Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Kitty Carlisle Hart

It's really the end of an era. Kitty Carlisle Hart, actress, singer, arts advocate, has died:

Kitty Carlisle Hart, who began her career in the theater in a 1932 musical comedy revue on Broadway, acted in films and opera and was still singing on the stage, into her 10th decade, as recently as last fall, died Tuesday at her home in Manhattan. She was 96. The cause was heart failure, her daughter, Catherine Hart, said. Outgoing and energetic, Miss Carlisle became in her middle years a visible advocate of the arts, lobbying the New York State Legislature and the United States Congress for funding. For 20 years, first as a member and later as chairman of the New York Council on the Arts, she crisscrossed the state to support rural string quartets, small theater groups and inner-city dance troupes.

At another moment, she could be found performing on a cruise ship plying the Greek islands, as she was during her 90th year. Just last November, she sang George Gershwin’s "The Man I Love" at the annual gala fund-raiser for Jazz at Lincoln Center. That followed a series of engagements in New York and other cities celebrating her 96th birthday. Miss Carlisle, as she was know professionally, also became a favorite of the first television generation as a regular on the game shows To Tell the Truth and What’s My Line?
I remember Kitty Carlisle from A Night at the Opera, Radio Days, and those game shows. She was one of the people who seemed to be living on television when I was a boy, along with Steve Allen, Peggy Cass, Arlene Francis, Phyllis Newman, and Nipsey Russell, friendly presences every weekday after school.
Kitty Carlisle Hart Dies at 96 (New York Times)
Kitty Carlisle Hart (Official website)
Kitty Carlisle (Wikipedia)

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