The Old Soul Movie Podcast

Actress Spotlight: Eartha Kitt

Episode Summary

Santa Baby, please deliver us another episode of the Old Soul Movie Podcast! Emma and Jack tackle the mysterious and courageous life of singer, dancer, actress, extraordinaire…Eartha Kitt! Who do you think could have a Christmas classic song in 1953, and nearly half a century later reinvent herself in an iconic animated movie? Be sure to listen to the fascinating life of Ms. Kitt to place your properly in the holiday spirit.

Episode Notes

Santa Baby, please deliver us another episode of the Old Soul Movie Podcast! Emma and Jack tackle the mysterious and courageous life of singer, dancer, actress, extraordinaire…Eartha Kitt! Who do you think could have a Christmas classic song in 1953, and nearly half a century later reinvent herself in an iconic animated movie? Be sure to listen to the fascinating life of Ms. Kitt to place your properly in the holiday spirit.


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Episode Transcription

Eartha Kitt-v1_mixdown

[00:00:00] Jack Oremus: [00:00:00] welcome to the old soul movie podcast. You are number one spot for classic movie rewashes and breakdowns. My name is Jack Oremus, and I'm here with my sister, Emma Oremus. We decided that we wanted to make a show that reflected our love and appreciation for classic movies. And while you're here, hopefully we can share that together as an old soul family, we're going to be diving to these movies scene by scene and giving our modern reactions to the films that have influenced generations of people.

[00:00:39] There'll be fun. Facts, hot takes tears, laughter and everything in between. And with that being said, sit back. Relax and enjoy the show.

[00:01:00] [00:01:00] Hello everyone. And welcome back to another episode of the old soul movie podcast. And today we are going to be covering the legendary very special. Eartha Kitt. Emma, how are you today on this fine, fine. Late November evening. 

[00:01:17] Emma Oremus: [00:01:17] Oh my gosh. I'm just so excited to talk about Eartha Kitt. She's one of my favorites and the reason we thought that this would be a perfect time to cover her is.

[00:01:27] You know, it's that time of year again, where we can finally listen to holiday music where we can all agree on listening to holiday, right? Yeah. One of the most iconic songs of the season is Santa baby sung by Eartha Kitt. Who is this fabulous. Songstress behind this tune. Uh, we decided to take a closer look and shine the spotlight on her life because she is so incredible.

[00:01:55] She is a singer actress, dancer, comedian activist author. [00:02:00] She's just done so much and I can't wait to open up the story of her life a little bit more. And. Turn through the pages. 

[00:02:08] Jack Oremus: [00:02:08] Yeah, no, me too. Me too. I think that the thing that I was always the most familiar with from Eartha Kitt, which maybe if we have some younger listeners, they, uh, they'll feel this and resonate with it.

[00:02:20] But her being EMA from the emperor's new groove, that one always blows my mind and the fact that she was just so. It was so much later in her career and in her life that she did that and accomplished so much. But even before that, you know, the decades that spanned between her being in the emperor's new groove and when she was born in 1927, there's just.

[00:02:44] Storybooks on storybooks of tales and events that are just unbelievable that you would never guess. So. Yes. I think it's very deserving. Very fun that we were giving Eartha the spotlight tonight. 

[00:02:58] Emma Oremus: [00:02:58] Yes. [00:03:00] So here we go. Let's start with ms. Earth a kid's childhood. So let me put in this little note before we start going.

[00:03:09] Okay. I have done a lot of research and early the kids' childhood history seems to be dotted with some big question marks or confusion. It's a mystery. 

[00:03:22] Jack Oremus: [00:03:22] It's honestly, there's a lot of mystery in the entry to it, which gives her even more kind of, uh, um, It's 

[00:03:29] Emma Oremus: [00:03:29] kind of like a legend, like this mythic beginning, 

[00:03:32] Jack Oremus: [00:03:32] it's definitely a mythic beginning.

[00:03:34] Emma Oremus: [00:03:34] So I'll try it touch on it as we go along. But keep in mind if some of the dates don't add up, I'm going to try to list the discrepancies. So Eartha Kitt was born earth and make it on a cotton plantation in South Carolina on January 17th, 1927. Her mother was Addie Mae. Keith, who I believe was 16 at the time of giving birth.

