Eartha Kitt’s daughter says ‘Batman’ was a doting mother despite Hollywood fame: 'We adored each other'

전설적인 가수, actress and dancer, who purred her way into superstardom, 돌아가 셨다 on Christmas Day in 2008 나이에 81 결장암으로부터. Her career spanned six decades and the late star is still celebrated by fans today as Catwoman in the ‘60s hit series Batman.

Her only child, Kitt Shapiro, has recently written a 회상록 제목 Eartha & Kitt: A Daughter’s Love Story in Black & 하얀,” which details their loving bond over the years. It also sheds new light on Kitt’s life out of the spotlight, where she truly felt like herself as a doting mom.

샤피로, 59, spoke to Fox News about growing up with the beloved entertainer, her favorite memories and how Kitt really felt about beingthe most exciting woman in the world” 같이 Orson Welles 한 번 말했다.


Kitt Shapiro, Eartha Kitt's only child, wrote a memoir titled ‘Eartha & Kitt: A Daughter’s Love Story in Black &앰프; White.’

Kitt Shapiro, Eartha Kitt’s only child, wrote a memoir titled ‘Eartha &앰프; Kitt: A Daughter’s Love Story in Black &앰프; White.’ (Photo courtesy of Kitt Shapiro)

폭스 뉴스: What inspired you to write this book now?

Kitt Shapiro: I think as we get older, we become more comfortable in our skin. I’m going to be 60 올해. And I just felt like the timing was right. My mother had so many profound messages and lessons she taught me. She loved the art of conversationreally intense, intellectual conversation.

So I thought this was a really cool way to keep the conversation going. This is a story about a woman who had such an incredible impact on this Earth in so many ways. But in many other ways, people don’t know about them. And I think, even if you are a fan of hers, you will definitely learn new things in this book.

폭스 뉴스: When did you realize that your mom was different from other moms?

샤피로: I obviously knew very early on that my mother was somebody famous. But I also grew up in Los Angeles where that wasn’t such a unique thing. I went to a French school and there were a lot of kids whose parents were either diplomats or in the entertainment industry. So nobody was really impressed that my mother was famous *laughs*.


Eartha Kitt (1927-2008), US actress and singer, in costume sitting in a leopard skin covered chair in a publicity still issued for the US television series, 'Batman', 미국, ...경 1968. The series starred Kitt as ‘Catwoman.’

Eartha Kitt (1927-2008), US actress and singer, in costume sitting in a leopard skin covered chair in a publicity still issued for the US television series, ‘Batman’, 미국, ...경 1968. The series starred Kitt as ‘Catwoman.’ (실버 스크린 컬렉션 / 게티 이미지의 사진)

But it wasn’t until I grew older that I came to fully understand the impact she had on people. We moved to New York when I was a teenager. We would walk down a street and people would call out her name. But it was all I’ve ever known.

폭스 뉴스: Is it true that your mom was very strict?

샤피로: 네, she was very strict. People are often surprised that my mother was very strict and very conservative. I was expected to have proper manners, 좋은 행동, respect my elders and speak clearly. You always called someone Mr. or Mrs. until they gave you permission to use their first name.

My mother was a very proper woman. But she was also self-taught. She didn’t learn any of this while growing up in the South or from anyone in her life. But she realized the importance of how you carry yourself, how you treat other people and how you spoke. That always stayed with her. It was important for her to carry herself with pride, speak clearly and have good manners.


Earth Kitt and John William McDonald were married from 1960 ...까지 1964.

Earth Kitt and John William McDonald were married from 1960 ...까지 1964. (게티 이미지)

폭스 뉴스: Your mother had a very tough childhood. How much of an impact do you think that had on her as a parent?

샤피로: I think it had a very big impact on her. She was mistreated as a child. Her mother gave her away because she was marrying another man. She was referred to as ayellow galbecause of her skin tone. And the man her mother was going to marry said, “I will not have that yellow gal in my house.She never knew the identity of her birth father.

