Eartha Kitt


Miami Vice Characters
Santeria Priestess Chata ("Whatever Works")
January 17, 1927, North, South Carolina
December 25, 2008, Weston, Connecticut (age 81, colon cancer)
John "Bill" MacDonald (1960-1965, divorced), one child

Eartha Mae Kitt (January 17, 1927 - December 25, 2008) is an American actress & singer, who appeared in the show Miami Vice as Santeria Priestess Chata, who helps Castillo get to the bottom of the "dirty cops" scheme in the episode "Whatever Works".


Kitt was born on a cotton plantation in North, South Carolina, near Columbia. She lived with a woman she thought was her mother until she was eight when she was moved to New York City with her biological mother. In 1942 she made her acting & singing debut as part of the Katherine Dunham Company. Her hits include "C'est Le Bon", "Let's Do It", "Love Is For Sale", and her version of "Santa Baby", a Christmas standard to this day. Her acting career began on the stage with the role of "Helen of Troy" in Orson Welles' Dr. Faustus. She then appeared in movies such as The Mark of the Hawk, St. Louis Blues (with such stars as Nat "King" Cole, Pearl Bailey, Cab Calloway, and Ella Fitzgerald), and TV shows such as Playhouse 90, Ben Casey, Burke's Law, and Mission: Impossible, before appearing in the Batman series as Catwoman, replacing Julie Newmar in the role as Batman's arch-villainess. Her career took a dive in 1968 after she spoke out in front of then-First Lady Lady Bird Johnson about her opposition to the Vietnam War, at which time she went to Europe to continue her career. Her TV & movie appearances were limited in the 70's, but she experienced a career renaissance in the 1980s when she began making records again, her disco hit "Where Is My Man" topped the UK charts and made the Top 10 on the American Dance Charts. Her nightclub appearances began to draw gay men and she responded to her new fanbase by doing AIDS benefit shows. Her song "Cha Cha Heels" was originally to be recorded by Divine, but Kitt performed it after his death. Some of her film appearances include Boomerang (with Chris Rock), Fatal Instinct (with James Remar), the TV shows New York Undercover (with Patti D'Arbanville & Michael DeLorenzo), and Living Single before turning to voice acting, appearing in the Disney movie The Emperor's New Groove and its' sequel, and her final film appearances in the TV series The Emperor's New School. Kitt also continued to make the cabaret club runs as a singer.

Personal Life/DeathEdit

Kitt married John William McDonald, a real estate investment associate, in 1960 until their divorce in 1965, they had one daughter, Kitt, and she had two grandchildren. She was an advocate of same-sex marriage and homosexual rights, speaking as passionately in favor of those issues as she did her opposition to the Vietnam War. Kitt died on Christmas Day, 2008, of colon cancer in her Weston, Connecticut home.

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