[00:03:57] And she was of African and Cherokee [00:04:00] descent. And she worked on this plantation. It is believed that earth, the kid's father was the white son of the farmer who owned the plantation, where she was born. And it is strongly believed that Aretha was conceived by rape. Then earth, his mom moved in with a black man who rejected earth because of her mixed race, background and lighter skin complexion.

[00:04:25] It's my understanding from the research that I did on her, that in the area she lived children of mixed race were. Kind of, there was a superstition around them that mixed race children would bring misfortune. She was given up for adoption at the age of five and taken in by a supposed relative called aunt Rosa.

[00:04:47] And this household was extremely abusive to her, forcing her to pick cotton so she could earn her, stay with them. The children in this family would beat her and whip her. And I'm sure there was emotional abuse included. [00:05:00] Aretha very much attributed this abuse to her being of mixed race, saying that she felt rejected by both black and white people not fitting into any group.

[00:05:09] Jack Oremus: [00:05:09] If I could quickly interject into there. I think that. A really, really cool movie that explores this, that I've actually mentioned before on, I believe it was. What was the episode? Where were you recovering black cinema history or, um, in our black cinema history episode? 

[00:05:26] Emma Oremus: [00:05:26] Or was it our black whatever spotlights on black cinema.

[00:05:30] Jack Oremus: [00:05:30] I talk a little bit about bell, a more contemporary movie, but basically explores that dynamic of being mixed. And that was set in England. It's another period piece, but, um, I think it's cool to see the, um, that that just gives you a lot better of an idea of what it must have been like to be in those shoes.

[00:05:50] So if anyone's curious, maybe to explore that dynamic a little bit further, I highly recommend giving Belle a look. Beautiful, beautiful movie too. 

[00:06:00] [00:05:59] Emma Oremus: [00:05:59] Yes. It's a very real issue. It's one that I'm so glad that my biracial, multiracial friends and acquaintances have opened my eyes on and lived experience for them.

[00:06:09] So yeah, I absolutely can see where this was relevant to earth the kit. Okay. So that was a terrible, I mean, so far we're off to a terrible start. This is really, really sad. And. It's a little slightly unclear as to how she found her new home after this. But here we go at the age of eight, I believe her mother, Annie Mae died allegedly.

[00:06:36] Now around this time, apparently a church group became aware of the abusive conditions in Aretha's adoptive home. And then they contacted a woman in New York. Eartha was then sent to live with this relative named Mami kit in Harlem, New York. Now some people think that mammy kit is [00:07:00] earth, his biological aunt in some people believe that she was even earth as biological mother.

[00:07:06] It's very mysterious, but they didn't have the most. Comfortable relationship. I believe earth has said that this woman took her in out of Christian duty instead of the family connection. 

[00:07:18] Jack Oremus: [00:07:18] Right? 

[00:07:20] Emma Oremus: [00:07:20] So she grew up in Harlem during the thirties and forties, which if you're unfamiliar during the 1920s and 1930s, central and West Harlem were home to the Harlem Renaissance, which was an explosion of intellectual work artwork and social movements in the black community.

[00:07:38] Although the writers and musicians of this era are particularly well known. There was also a thriving acting and theater community that developed in this area or sinned well is actually who is white produced his all black casts of Macbeth in Lafayette theater in Harlem, 1936, but more on him later.

[00:07:58] Back to earth. You can [00:08:00] imagine how growing up at Harlem would have been a really eye-opening experience and a really influential community. She learned how to play piano from a neighbor, and I believe she started practicing singing as well. However, life was not perfect. She worked in a sewing factory and would sometimes run away from her strict new home.

[00:08:21] Like I mentioned earlier, she and Mami kit didn't get along that well, didn't have the greatest relationship. Sometimes she would even buy a train ticket and sleep on the train, which is so sad. Another interesting tidbit is that she went to school at the metropolitan vocational high school, which is now known as the high school of performing arts whose faculty and students inspire the premise of the 1980 film fame.

[00:08:45] Dang. 

[00:08:46] Jack Oremus: [00:08:46] Yeah. So what I thought was pretty interesting about this metropolitan vocational high school was that the first year that it was opened was actually 1947. So. Eartha, might've been part of the inaugural class. [00:09:00] She might've been one of the first, uh, attendees of this school. And she, I think what about 20 years old?

