From the S&S archives:Eartha Kitt performs for USAREUR community
February 17, 1971
HEIDELBERG, Germany — "As far as I'm concerned, it's over!" snorted Eartha Kitt, when asked about the present status of her romance with Danish businessman Ole Broendum-Nielsen.
Last November and December, their on-again, off-again engagement garnered reams of publicity as the couple jetted from Copenhagen to London to Chicago.
The sultry actress-singer was in Germany Sunday to entertain American soldiers from USAREUR Hq here and in nearby Mannheim. And romance, seemed the remotest thing from her mind.
(Miss Kitt is considered the biggest name star yet sponsored by USAREUR Special Services' new commercial entertainment branch.)
Sexily clad in a black peekaboo pants suit, the artist was excellently backed by British arranger-composer Tony Osborne and his orchestra. Her repertoire included familiar Kitt stylings of "C'est Si Bon," "Where" and "I Wanna Be Evil."
She also sang kittenized versions of "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" and a humorous "Old Fashioned Girl." Miss Kitt's voice is almost Dietrich-like as she laments, "I'll Never Fall in Love Again."
Miss Kitt speaks French and Spanish fluently and sings in nine languages, including Turkish, Hebrew and German. She was a dancer and an actress before she became a singer.
Born on a cotton farm in South Carolina, 43 years ago, she moved to Brooklyn at the age of 8, and joined the Katherine Dunham Dancers in 1944.
The dancers toured the world in the next few years, and Miss Kitt left them in Paris to become a nightclub star and actress. After touring in Orson Welles' international stage production of "Faust," she returned to America.
Her first big success was in Leonard Sillman's Broadway revue "New Faces of 1952." She later did the motion picture adaption and also began her recording career, which included the hits "Santa Baby" and "Monotonous."
Three years ago, Miss Kitt touched off a tempest at a tea party when she told Mrs. Lyndon Johnson that the president was not doing enough to end the Vietnamese war and to combat crime in the streets.
Nor does she feel the present administration is moving fast enough to withdraw American forces from Vietnam.
About nudity on stage and in films: "The people who back these kind of shows obviously will do anything for money, but they are encouraged by all the people who pay to go and see it."
Miss Kitt welcomes the recent gains made by blacks in show business, but cautions against premature promotion of would-be stars just because they are black.
"I don't think they should come up too fast," she continued. "I think we all need to be trained. While the performers are coming up fast, the real stars are not."
She added, "I think one of the main things wrong with my profession, is it is being prostituted by insufficient stars."
The outspoken actress has just completed her 103rd performance as the star of a London West End production, "The High Bid." She expects to star in a musical stage version of "Mata Hari" there next fall.
But in the meantime Miss Kitt will costar in an American film, "Georgia on My Mind," to be filmed on location in Sweden this summer.
The slim star gave an evil wink and added, "If I wasn't an actress, I don't think I'd ever make it as a singer; my voice isn't that great.
"An actress learns how to move and project. This also helps a singer interpret and present her song so it is pleasant for an audience to listen to."