My mother endured rejection during those formative years. And the family that she was given to abused her so severelyphysically, sexually and emotionally. Those were scars that she carried internally throughout her life. But she didn’t shy away from them because she knew they made her who she was. They gave her strength. And they taught her the importance of how much you should love your children. She would say to me, “You can never love a child too much.And she really believed that. I think that’s what formed her desire to be such a doting, nurturing mother.


Kitt Shapiro and Eartha Kitt remained close over the years.

Kitt Shapiro and Eartha Kitt remained close over the years. (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

폭스 뉴스: Some people have recently commented on how you couldn’t possibly be Eartha Kitt’s daughter because of your appearance. How do you cope with comments like that?

샤피로: 흥미 롭군, I don’t remember anybody questioning my genetic makeup or my being my mother’s biological child. I think some of those comments are becoming more obvious because of social media. People are much more brave behind a screen of a computer than they are to your face.


Kitt Shapiro said she had an incredibly close bond with her movie star mom.

Kitt Shapiro said she had an incredibly close bond with her movie star mom. (Photo courtesy of Kitt Shapiro)

That being said, I remember growing up and how my mother and I would stare in the mirror as she was getting ready. We would point out our similarities. I have these little beauty marks and I would always point them out to her. I’m very proud of them.

최근에, people have made presumptions… but it’s also how my mother went through life, fighting the stereotype, the need to put people in boxes… My mother would say to me, “You’re a walking United Nations. You either fill every quota or break every rule.I absolutely believe that I have this incredible makeup of all these different nationalities and ethnic backgrounds from both parents… My mother would say, “You really are a melting potand I’m proud of that.

폭스 뉴스: In your book, you describe how Eartha Kitt wasn’t a glamorous figure at home. How so?

샤피로: She was anything but glamorous at home *laughs*. She was at her most comfortable in her garden with her hands in the soil. Eartha was her given name and it’s not lost on me that she truly was of the Earth. She was so connected to the environment, our planet and nature. 집에서, she would have her hair wrapped up in a scarf and wear these dirty jeans and oversized sweatshirts with no makeup while attending to her garden. She was her most comfortable self.


Kitt Shapiro said she knew very early on that her mother was a star.

Kitt Shapiro said she knew very early on that her mother was a star. (Photo courtesy of Kitt Shapiro)

폭스 뉴스: What’s one memory of your mom that still makes you smile today?

샤피로: Any time I’ve ever made my mother laughthose memories always made me smile. She had this incredible laugh. My mother thought I was really funny and she loved listening to me. Whether I was nine or 39, her face would always beam whenever she listened to me speak. When I think of those moments, it makes me smile. When I think of that vision of her face, looking at me, smiling, and then breaking into this incredible laughit warms my heart.

폭스 뉴스: Your mom was many things and no doubt, one of her titles is that of sex symbol. How did she feel about that?

샤피로: She didn’t see herself as a sex symbol, 그 자체로. She understood that, because of the way she moved, the tone of her voice, the cadence of her speech, there was this sort of fluidity and rhythm that had a sensual quality. I think on some level, it was deliberate, not because she wanted to be a sex symbol, but because she loved movement. She was a dancer from very early on.

My mother told me an aunt of hers in New York sent for her because she had been told how badly the family who had taken her in was treating her in the South. This aunt lived in Spanish Harlem. My mother would talk about how you could hear the sounds of music and drums and just the rhythm of the city itself. That gave her this inner feeling of movement. So becoming a dancer was something that came very naturally to her. And she understood the power of speech. If you spoke clearly and eloquently, people will treat you differently. They treat you with more respect. And she even learned different languages.


Eartha Kitt became a world-renowned singer, 댄서와 배우.

Eartha Kitt became a world-renowned singer, 댄서와 배우. (Photo by Gilles Petard/Redferns/Getty Images)

I think all of that shaped my mother. 명백하게, she was very beautiful and had an incredible body. But when you put the whole package together, it gives you that sex symbol quality. But she also happened to be very shy… So she found the whole thing amusing in many ways.

폭스 뉴스: Where did her famous purr come from?

샤피로: From vocal exercises. She learned different languages because she traveled with her ballet troupe… And she was also curious about the world. So she started doing vocal exercises. I remember fans would often ask her to purr. She would make it look like she wasn’t going to give into it. She would say no if someone askedand people asked everywhere she went. She would walk away from the person. But then she would turn around and purr for them. But she didn’t do that at home *laughs*.