[00:09:07] Which I, I think everything makes sense there. I mean, does that sound right? Or 

[00:09:13] Emma Oremus: [00:09:13] again, I, I think that's right. I, there are a lot of, I don't want to say discrepancies, but kind of weird overlaps with dates and when things happen. So she, I, yeah. I think she did attend that school then after she did some other things.

[00:09:30] It's it's really interesting. 

[00:09:32] Jack Oremus: [00:09:32] Yeah. Yeah. Like you said, that there's a lot of overlap, a lot of question marks. She has a mysterious origin story for sure. And I think that it's, it's pretty cool and interesting to think of maybe how. The shift from South Carolina to New York and sort of the bigger city I'm sure.

[00:09:49] Just kind of opened up her eyes and opened up a ton of new opportunities and possibilities sort of within her. So I'm sure that was very exciting. 

[00:09:59] Emma Oremus: [00:09:59] Yeah, [00:10:00] absolutely. And, uh, this school, I mean, earth is super famous alum from there, but is also the Alma mater of Liza Minnelli. And I believe Jennifer Anniston, so cool place.

[00:10:12] So. Now I have again, heard various accounts as to what age she was when the following happened, but I've mostly read that it was in 1943. Which would have made her 16, but presumably in 1943, she won a scholarship to study with the Katherine denim company, which she later joined. The Katherine Dunham company is considered the first black American, modern dance company, comprising of dancers, singers, actors, and musicians.

[00:10:48] So super, super cool. She taught with this group for a few years and then ended up going solo and performs in Europe. Most notably nightclubs in Paris, France. [00:11:00] She became fluent in four languages being English, French, German, and Dutch. And she's saying reportedly in 11 languages. So crazy. Cool. While performing in Europe, ms.

[00:11:12] Eartha Kitt caught the attention of a certain mr. Orson Welles, as mentioned earlier. Who was so enamored with her performance abilities that he cast her in her first starring role as Helen of Troy in his production of dr. Faustus Orson Welles would go onto dub her as quote, the most exciting woman in the world 

[00:11:35] Jack Oremus: [00:11:35] from worse involves to you.

[00:11:36] I think that's an exceptional title to have 

[00:11:40] Emma Oremus: [00:11:40] really cool 

[00:11:41] Jack Oremus: [00:11:41] as a 23 year old to when I guess their first meeting, which is. Just even more context, 

[00:11:46] Emma Oremus: [00:11:46] right? Exactly. Like, Ugh, to be so worldly. Then now many people have assumed. Eartha Kitt in Orson Welles must have had an affair at some point, because [00:12:00] surely if a man had my hers a woman's talent, it must mean he's sleeping with her.

[00:12:06] Jack Oremus: [00:12:06] Of course, 

[00:12:07] Emma Oremus: [00:12:07] hopefully the sarcasm came through, 

[00:12:10] Jack Oremus: [00:12:10] waited on thick everyone, 

[00:12:13] Emma Oremus: [00:12:13] but let the record clearly state in earth, the kid's own words that she. Quote, never had sex with Orson Welles. It was a working situation and nothing else. So, 

[00:12:28] Jack Oremus: [00:12:28] and that was from a 2001 interview, uh, with George Wayne of vanity fair magazine.

[00:12:34] So keep the, keep the receipts 

[00:12:36] Emma Oremus: [00:12:36] y'all in check. Now, there is another famously gossip DuPont affair that the kit does claim to have had, which isbetween her. James Jean and Paul Newman. Now a lot, a lot of question marks here. Did it happen or didn't it happen? So here's a little context. Paul [00:13:00] Newman knew James Dean James Dean knew Eartha Kitt.

[00:13:04] James Dean actually asked for earth the kids help and learning how to move his body and have better control of his body for the stage. You've actually probably seen the famous photos of James Dean in dance class with Eartha Kitt at the Katherine denim studio. Again, just so cool to see black dancers during the 1950s.

[00:13:22] They're really cool pictures. Definitely Googled James Dean dance class. They're awesome. Yeah. So I, I will, I believe that this went down and how, how wild, how, how wild the same three with James Dean and Paul Newman? What? Oh 

[00:13:39] Jack Oremus: [00:13:39] yeah. That's a very exciting of her. I would say most exciting woman in the world or.

