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The New York Times called it "the premier source of musician photography in the world".Eartha Kitt, the actress, diva and timeless sex symbol whose career spanned six decades and whose extraordinarily sultry voice propelled her from the cotton fields of South Carolina to the heights of global stardom has died, at the age of 81.
In her three autobiographies, Thursday's Child, Alone With Me, and I'm Still Here: Confessions of a Sex Kitten, Kitt later said that she believed Mamie Kitt to have been her biological mother.
Actor-director Orson Welles once called Kitt “the most exciting woman alive” and, along with Lena Horne, she was one of the first African-American sex symbols.
Kitt picked up a string of awards during her long career, winning two Emmys and being nominated for a third, as well as a Grammy. Her hit songs included “C’est Si Bon,” “Let’s Do It” and “Just an Old Fashioned Girl.” She also was widely associated with Christmas because of her hit “Santa Baby.” The song, recorded in 1953, went gold this year and she received the gold record before she died, Freedman said.
“She was never one to look back on her life,” Freedman said.
“She was a true individual who believed that if you had a true belief in yourself, your talent was authentic.” “My greatest challenge was to be able to survive in the business and to be able to survive according to what I was doing.
Not what other people were doing,” Kitt told Reuters in a 2005 television interview at the Newport, Rhode Island jazz festival.
“I just stuck to my own guns and I think that was one of the way’s I have survived.The Michael Ochs Archive, located in, contains 3 million vintage prints, proof sheets and negatives which are licensed daily for use in CD, books, films and documentaries.The Los Angeles Times called Ochs "America's preeminent rock 'n' roll photo archivist" and described his archive as "the dominant force in the rock image marketplace".Andrew Freedman, Mrs Kitt's longstanding agent, announced last night that she had lost a long battle against colon cancer on Christmas morning at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York.Her daughter and manager, Kitt Shapiro, was at her side.Famous for the seductive feline "purr" she perfected in the role of Catwoman in the Batman TV series of the 1960s, Kitt's voice was also behind the original version of "Santa Baby," the festive song that spawned countless cover versions.