Eartha Kitt, one of the original diva’s of her time who rose to fame in the 1950’s as a singer and actress, died of colon cancer in Connecticut on Christmas Day, according to the Associated Press. Kitt was born to a poor Black mother and White father in South Carolina but spent most of her adulthood using her sex appeal and feminine wilds to contribute to great performances both on-screen and on Broadway.

She started her career as a dancer with the famed Katherine Dunham troupe, recorded her first album, “RCA Victor Presents Eartha Kitt,” in 1954, acted in movies with the likes of Nat King Cole and Eddie Murphy, played Catwoman on the “Batman” television series in the 1960s, and was investigated by the FBI and the CIA for antiwar activities after publicly denouncing the Vietnam War while at a visit at the White House, a move that caused her to be blacklisted in Hollywood for years after.

Kitt was still performing up to two months ago and had dates booked through 2009. She won a number of awards during her career including two Emmys, two Tonys and nominated for several Grammys. She is survived by her daughter, Kitt.