[00:13:48] Yes. 

[00:13:48] Emma Oremus: [00:13:48] Uh, but yeah, back to her friendship with James Dean, all in all, they really did have such a strong connection and friendship. They had super similar backgrounds originally being from more [00:14:00] rural areas, having parental rejection, being sent to live with other relatives. It's actually crazy. I can totally see where they just clicked.

[00:14:09] Apparently the last time she saw James Dean. She had a feeling that his spirit had already gone. Now, according to her James Dean laughed this off and said that she must be on a voodoo trip or something, but he did die shortly after that moment or incident events. And she stated when she got the news, she'd already known from that last moment they had together that he was.

[00:14:34] Gone or something was amiss. So really crazy. Uh, but back to her career, Eartha Kitt was such a versatile performer. It's truly amazing to look at her works that she's been involved in. She became a rising star after appearing in the Broadway review, new phases of 1952. This performance helped launch her career forward and she released her first album, I believe in [00:15:00] 1953 and then released in 1954.

[00:15:02] Or, and she had famous hits such as Stacy bone. I want to be evil under the bridges of Paris. And of course the beloved Santa baby. Now going into a little bit of the history of the song, Santa baby, it was written by Joan Jarvis and Phillips Springer under the pseudonym, Tony Springer, or if the kit performed the song with Henri Renee and his orchestra, the song appeared on kids.

[00:15:29] Self-titled first extended play. Slash album and the writer Springer was initially not very happy with this song, but the masses would seem to disagree. And it has since become a holiday favorite through the decades, if you haven't heard it, which, um, 

[00:15:47] Jack Oremus: [00:15:47] We'd be 

[00:15:48] Emma Oremus: [00:15:48] shocked. Shocked. I don't know how, but if you are, we have the song it's about a woman who writes a list of Santa Claus of her wants including [00:16:00] very extra guests, such as convertibles, yachts, and Tiffany's overall, it's a very cheeky, funny song delivered with a lot of sensuality and the lyrics caused so much controversy that it was temporarily banned in the Southern United States.

[00:16:17] Which is wild. The issue being that the Santa and the song was in reference to a sugar daddy, and it was gold digging and yada yada, yada. But of course, people get very curious about band things, which makes them want to check it out even more propelling it to become a hit. Whether you love it or hate it.

[00:16:38] There's no dying. It was a success as proven by it landing on the top 10 of the billboard hot 100, since it has come out, there have been numerous covers done by Reno divas, such as Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande de Michael bublé. 

[00:16:57] Jack Oremus: [00:16:57] I love how Michael will blaze the one that's just thrown in [00:17:00] there, all the other female singers and also.

[00:17:03] The King of Christmas, Michael bublé 

[00:17:06] Emma Oremus: [00:17:06] of course. Yeah. So hopefully you get to check it out this year. What are your thoughts on Santa baby Jack? 

[00:17:12] Jack Oremus: [00:17:12] Oh, it's a classic. I mean, I think it's, if you has such an interesting voice to me, and I think that there's such a strong connection between her and cats, ironically enough, and we'll get into this a little bit later in the episode, I'm sure.

[00:17:27] But her voice, whether it's in Santa baby or, uh, I want to be evil. You can really just tell that she has some sort of, 

[00:17:38] Emma Oremus: [00:17:38] I 

[00:17:38] Jack Oremus: [00:17:38] don't even know what to call it. It's like a twist sort of that she does with her voice where 

[00:17:44] Emma Oremus: [00:17:44] it's like, if the Brado that sounds, 

[00:17:48] Jack Oremus: [00:17:48] I don't know. Sorry. It's eerie. It could fit. Yeah. It could fit as well into.

[00:17:56] Some type of Halloween album. I would love to hear her sing. I don't know. I [00:18:00] kind of like scarier songs to you cause I feel like she just killed that. But, uh, Santa baby also, I think is just one of the most, um, unique songs when it comes to the vocals. That that are out there just because it's a lot more slow.

[00:18:15] It does have that sort of sensuality that a lot of other Christmas songs might not have. So I think it's definitely up there as far as the most. Um, yeah, kind of again, exciting songs that you could listen to in this, uh, holiday season. 

[00:18:33] Emma Oremus: [00:18:33] Absolutely. I love it. One of my favorites, I'm in the love category.

