Kitt, Eartha. (1927-2008)

"Timbuktu!" - Signed Photograph

Promotional photograph of the American actress, singer, and activist as shown in the 1978 musical "Timbuktu!", signed in black ink to the lower left corner with her name alone.  In fine condition.  8 x 10 inches (20.3 x 25.4 cm.).

Kitt found great success as a singer and Broadway performer, becoming known for her distinctive voice.  Her 1953 recording of "Santa Baby" reached the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, and in 1967 she played Catwoman in the final season of Batman.  Her career declined following a series of anti-Vietnam War statements at a 1968 White House luncheon, but by 1978 she was back on Broadway and nominated for her first Tony Award.  One of her most beloved performances came towards the end of her career in 2000, when she voiced Yzma in the Disney animated film The Emperor's New Groove.

In 1978, Robert Wright, George Forrest and Luther Davis reworked the broadway show Kismet into the musical Timbuktu!, that followed the same basic story as Kismet, but reset the musical in Mali, the year 1361. Adding a few additional songs (based on African folk songs) to the piece, Timbuktu! featured an all African-American cast. It played Broadway’s Mark Hellinger Theatre, opening on March 1stand running for 221 performances. This incarnation of what was once Kismet starred Eartha Kitt, William Marshall, Gilbert Price, Melba Moore, and George Bell. The production was directed and choreographed by Geoffrey Holder (who had salvaged the troubled The Wiz a few seasons earlier).

From the collection of Paul McMahon, a critic, photographer and artist who worked for more than 13 years touring with Marlene Dietrich as the icon’s stage manager, announcer, dresser, secretary and escort, and later spent 25 years as an arts and entertainment reviewer and photographer with Gay Community News, Esplanade, Tommy’s Connection, The Mirror, Bay Windows and other publications. (20533)

Signed Photograph
Performing Arts & Media