Eartha Kitt

  1. Dorothy Dandridge, Carmen Jones, 1954.     The fight between feisty Eartha and bullying director Otto Preminger must have been soemthing to witness! She refused to have her arias dubbed, even if she didn’t have an operatic voice. Dandridge and Harry Belafonte were dubbed, but not Pearl Bailey’s comic numbers.
  2. Elizabeth Taylor, Cleopatra, 1963.
  3. Joan Sims, Doctor Who #143: The Trial of a Time Lord, 1986. The BBC TV chief Michael Grade wanted shorter episodes, less violence and more laughs! This explains why Eartha was outsted by the Carry On regular as Queen Katryca – opposite Doc6 Colin Baker in the 14-episode past-present-future arc (hello A Christmas Carol!) that lasted the entire Season 23. Kitt was far too earthy for the kiddywinks -though their fathers would have loved her as much as they when she was Catwoman on TV’s Batman, 1967-1968.
  4. Anjelica Huston, The Witches, 1988.  Olivja  Hussey topped  author Ronald Dahl’s wish list for Miss Ernst, aka The Grand High Witch. However, Anjelica was on Nic Roeg’s list. And he was the director!  He took his time combing through the 13 other candidates:  From Linda Blair (little Regan grew up to be a witch?), Genevieve Bujold, Cher, Frances Conroy, Faye Dunaway, Jodie Foster, Liza Minnelli, Susan SarandOn, Sigourney Weaver to true Brits Fiona Fullerton, Helen Mirren, Vanessa Redgrave… and the sole Black star considered, Eartha Kitt.  Together with Bancroft, they all escaped.eight  hours of make-up each  day!  Appalled by the vulgar bad taste and “actual terror” in the film, Dahl threatened to take his name off it.  Jim Henson talked him out  of it for the Muppeteer’s final production.

 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  4