[00:18:37] Hopefully you are too, but. Apart from being a performer on the stage, she also acted in movies. She was in several films spanning between 1948 and 2007. Some noteworthy ones include the Mark of the hock from 1957 st. Louis blues from 1958 and Anna Lou Costa from 1958 as well. [00:19:00] So a little bit more on these three films.

[00:19:02] And the Mark of the hock is she plays the intelligent spouse of Sydney  character, who is an indigenous resistance leader in British, colonial Africa. So very cool and kind of awesome that there was a movie about racial quality from a black protagonist that came out in the fifties. That's really awesome.

[00:19:20] St. Louis blues broadly based off of the life of WC handy, also stars Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Pearl Bailey, Mahalia Jackson cab Calloway, uh, and Ruby D if you love jazz. You would definitely recognize some of these names. If you're into the jazz genre, then you've definitely got to check out st.

[00:19:43] Louis blues. Uh, you can definitely even watch some clips of this movie. I think on YouTube and stuff, it's really fun to see her acting along these grades. And then there's Anna Lou Costa, and this wasn't a super successful film when it came out. And, you know, she is the [00:20:00] main character, a black woman's a main character.

[00:20:02] Or the kid plays the title character, and it's about a girl whose family kicked her out of the house. And she becomes a prostitute turning to sailors for her food and board in the movie. Her love interest is played by Sammy Davis jr. They're characters try to be together, but Anna characters, father tries to keep them apart.

[00:20:22] So really dynamic stuff like this is really cool. Like content for the fifties, in my opinion, 

[00:20:31] Jack Oremus: [00:20:31] definitely progressive. I would say 

[00:20:33] Emma Oremus: [00:20:33] you're absolutely right. She was. Super inspirational. Uh, later on in life, she started other famous films, including the character  in emperor's new groove from 2000, which we mentioned, this is a criminally underrated, animated Disney movie.

[00:20:48] If you haven't seen it, you must check it out. It is so good. Um, I don't want to like give a spoiler for. Emperor's new groove, but there is [00:21:00] cat associations in the movie. Yes. She also played lady Eloise in the 1992, Eddie Murphy movie, boomerang. And she also played madams aroni in the movie holes from 2003.

[00:21:15] Jack Oremus: [00:21:15] Yeah. I mean, I think that again, what stands out to me from what you just said was the fact that. That span from when she was what, maybe 30 mid her mid twenties to when she was 73, 74, I think when she did the emperor's new groove and, um, something that we have been kind of tiptoeing around, uh, that have been right in the middle of her career, the arguably the biggest connection that she has to.

[00:21:44] The feline animal, the cat. I'm a, what is it? 

[00:21:47] Emma Oremus: [00:21:47] Yes. One of her most beloved acting roles. Isn't even from a movie in 1967 through 1968, Eartha Kitt became the first black woman to portray [00:22:00] Catwoman and the television show Batman. She took over for three episodes after Julie Newmar left the show, her feline asked movements and unique voice with the purring type quality were perfect for the role.

[00:22:13] Perfect. For the role. Okay.

[00:22:20] One of my favorite cat woman's of all time, you've got to see these episodes. Like she wouldn't be my favorite cat woman. I don't know. 

[00:22:27] Jack Oremus: [00:22:27] I love her. I think it doesn't get. Any more perfect from a casting standpoint than her. I think that Aretha is a no brainer. Number one first round draft pick choice as cat woman, because yeah, like you said, her, the movements, I think from dance plan to the character so well, and her voice is just, it's perfect.

[00:22:49] Like if you, if you look up a few of her live performances on YouTube and you haven't seen her before, or maybe you're only familiar with her from Eastmont, you're going to be like, You're going to be blown away [00:23:00] also along with the fact that she's sung that she sung Santa baby and all these, all these things.

[00:23:06] So definitely go check out the Batman series too. Cause one it's, it's amazing. Like we used to watch all the time when we were young, but yeah, she. Was the best cat woman by far. 

[00:23:16] Emma Oremus: [00:23:16] Yeah. Um, I agree with you. I would love to see someone with Eartha Kitt, ness qualities, uh, play the next Catwoman woman. I think that'd be really cool

[00:23:29] Jack Oremus: [00:23:29] know. 

