The woman once dubbed by Orson Welles as the "most exciting woman in the world" sultry chanteuse Eartha Kitt is gone at 81.

Singer/actress and second TV Catwoman (after Julie Newmar) Eartha netted two Emmys and a slew of Tony and Grammy noms. The self proclaimed “sex kitten” was renowned for purring vocals and feline ways even out of costume.

Eartha’s career spanned 60 years from strutting as a cabaret dancer to breakthrough RCA recordings.Her multilingual versatility brought her international acclaim.

At the height of her popularity she angered President Lyndon Johnson with anti-war sentiments about Viet Nam and left the country to perform primarily in Europe.

Eartha made XXXmas history with her uber-sexy "Santa Baby".

A mixed race daughter of the South she persevered over an unhappy childhood to triumph as a show biz legend. "I’m an orphan. But the public has adopted me and that has been my only family," Kitt said in an interview.  "The biggest family in the world is my fans."

Eartha passed this past Christmas Day of colon cancer in Connecticut.

Farewell Miss Kitt.