Born Eartha Mae Keith on January 17, 1927 in North, South Carolina. During her childhood, she was ostracized because of her mixed-race heritage. At the age of eight, she moved from South Carolina to Harlem to live with her aunt. While living in New York she auditioned for the famed “Katherine Dunham Dance Troupe” and won a spot as the featured dancer and violist before the age of twenty. Ms. Kitt went on to become an international star who gave new meaning to the word versatile as she distinguished herself in film, theater, cabaret, music and on television. She is one of only a handful of performers to be nominated for a Tony (three times), a Grammy (twice) and an Emmy Award (twice). Miss Kitt remained devoted to performing in front of live audiences, with engagements with numerous symphonies and jazz festivals. Miss Kitt died on December 25, 2008, and is survived by her daughter, Kitt Shapiro and her four grandchildren. Source:

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