[00:23:30] Emma Oremus: [00:23:30] Well, she's, she's kind of, I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. Contract stuff. We'll see, we'll see, we'll see who it is. I think I have, I have a couple, you 

[00:23:40] Jack Oremus: [00:23:40] heard it here first. Somebody podcast. Remember that folks? 

[00:23:45] Emma Oremus: [00:23:45] Yeah. So, I mean, she really dipped her toes into so many different areas, so really crazy cool artistic career, a couple of notes on her personal life.

[00:23:56] She was romantically involved with Charles Revson who [00:24:00] managed the beauty company Revlon. She married John William MacDonald. I think that I've seen him also been referred to as William, uh, an associate for a real estate investment company. In 1960, they had one child together, a daughter named Kitt McDonald's in 1961.

[00:24:19] And I don't know if you've seen any of the pictures of earth Kitt and her daughter kit together, but they are odd to our, a ball, like so cute. You can just tell that she loved her daughter kit so much. She might be the cutest mother daughter ever. I don't know, just really adorable. However, Eartha Kitt and John William McDonald divorced in 1964 or 1965.

[00:24:44] Again, I saw conflicting accounts on the exact date. 

[00:24:48] Jack Oremus: [00:24:48] Yeah, I think that it's, it's interesting to think about maybe the relationship that she wants to have with kit. I mean, anything that I say is pure speculation at this point, but just to think [00:25:00] about, uh, her own upbringing, how hard it was for her, I'm sure that.

[00:25:04] Earth really wants to be there for kit. And just from hearing about how she would move from place to place to be closer to her and to also sort of be involved with her, I guess, her activism sort of, uh, involvements, then that was something that I think really caught my eye. So you could tell that she definitely wanted to be good mom, good parent.

[00:25:28] And I thought that was something that was. Pretty notable. 

[00:25:32] Emma Oremus: [00:25:32] Yeah, absolutely. It's it's, it's really cool. As I mentioned at the beginning of the podcast, Eartha Kitt was highly involved in activism in 1966. She created the kids, Ville youth foundation, a nonprofit organization for underprivileged youth in the Los Angeles area.

[00:25:51] She was also involved in a youth group called rebels with a cause interestingly enough, probably named for the James Dean movie, her friends, 

[00:25:59] Jack Oremus: [00:25:59] I was going to say. 

[00:26:00] [00:26:00] Emma Oremus: [00:26:00] Which focused on creating safe recreation opportunities for inner city youth in the DC area and to prevent juvenile delinquency. She was also a member of the women's international league of peace and freedom, and she was also supportive of same-sex marriage and she was an ally for LGBT rights.

[00:26:18] So really awesome. Yeah. Her outspokenness did unfortunately hurt her at one point in 1968, or the KIPP was invited to a luncheon with first lady, lady, bird Johnson, wife of Lyndon, B Johnson in hopes of answering a question as to why there was so much juvenile delinquency in America, and thoughts on the Vietnam war to which Eartha Kitt attended and famously responded.

[00:26:47] You send the best of this country off to be shot and maimed. No wonder the kids rebel and take pot. The children of America are not rebelling for no reason. They're not hippies for no reason at all. We [00:27:00] don't have what we have on sunset Boulevard. For no reason, they are rebelling against something. There are so many things burning the people of this country, particularly mothers, they feel they are going to raise sons.

[00:27:12] And I know what it's like, and you have children of your own mrs. Johnson. We raised children and send them to war, which is wow. Uh, so Ladybird Johnson started crying and she and her husband were deeply offended by the statement. And this is just a life note. If you're not ready to accept feedback on a problem, don't open the window for it, asking for someone else's stuff.

[00:27:38] Jack Oremus: [00:27:38] Or if you could maybe sense that they're going to have some type of conflicting opinion, then one yeah. Even more. So you have to be ready to accept whatever the response is going to be. 

[00:27:50] Emma Oremus: [00:27:50] Unsolicited feedback and criticism is one thing like. You know, it's okay if you're not ready for that. And if you're not accepting to that, it's okay to not be ready for [00:28:00] that.

[00:28:00] But to initiate an open dialogue and not get the answer you're looking for and then respond by taking it out and blaming the other person is so immature. 

