December 26, 2008

December 26, 2008
Eartha Kitt Takes Her Final Bow

Welcome to my blog entry for the day after Christmas. I hope you had a safe and very Merry Christmas.

As I have shared Christmas is a very special time for me and has been since I was a child. Being the youngest boy, I was always the star during the holidays with all the grandparents ooh-ing and aah-ing over everything I did.

I remember the Christmas parties with my parents and their friends. Pretty Christmas trees, tons of food, laughter and great times were found at them every year. Mom would always make her entrance in a dress she had made especially for the occasion. She always liked to look great for Dad.

Even though I have been HIV positive for over half of my Christmases, I have been one of the lucky ones because for starters I am still alive. I have spent all of them with a loved one, close friend or my relatives. I have been very fortunate to have been in decent health for a lot of them.

Christmas for me has always been more about getting to spend time with those I care about than the gifts I might get. I get more pleasure from watching someone's face when they open a gift they know I found especially for them.

Now it is time for us to get back to the last of the holiday season leading up to New Years Day! And that includes real life.

Another part of growing up for me was watching Eartha Kitt on the old Batman series and in guest appearances. Well unfortunately I just found out Earth Kitt has passed away.

Eartha Kitt, a sultry singer, dancer and actress who rose from the South Carolina cotton fields to become an international symbol of elegance and sensuality, has died from colon cancer at 81.

Kitt, a self-proclaimed "sex kitten" famous for her catlike purr, was one of America's most versatile performers, winning two Emmys and nabbing a third nomination. She also was nominated for several Tonys and two Grammys.

Her career spanned six decades, from her start as a dancer with the famed Katherine Dunham troupe to cabarets and acting and singing on stage, in movies and on television. She persevered through an unhappy childhood as a mixed-race daughter of the South and made headlines in the 1960s for denouncing the Vietnam War during a visit to the White House.

Through the years, Kitt remained a picture of vitality and attracted fans less than half her age even as she neared 80.

After becoming a hit singing "Monotonous" in the Broadway revue "New Faces of 1952," Kitt appeared in "Mrs. Patterson" in 1954-55. (Some references say she earned a Tony nomination for "Mrs. Patterson," but only winners were publicly announced at that time.) She also made appearances in "Shinbone Alley" and "The Owl and the Pussycat."

Her first album, "RCA Victor Presents Eartha Kitt," came out in 1954, featuring such songs as "I Want to Be Evil," "C'est Si Bon" and the saucy gold digger's theme song "Santa Baby," which is revived on radio each Christmas.

The next year, the record company released follow-up album "That Bad Eartha," which featured "Let's Do It," "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" and "My Heart Belongs to Daddy."

In 1996, she was nominated for a Grammy in the category of traditional pop vocal performance for her album "Back in Business." She also had been nominated in the children's recording category for the 1969 record "Folk Tales of the Tribes of Africa."

Kitt also acted in movies, playing the lead female role opposite Nat King Cole in "St. Louis Blues" in 1958 and more recently appearing in "Boomerang" and "Harriet the Spy" in the 1990s.

On television, she was the sexy Catwoman on the popular "Batman" series in 1967-68, replacing Julie Newmar who originated the role. A guest appearance on an episode of "I Spy" brought Kitt an Emmy nomination in 1966.

"I'm an orphan. But the public has adopted me and that has been my only family," she told the Post online. "The biggest family in the world is my fans."

So now my family has one less person but I am a better person for having had the pleasure of meeting her.

Rest in peace Eartha Kitt.

Just another reminder to live your life every day and never forget to tell people important to you that you love them.

Wishing you health, hope and happiness.

Big bear hug,

Daddy Dab