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Eartha Kitt Dies at 81

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Dec. 26 2008, Published 8:44 a.m. ET

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Eartha Kitt, the legendary singer, actress and dancer, has died following a battle with colon cancer. She was 81.

Kitt died yesterday. She was best known for her role as Catwoman in the 1960s television series Batman--a role later played by Michelle Pfeiffer and Halle Berry.

Her distinctive voice gave sass to the classic Christmas song "Santa Baby" and she proved her comedic chops with her quirky performance as a man hungry cougar opposite Eddie Murphy in the comedy Boomarang. Kitt recently won back-to-back Daytime Emmy awards for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program for the show The Emperor's New School.

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