I'm terribly saddened today to learn of the passing of the last Coquette, the inimitable Eartha Kitt. She died this afternoon of complications of colon cancer at her Connecticut home at the age of eighty one.
With her closes an amazing era when glamour was described by completely different labels than it is today- Cadillacs, Millionaires, roulette wheels, Las Vegas, diamonds from Tiffany's, and cash- cash, cash cash. She made Golddigger into a fifties form of performance art and she was the last sex kitten standing. When last I saw her at the Cinegrill in Hollywood a few years back she still had It.
More than a voice, she stood up to Lady Bird Johnson opposing the war in 1966 and took her act to Europe to recover. She raised funds for Unicef and never seemed to change one iota to the very end. Her career went through a renaissance in the 80's when she recoreded club hits Where is My Man and Cha Cha Heels with Bronski Beat.
Of course, she is best known for 1954's Santa Baby, a wonderful Golddigger's guide to the holidays that was remade several times but never equalled. As much as I love that number, I think the only appropriate tribute to her is C'est Si Bon, in which she sings of the joy of her glamorous life.
In tribute to a woman who lived by her own rules, and in memory of a life well lived, C'est Si Bon