Saturday, December 27, 2008

R.I.P. Eartha Kitt

Goodness. First Bettie Page and now Eartha Kitt. The past few weeks have been really bad for Old Hollywood. Eartha Kitt passed away yesterday, December 26 in Connecticut from colon cancer. She was 81.

She won two Grammys and two Tonys. She danced with Katherine Dunham [!!], starred in "St. Louis Blues" with Nat King Cole and played Catwoman on the Batman television show.

She was the child of a black and Cherokee mother and a white father. She lived with an aunt after her father decided he couldn't have a mixed race daughter. After moving to New York and going to the High School of the Performing Arts for a while, Kitt dropped out and had lucky breaks that had Orson Welles calling her "the most exciting woman in the world".

It's so weird, because just the other day I downloaded "Santa Baby" and I thought about how a few years ago she performed at the Newport Jazz Festival, even when she was in her late 70s. I didn't get to see her because I had tickets for a different day of the festival, but I really wish I'd gotten the chance. Miss Kitt was unstoppable as a singer, dancer, and actress. She was the original sex kitten, coining the term herself with her purr. I was first introduced to her as the batty old lady in "Harriet the Spy". She was a parody of herself in that role but there was still the hint of Old Hollywood glamour and opulence that we still love classic movies for. I watched that movie all the time when I was in 3rd grade.

Photos from the LIFE magazine archive:

Eartha Kitt photographed by famous photographer [and director of Shaft] Gordon Parks in 1952.

More Gordon Parks, 1952

More Gordon Parks, 1952

On the piano. Purrrrr.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Imitation of LIFE: The Christmas Edition

After a brief exam-time hiatus I'm back with full-fledged Christmas spirit! Here are some Yuletide offerings from the LIFE magazine photo archive. Nothing says Christmas like nostalgia.

Christmas decorations in Rockefeller Plaza, 1949

Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center, 1972.

Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye performing in 'White Christmas', 1954

More holiday happiness on the way! And if you're anywhere north of the Mason-Dixon, good luck digging yourself out of your driveway.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Twitter. So Hot Right Now.

There's been a spike in visits this week, which I'm really happy about. Keep up the good work, guys. Tell you friends to tell their friends! And love the comments.

I won't be posting too too much over the next week or so because I'm sick and swamped with school. But I will be blogging the lazy man's way on Twitter: see my tweets HERE.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Grace Jones: Good Enough to Eat

This just in: Grace Jones is out of her mind. Surprised? Didn't think so. Either way, it's a little weird to think of Grace Jones making chocolate busts of herself to promote her new album, "Hurricane". Have to give her credit, though. It's a lot more creative than a hackneyed tell-all, set-the-record-straight reality show/documentary *cough cough Britney*. From Refinery 29:
With a persona that's been adored and replicated many times over, the idea was to show Grace in control of the mass-production process, feeding the idea that she has ultimate ownership of her identity.
Love the idea, but goddamn, that's a lot of chocolate, and they're not even for sale. That being said, I wonder what's going to happen with that new album? I hope they play it in Esco's, but only if the queens vogue. If all else fails, Ms. Jones can drown her sorrows in chocolatey fierceness.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Prop 8: The Musical

In the event you've been living under a rock like I have, here's Prop 8: The Musical, starring lots of people who are varying degrees of famous. Enjoy!
See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

Friday, December 5, 2008

Imitation of LIFE, pt. 2

I was poking around in the LIFE photo archives, hoping to find a hot, hot picture of Rock Hudson but instead stumbled upon this:
This is Sammy Davis, Jr. singing with Matt Dennis on the TV Show "The Big Party" in 1959. Rock Hudson is the tall, dark-haired fellow you see over Davis' right shoulder. What a lovely party we missed!

And here, the gorgeous Rock Hudson in all his hunky glory:

This is what I would've wanted for Christmas. If he weren't dead. And gay. But oh, isn't he scrumptious.