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Famed dancer, actress and singer Eartha Kitt dies at 81

Herb Boyd | 4/12/2011, 4:34 p.m.
Famed dancer, actress and singer Eartha Kitt dies at 81

By this time, Kitt had divorced her husband, William McDonald, and was raising her daughter, Kitt, alone. While she was writing her fourth autobiography, film-maker Christian Blackwood convinced her to allow him to do a documentary on her life that was entitled "All By Myself." With the help of writer Tonya Bolden, Kitt finished the book "Rejuvenate (It's Never Too Late),"and it certainly wasn't for someone who had more lives than a Catwoman, a role she rendered superbly back in the late '60s.In 1981,she received a Tony and Drama Desk nomination in George Wolfe's "The Wild Party," where she portrayed a ravishing Dolores, and then toured in "The Wizard of Oz" and Richard Rodgers' "Cinderella." Kitt, right down to her final days, was still active with nice cameo roles in Eddie Murphy's "Boomerang" and in "And Then Came Love" last year. That's her unmistakable voice in "Madagascar 2"that came out earlier this year. Kitt never lost her love for Harlem, and one reporter recalls meeting her one day at the opening of the "Harlem Is..."exhibit at the City Museum of New York City and discovering how self-effacing and warm she could be to a total stranger. She never forgot where she came from, and where she came from will never forget her.