Eartha Kitt

Performer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In her nearly hour-and-a-half hour Archive interview, Eartha Kitt (1927-2008) briefly talks about her early stage work in New York and abroad and shares her thoughts regarding a performer's relationship with the audience. She describes appearing on live television in New York in the 1950s, on such series as Omnibus and The Ed Sullivan Show. She discusses the difficulties faced by African-Americans regarding their appearances on television. She recalls her work in filmed television, including guest spots on Mission: Impossible, I Spy and Batman (as one of the more memorable actresses who played "Catwoman"). She recounts her reliance on herself early in her career and talks about the most memorable moment of her professional career. Michael Rosen conducted the interview on October 15, 2002 in New York City, New York.

"I was in dire need of tremendous help in 1967, and like a starving cat I had to find a way to survive. Being cast in 'Batman' helped me now grow back into being successful name again. People recognized my name, and still do, because of Catwoman."

Interviewee(s)
Highlights
Eartha Kitt on playing "Catwoman" on Batman
 Eartha Kitt on dealing with racism in television
Eartha Kitt on performing on The Ed Sullivan Show
Eartha Kitt on driving the "Catmobile" on Batman
Eartha Kitt on her greatest professional achievement
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On the first time she saw television; on her early memories of performing on television and her early influences; on performing on live television
On acting on the anthology series Omnibus; on being an African-American performer on television in the 1950s

Chapter 2

On appearing on Omnibus; on dealing with racism in the television industry; on appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show
On working without a manager; on acting on the series I Spy

Chapter 3

On acting on the series I Spy; on being cast as "Catwoman" on Batman
On her mentors; on her greatest professional achievement 
Shows

Amos 'N' Andy

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Eartha Kitt on being an African-American performer on television in the 1950s

Batman

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Eartha Kitt on being cast as "Catwoman" on Batman
Eartha Kitt on driving the "Catmobile" on Batman
Eartha Kitt on playing "Catwoman" on Batman

Ed Sullivan Show, The aka Toast of the Town

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Eartha Kitt on performing on The Ed Sullivan Show
Eartha Kitt on working with Ed Sullivan and working without a manager

I Spy

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Eartha Kitt on acting on I Spy
Eartha Kitt on acting on the series I Spy

Omnibus

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Eartha Kitt on acting on the anthology series Omnibus
Eartha Kitt on appearing on the anthology series Omnibus
Topics

Anthology Drama

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Eartha Kitt on acting on the anthology series Omnibus

Characters & Catchphrases

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Eartha Kitt on playing "Catwoman" on Batman

Creative Influences and Inspiration

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Eartha Kitt on her lack of mentors

Diversity in Television

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Eartha Kitt on being an African-American performer on television in the 1950s
 Eartha Kitt on dealing with racism in television

Historic Events and Social Change

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Eartha Kitt on being an African-American performer on television in the 1950s
 Eartha Kitt on dealing with racism in television

Minorities

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Eartha Kitt on being an African-American performer on television in the 1950s
 Eartha Kitt on dealing with racism in television

Pop Culture

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Eartha Kitt on playing "Catwoman" on Batman

TV's Golden Age (1940s & '50s)

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Eartha Kitt on being an African-American performer on television in the 1950s
Eartha Kitt on acting on the anthology series Omnibus
Professions

Actress

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Eartha Kitt on performing on live television

Performers

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Eartha Kitt on performing on live television
Genres

Adventure/Espionage Series

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Eartha Kitt on acting on the series I Spy

Classic Anthology Series

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Eartha Kitt on acting on the anthology series Omnibus
Eartha Kitt on appearing on the anthology series Omnibus

Comedy Series

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Eartha Kitt on playing "Catwoman" on Batman

Music Shows & Variety Shows/Specials

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Eartha Kitt on performing on The Ed Sullivan Show
People

Harry Belafonte

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Eartha Kitt on being an African-American performer on television in the 1950s

Milton Berle

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Eartha Kitt on her early memories of television

Perry Como

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Eartha Kitt on her early memories of television

Sheldon Leonard

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Eartha Kitt on acting on I Spy

William S. Paley

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Eartha Kitt on appearing on the anthology series Omnibus

Ed Sullivan

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Eartha Kitt on performing on The Ed Sullivan Show
Eartha Kitt on working with Ed Sullivan and working without a manager

Orson Welles

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Eartha Kitt on working with Orson Welles and becoming famous in America

All Interviews

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