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Catwoman Actress Dies

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Dec. 26 2008, Updated 11:56 a.m. ET

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Eartha Kitt, the silky-voiced star of stage and cabaret, has died of colon cancer at the age of 81. The singer was the second actress to play the part of Catwoman, following Julie Newmar on the 1960s Batman TV series.

Born in South Carolina, she starred on Broadway in the 1950s, recorded hit albums, and famously denounced President Lyndon Johnson's Vietnam policy at a White House luncheon in 1968. She had trouble getting a gig in the U.S. for four years after that.

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RADAR caught up with Ms. Kitt last year by phone at her home in Connecticut. She was preparing a new nightclub act at the time and we asked what she considered most important when putting together a show.

"I have to enjoy what I'm doing," she said. "If I do, hopefully the audience will too!"

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