폭스 뉴스: Did your mother have any regrets about fame or her life in Hollywood?

샤피로: My mother had no regrets. She actually said before she died, “Deshaun Watson의 클레이 트래비스. I wouldn’t change a thing.My mother never compromised who she was. She was always true to herself and didn’t apologize for who she was. She didn’t apologize for her opinions. She didn’t apologize for her originality.


Kitt Shapiro said her mother's tough upbringing compelled the star to be a nurturing parent to her child.

Kitt Shapiro said her mother’s tough upbringing compelled the star to be a nurturing parent to her child. (Photo courtesy of Kitt Shapiro)

I think there are certain decisions, 혹시, that she would have liked to have done differently. But she also understood that everything happens for a reason. And if she had changed anything, she wouldn’t have ended up where she was. So it gave her this understanding that regrets are just a waste of energy.

폭스 뉴스: In your book, you wrote about the guilt you felt leaving your mother behind as you embarked on your own life, as many daughters do. How did you face that?

샤피로: I think many people will be able to relate to the guilt when you love somebody so intensely and how difficult it is at times when you want to be your own person.

My parents divorced when I was young. I was an only child and my mother was a single mother. And she had no family really. So it was just her and I. And as a teenager, I wanted to be with my friends. I wanted to hang out and do my own thing. 어렵다. There were many times where I did struggle with that. But that’s sort of the way life is, 권리?

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Eartha Kitt poses for a photograph in the garden of her Beverly Hills home on December 14, 1982, 비벌리 힐스에서, 캘리포니아.

Eartha Kitt poses for a photograph in the garden of her Beverly Hills home on December 14, 1982, 비벌리 힐스에서, 캘리포니아. (Photo by Paul Harris/Getty Images)

… It wasn’t easy when I got married even though I didn’t move away and I worked for my mother. We were always very close. You’ll see a picture of my mother at my wedding and we both look like we’re walking the plank *laughs*. it was not an easy day for her or for me. She was happy for me, but she also had a lot of pain from her childhood. She carried a lot of this fear of rejection. And she never got over her childhood… But we were very much mother and daughter. And we adored each other.

폭스 뉴스: How did you cope with your mother’s passing?

샤피로: No question, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever dealt with. I was with my mother when she passed and I do talk about this in the book. I talked about it because it’s real and it’s a part of life. My mother and I worked together. We lived not that far from each other. So our lives very very intertwined… A part of me was gone when she left. And what do you do? Am I no longer somebody’s daughter? It’s really hard to comprehend because we loved each other immensely. And we were very much a part of each other’s lives.

… I remember understanding why religion is so important and why people yearn to have faith in a heaven, because this body, which possessed an incredible energy, was now gone. It was mind-blowing. It was so hard. I would look up at the sky for days, 주, months after she died. 내가 말할 것, “Where are you? You can’t have just evaporated into the air.It’s a very difficult process to go through, not just death, but grieving. Her life had come to an end, but the rest of the world was still functioning. The sun didn’t stop rising and setting because my mother died, but it felt like my Earth did die.

Kitt Shapiro is determined to keep her mother's legacy alive.

Kitt Shapiro is determined to keep her mother’s legacy alive. (Photo courtesy of Kitt Shapiro)

It also felt like, “무엇 향후 계획?” it was just surrealit’s still is. It’s hard to believe she has been gone for so long. She died in 2008 on Christmas Day and it’s still hard to believe she’s gone.

폭스 뉴스: What do you hope readers will get from your book?

샤피로: 궁극적으로, it’s a love story of mother and daughter. My mother was a trailblazer and a role model who made an incredible impact on this planet, but she also gave birth to a child and developed such a special bond with her daughter. And I still carry that today. We adored each other.

I hope this book encourages people to have conversations with loved ones because she did love that art of conversation.… We all have a legacy, whether you’re famous or not. And I want people to hold on to those precious moments with their loved ones because it’s what keeps us connected. It’s part of our history. But I also hope this book gives people joy because my mother certainly gave that to me. She still does.

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