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Getting Catty with Eartha Kitt
by Albert Rodriguez
2005-04-06

This article shared 12522 times since Wed Apr 6, 2005
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At the age of 78, Eartha Kitt isn't interested in joining a women's bridge club or staying home and knitting throw blankets. The legendary entertainer, who boasts Emmy, Grammy and Tony award nominations on her lengthy resume, is as active in her career today as when she purred to worldwide fame playing 'Catwoman' in the Batman TV series. In fact, when I rang the land line at her Western Connecticut home recently, she had just returned from the recording studio and was a week away from getting on a plane and heading to the West Coast for a six-night performance engagement.

When asked if she's ready to settle down and spend time with her family, Kitt is lightning-bolt quick in her response. 'I'm not ready to settle down,' she says firmly. 'There's no reason to settle down because my family is my family. They have their lives and I've got mine.' While the diva shows no signs of slowing down, she has minimized her time on the road. 'I would say that I'm not traveling as much as I used to because it's not much fun anymore.'

Getting older isn't something Kitt is worried about. 'One of the things I'm always interested in sharing is for people to realize that a number is a number. So long as you take care of yourself and are eating the right kind of food, and not depending on someone else to take care of you.' To keep in shape, Kitt stays true to a diet of fish, green vegetables and fruit, and she only eats meat once a week. 'Walking a lot and eating the kind of food that is going to give me energy rather than dissipate the energy' is the way to go, according to the legend.

Long admired by the gay community, Kitt is sincere and direct in returning the love. 'I happen to have a great appreciation for the gay audiences,' she says. 'When I was in trouble with the government and Lady Bird Johnson ( for voicing her opposition to the Vietnam War at the White House, and blacklisted as a result ) , it was the gay guys who kept my name alive because they kept looking for my records and they were imitating me. To them, it was as if Eartha Kitt was always there. I'm very grateful for that. I feel very close to the gay crowd because we know what it feels like to be rejected.'

Kitt is outspoken on her stance regarding gay marriage. 'I support it because we're asking for the same thing,' she states confidently. 'If I have a partner and something happens to me, I want that partner to enjoy the benefits of what we have reaped together. It's a civil-rights thing, isn't it? Maybe if you take the word 'marriage' out of it ... because that's what the people in general are afraid of, particularly the politicians and religious isms who feel they have to live up to what the bible says and the blah, blah, blah, blah. All we want is to be accepted and to reap the benefits as partners if one of us goes.'

She goes on to say that the gay marriage issue is similar to what African-Americans experienced during the time of the Civil-Rights Movement. 'We were not allowed to go through certain doors because of our race, our color,' she says intensely. 'It was so stupid that we were not able to sit at the counter of a restaurant because it was only for Anglo-Saxons. It's stupid when this country says it was born on 'freedom for all,' but it's 'freedom for some'!

On a ligher note, Kitt prefers the music of Seal and Sting among today's working artists. And she favors rising r&b star Beyoncé. 'I like her. She's glamorous and seems to be very intelligent. She's classy.'

Unstoppable and as electrifying as the days when she wooed every man in Hollywood, Eartha Kitt continues to strut her stuff in jazz clubs and on the Broadway stage, most recently starring opposite Antonio Banderas in the revival of Nine.

Speaking of men, the unattached Kitt hasn't given up on them yet. 'I'm still checking them out,' she says. 'But what are you going to find these days?' When I tell her that there are still some good men out there, she quickly blurts out 'Well then, find me one!'

Eartha, your wish is my command. Men, the line starts here.

Albert Rodriguez is an Arts & Entertainment writer for the Seattle Gay News, a music writer for The Weekly News and Contax Guide ( South Florida ) . He has interviewed many music artists and actors, including Sarah McLachlan, Rufus Wainwright, Garbage, Cyndi Lauper, Jason Mraz, Tegan and Sara, Margaret Cho, The Crystal Method and Jason Priestley.


This article shared 12522 times since Wed Apr 6, 2005
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