you ever wondered how rich Eartha Kitt was as of mid-2016? According to authoritative sources, it has been estimated that Kitt’s net worth was $4 million. She earned most of her money by singing and performing on stage, but she was an actress as well, which additionally improved her wealth.
Eartha Kitt Net Worth $4 Million
Eartha Kitt was born on a cotton plantation, and her mother Mamie Kitt was of African and Cherokee descent. Although never confirmed, her father was apparently of German descent, and Eartha was conceived by rape. He was supposedly the son of the man who owned the farm where Eartha was born, but she never met him although adopted his supposed surname of Kitt. Eartha was raised by Anna Mae Riley, who she believed that was her mother. However, when Riley went to live with a black man, he refused to take the 8-year-old Kitt due to her pale complexion, so she had to live with another family until they sent her to New York City to live with her natural mother. Eartha started her career in 1943 when she joined the Katherine Dunham Company, a troupe of dancers, singers, actors and musicians, and stayed with them until 1948. She possessed a quite distinctive voice which was immediately noticed. Kitt recorded numerous hits including “Let’s Do It” (1951), “C’est Si Bon” (1953), “Monotonous”, “Love for Sale”, “Kâtibim”, “Under the Bridges of Paris” (1955) – her most recognizable song “Santa Baby”, was released in 1953. She learned to speak four languages and sang in seven which guaranteed that she performed successfully around Europe as well. Kitt’s debut in film was in Luciano Emmer’s “Paris Is Always Paris” in 1951, and she later starred in Michael Audley’s drama “The Mark of the Hawk”, with Sidney Poitier (1957). Eartha also appeared in several TV series before securing a leading role in “St. Louis Blues” (1958), with Nat King Cole and Cab Calloway. She was quite busy in the late ’50’s, and appeared in “Anna Lucasta” (1958) with Sammy Davis Jr. and Frederick O’Neal. Eartha Kitt also appeared in five episodes of “Batman” (1966-1968), in Bob Kellett’s comedy “The Chastity Belt” (1972), and “Friday Foster” (1975), starring Pam Grier. These roles additionally increased her net worth. In the ’80’s, Kitt was cast in several movies, such as “The Serpent Warriors” (1985), “Master of Dragonard Hill” (1987), “Dragonard” (1987) the sequel, and “Erik the Viking” (1989), starring Tim Robbins, John Cleese, and Mickey Rooney. She wasn’t quite as popular in the 90s, but still received a few notable roles, in “Ernest Scared Stupid” (1991), “Boomerang” (1992), starring Eddie Murphy and Halle Berry, “Fatal Instinct” (1993). With Armand Assante, and Bronwen Hughes’ “Harriet the Spy” (1996). All helped her net worth to rise. Eartha Kitt gave her voice to numerous characters in animated series – the most notable were “My Life as a Teenage Robot” (2003-2007), and her most recent ”The Emperor’s New School” (2006-2008). Thanks to her long and successful career, Eartha earned several prestigious awards, including a Star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame in 1960. Furthermore, she won three Daytime Emmy Awards in the category Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program, for her work on shows “Wonder Pets!” and “The Emperor’s New School”, among other awards. Regarding her personal life, Eartha Kitt was married to William O. McDonald from 1960 to 1964, and the pair had a daughter named Kitt Shapiro. Kitt discovered she had colon cancer in 2006, and it took her life on a Christmas Day in 2008.
Holds two Daytime Emmy Award records. She is both the only performer to win the Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program award three times, as well as the only winner to win three consecutive awards.
In 1953, she recorded with Henri Rene and his Orchestra the American version of the French song "C'est si bon" which was written in 1947 by Henri Betti (music) and André Hornez (lyrics). The English lyrics were written by Jerry Seelen in 1950 but Eartha Kitt sings the song in French. This version was used in New Faces (1954).
She was a staunch liberal Democrat.
Eartha Kitt passed away on December 25, 2008, a month away from what would have been her 82nd birthday on January 17, 2009.
Well-known for her recordings of "Santa Baby" in the 1950s and 1960s. She died on Christmas Day 2008 at her home in Weston, Connecticut.
She was awarded the 1996 Joseph Jefferson Award for Actress in a Principal Role in a Musical for "Lady Day at the Emerson's Bar & Grill" at the Broadway Productions and New Athenaeum Theatre in Chicago, Illinois.
Was nominated in 1996 for a Grammy Award in traditional pop vocal performance for her album "Back in Business".
Among her liaisons with wealthy men included Charles Revson, the Revlon cosmetics founder, and actor Orson Welles, who spotted her in a Paris nightclub and cast her in his Paris stage production of "Faust".
An aunt brought her to New York City where she attended the High School of Performing Arts, before dropping out to take on various menial jobs, including one in a factory.
Became fluent in French during her long years performing in Europe.
In 1968, she suffered a substantial professional setback after she made anti-war statements during a White House luncheon. It was reported that she made Lady Bird Johnson, the First Lady at the time, cry when she bluntly told her, "You send the best of this country off to be shot and maimed. 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." However, the public reaction to Kitt's statements was even more extreme both for and against her statements. Professionally exiled from the United States, she devoted her energies to overseas performances for nearly a decade.
Replaced Chita Rivera for a time in the Broadway revival of the musical "Nine".
She was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 6656 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on February 8, 1960.
Her husband, William O. McDonald, was a real estate developer. They were married from 1960 to 1965. They had one daughter: Kitt McDonald.
Was inspired to go into show business after witnessing the wild applause that the audience gave José Ferrer after one of his stage performances as Cyrano de Bergerac in 1946.
Was nominated twice for Broadway's Tony Award: in 1978, as Best Actress (Musical) for "Timbuktu!"; and in 2000, as Best Actress (Featured Role - Musical) for "The Wild Party".
Was virtually exiled from the United States after making anti-war statements during a White House luncheon with Lady Bird Johnson in 1968. However, she was welcomed back to the White House by Jimmy Carter who took office in January 1977.
Ranked #89 on VH1's 100 Greatest Women of Rock N Roll
Kitt's age was always a mystery, until 1998, when a group of students from her hometown in South Carolina unearthed her birth certificate. The document revealed that her true birthday is January 17, 1927.
Daughter: Kitt McDonald. Grandchildren: Justin and Rachel Shapiro.
Natural black hair
If someone would even suggest such a vulgar thing as a goodbye-themed event for me, I would pretend I didn't hear it. Goodbye to what? My whole life?
[on Orson Welles] Orson spent most of his money on women. That's why he didn't have the money to make films.
A man has always wanted to lay me down but he never wanted to pick me up.
[in an Essence magazine interview regarding her anti-war statements to Lady Bird Johnson and her subsequent loss of work because of them] 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.
I'm an orphan. But the public has adopted me and that has been my only family. The biggest family in the world is my fans.
I don't carry myself as a black person but as a woman that belongs to everybody. After all, it's the general public that made me - not any one particular group. So I don't think of myself as belonging to any particular group and never have.
[on her friendship with James Dean] Jamie and I were like brother and sister. He told me, in fact, he thought of me as a sister. Our relationship was strictly platonic and spiritual.
[at the White House in 1968] I am a mother and I know the feeling of having a baby come out of my gut. I have a baby and then you send him off to war. No wonder the kids rebel and take pot.
I have a great need for affection from an audience. I don't know whether this is because I had such a tough life when I was a child.