[00:28:10] Jack Oremus: [00:28:10] Yeah, she was the one that asked the question or if the kid just gave an answer, an honest one at that, and. And Ladybird wouldn't have probably had such a strong reaction if there wasn't a kernel of truth hidden within what she said.

[00:28:22] So Johnson prob I mean, both Johnson's probably understood Paul Johnson. Johnson's probably understood that, uh, Aretha was right, but it's, it's also problematic at that point in time, especially sort of given. The CIA's track record McCarthyism and dangers of, uh, I guess dissenting opinions. So when it comes to, uh, questioning the president of the United States, so, but, or the kid, you know, lives her life, she doesn't care who you are and she'll give you a straight [00:29:00] shot.

[00:29:00] And that's, I think something that is very, uh, admirable 

[00:29:05] Emma Oremus: [00:29:05] my dad's because I think that that's important. Right. Because unfortunately, because of this incident or the kid's career took a huge blow, she was essentially blacklisted. Having already been under surveillance by the CIA since 1956 for her social activism, the CIA ended up trying to put her in a bad light, allegedly.

[00:29:28] At the request of president Johnson, the CIA compiled documents containing negative gossip about everything from earth, the kid's personality to her sex life, to which earth the kid responded. What has that got to do with the CIA, which is pretty cool. This is why we shouldn't have a Petit president in office.

[00:29:49] Like. 

[00:29:51] Jack Oremus: [00:29:51] Exactly. 

[00:29:54] Emma Oremus: [00:29:54] So this caused her to focus more on performing abroad. And this [00:30:00] setback lasted about 10 years, which is kind of like, wow, like, can you believe? I mean, I can, it's just crazy. Right. But then in 1978, Eartha Kitt was in a Broadway performance of Timbuktu with an exclamation point, which earned her a Tony nomination.

[00:30:19] And as a result of this prestige, as well as justice, she was invited to the white house by president Jimmy Carter to celebrate this. Her musical career revives in the 1980s, which led to more television and film appearances, like the ones we mentioned earlier, all in all, she has been nominated for a primetime Emmy for an appearance on the show.

[00:30:39] I spy three. Annie awards for her work is EMA on the TV show spinoff, the emperor's new school, a nomination for an NAACP image award, daytime, Emmy awards, black real awards, and a star on the Hollywood. Walk of fame in 1960. That is like, yeah, that's really cool. [00:31:00] And from a cultural standpoint, so many of these films and songs are beloved, so yeah, you got the awards, but you got the lasting impact just on a stall, Joe, which is so cool.

[00:31:11] Sadly, Eartha Kitt died of colon cancer on Christmas day in 2008, to which her daughter described that her mother screamed and resistance to death, not out of fear, but because she loved life and living so much and didn't want to leave it. I just look so touching that is really powerful. All in all Eartha Kitt is just an absolute icon and queen that she has inspired so many others, including Diana Ross and the Supremes.

[00:31:39] She was a soul tree and sex positive person, which was so rare to be portrayed by a black woman in her day and age as a young star. And. She was just a star in so many ways. I'm just, I'm really glad that we took a closer look at her. And I'm just hoping that the next time you hear Santa baby play on the radio this season, you'll be able [00:32:00] to know more about the magnificent life of the voice that you hear.

[00:32:04] Jack Oremus: [00:32:04] Definitely, definitely. I think I was going to say, I think that, uh, what she said about the LGBT community and sort of the, um, The civil rights that they had challenged sort of within the nineties and throughout was pretty interesting. How. She was being interviewed by, uh, dr. Anthony, Claire and her quote were all rejected people.

[00:32:25] We know what it is to be refused. We know what it is to be oppressed, depressed, and then accused. And I'm very much cognizant of that. Feeling nothing in the world is more painful than rejection. I'm rejected person, oppressed person. And so I understand them as best as I can, even though I'm a heterosexual.

[00:32:40] I think that's a cool kind of point of view and something that, you know, I might not sort of resonate with. From a race standpoint or gender standpoint, but I think that's something that you could try to empathize with. And it was cool to see Eartha Kitt say that, and also be sort of a, an [00:33:00] icon in the eighties for the LGBT community with, you know, where's my man.

[00:33:05] I love that. And the album, and then just hearing about how she would go into these, uh, these nightclubs. And then there would just be, you know, standing ovations and sold out shows, you know, you could just. Imagine how much fun that would run. So, yeah, so very, a very iconic performer. I think you can't just say that she's a, an actress, a singer, a dancer activist.

[00:33:26] I think. I mean, she, she lived a full life and I think that that's really what, uh, I can take away from it. I think that everyone can take away that also it's never too late to kind of make your Mark on the world. And she, she was in her seventies when she had some of her biggest awards and some of her most.

[00:33:44] Lasting, uh, characters and moments. And I guess the industry, I don't, I don't even know if you could, you know, say that the emperor's new groove is one of them, one of those things, but 

[00:33:57] Emma Oremus: [00:33:57] it's amazing 

[00:33:59] Jack Oremus: [00:33:59] how [00:34:00] she was able to constantly reinvent herself for new generations of fans. I think that was something that I thought was really cool.

[00:34:05] So, um, yeah, 

[00:34:07] Emma Oremus: [00:34:07] it's true. She really. Grew with the times. And I mean, it's just amazing to see her be so outspoken in such a censored era. I mean, she really, truly stood up for the black lives matter movement even before that term was even coined. It's just really cool to see that she brought such. Just such a liveliness into everything she did.

[00:34:35] I really admire her. I she's one of those on my list of like, if you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, she, she would be so cool. 

[00:34:45] Jack Oremus: [00:34:45] Yeah. Her James Dean and wait, who is it? He was at their, maybe a little cocktail party with those four. You can only imagine what would go down. 

[00:34:58] Emma Oremus: [00:34:58] That would be the party of my [00:35:00] life.

[00:35:00] Jack Oremus: [00:35:00] Yeah. You know, once the, uh, once the final curtains called and we're all been having, I think I want to, I want to go to that after party or something, but, uh, but yeah, Eartha Kitt. Oh my goodness. I'm going to be listening to Santa baby all night after this. Uh, maybe while I eat some dinner. So some more work on the backgrounds.

[00:35:19] Emma Oremus: [00:35:19] Yeah. It's, 

[00:35:21] Jack Oremus: [00:35:21] have a little drink toast to Eartha. 

[00:35:24] Emma Oremus: [00:35:24] You know, they're not necessarily Christmas movies, but check out some of her movies because they're so cool. They give such a green light to black voices. Yeah. Just, just check out some of earth that kits work if you're unfamiliar, because she is really unbelievable in all the best ways possible.

[00:35:39] I adore her. 

[00:35:42] Jack Oremus: [00:35:42] She's one of those people that the more, uh, more research you do on her. And I think this is true for a lot of people, but especially her, uh, more research into her background, the more interesting she becomes and some people, you know, they kind of Platte. So I feel like she there's always someone or something that you can kind of find.

[00:35:59] And [00:36:00] so, uh, definitely, definitely iconic and such a fun actress person to get a spotlight to tonight. 

[00:36:07] Emma Oremus: [00:36:07] Yay. So thanks for celebrating earth. The K with us, we definitely have some more fun holiday festive episodes coming up. So stay tunes. Um, any other housekeeping? 

[00:36:19] Jack Oremus: [00:36:19] Uh, absolutely everything that you just said.

[00:36:21] Uh, if you guys want to tell us about how much you love Eartha Kitt, maybe your favorites. Maybe how much you love the emperor's new groove, uh, or holes, madams or Ronnie, let us know on Instagram, also movie podcasts, what are old soul pod, Facebook also movie podcasts. And if you really, really, really love us and want to help support the cost of the show and help us continue and keep producing.

[00:36:45] Entertaining quality informative content on the history of cinema in the golden age, then feel free to support us at the old soul movie podcast on Patrion. We would greatly greatly [00:37:00] appreciate it. And so, uh, thanks again as always. We love all of you guys. We hope that you had a great Thanksgiving that is rolling into a great, great festive, uh, December.

[00:37:10] Emma Oremus: [00:37:10] A safe, 

[00:37:11] Jack Oremus: [00:37:11] festive and safe December 

[00:37:13] Emma Oremus: [00:37:13] excited to celebrate virtually with our old soul family. So thank you guys for staying tuned to us and, uh, there's more good stuff to come. 

[00:37:21] Jack Oremus: [00:37:21] Yep. Absolutely toast to you all and associate with the kit until next time everybody take care.