American singer and actress Eartha Kitt has died at the age of 81. She had been suffering from colon cancer.
She famously played Catwoman in the Batman television series in the 1960s and was known for her distinctive, feline drawl.
She also had a number of hit songs, including Old Fashioned Girl, C'est Si Bon and Santa Baby.
BBC website readers have been sending in their tributes and memories:
I met Eartha once backstage after a concert in Sydney. Her whole presence was totally fascinating. She will be sadly missed.
Richard Kennedy, Sydney, Australia
I saw Eartha sing a number of times at the exclusive Carlisle Club in NYC when she was nearly 70! What will always remain with me, was her powerfully strong and sultry voice wrapped up in an intimate and provocative performance style. She knew how to play with the 'filthy rich set' and then pull the rug out from under them. Her politics were always quite clear.
Adam St Clair, Manchester, England
A brave, intelligent woman, filled with talent and creativity. Her song, Santa Baby, is certainly a Christmas classic and has brought a bit of humour to the season during my growing-up years.
Doreyl, Tuckasegee, North Carolina, USA
Eartha was one of the greatest performers of our time. I was lucky enough to see her on stage recently. I saw an extraordinary, beautiful, energetic woman sing, purr, growl, and tease her way through a myriad of music styles - from jazz to disco - switching effortlessly between many of the languages she had mastered. Someone who at the age of 81 could grip the interest of an audience with such intensity that Eartha did - whose voice still electrified and who could still move like the trained dancer she was - could truly be said to have talent.
Jamie Wyver, London, UK
Great Gal... During her exile from the US she came to the UK where she was welcomed with open arms. Truly a gutsy woman of the Earth. She loved the Yorkshire town of Barnsley and the Yorkshire folk loved her. There was a fabulous club there... God Rest your great soul Eartha...
Ann Wardley, Fenelon Falls ON Canada (Yorkshire expat)
I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of one of America's greatest stars. Ms Kitt's performances in dance, theatre and film gave hope and voice to many African Americans locked in by racism and Jim Crow. Her enormous talents, intelligence and indomitable spirit could not be denied. She captivated her audiences and her characters often broke through the colour line. I had the pleasure of seeing Ms Kitt perform at the Carlyle Hotel in New York City a few years back. It is to this day one of my all time favourite concerts. Her signature sexy sultry style was still evident well into her 70s. She will be greatly missed.
Paul Burns, Washington, DC USA
Sad, sad news. A talented, vivacious, dangerous artiste who gave so much to the world of entertainment. She will be sadly missed.
Derek Browning, Edinburgh
I lived in London 1967/68... I remember Eartha on a BBC program telling a story about a young black boy talking to God about his differences ,such as curly hair, dark skin etc: and God explaining it was to help him live in the hot African climate. The young boy finished by asking God, "if that was so, why am I living in Glasgow?" In that sexy, sultry Eartha voice. She will be missed.
Jim Horsford, Sardis/Canada
The very first person I remember singing on the radio in the mid fifties with 'Old Fashioned Girl'. I felt a strong bond to Eartha Kitt all my life, as I know she suffered heartache and pain as a child growing up, and so did I in my life. I felt she was also a sensitive soul, and someone who although I never met, I liked immensely.
Kim Andrews, Wigan, Lancashire
I saw Eartha Kitt live at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood in 1996. As she put it "according to my papers, I'm 69!" (She never knew her exact age). I was struck by how her singing was not just about "that voice" but was so incredibly expressive, not at all caricature. The best cabaret I've ever seen.
Peter Chelsom, Los Angeles, USA
I grew up listening to Eartha Kitt at home. My dad had some LPs and he'd play them at home after work. I was taken by her distinct voice and sarcastic singing style. The fact that she was boycotted made her all the more interesting. She was a modern-day Josephine Baker who lived life to the max. The world has lost a great woman with her passing away. May she rest in peace.
Raja Kanafani, Beirut-Lebanon
To me Eartha Kitt has always been one of the TOP entertainers who took her work very seriously, as she said herself, she was always looking for acceptance, the acceptance she never had when she was a child. I carry her in my heart and will always remember the occasions I met her before or after her shows and appearances, in her dressing-room where we had vivid conversations about all kind of topics in the world, she was a great human to be with, may she rest in peace
Eddy, Antwerp, Belgium
The best show woman I ever had the pleasure to see live. She was already in her twilight when I attended her one person show at the Ballroom Theatre in Manhattan in 1991 or 1992. She sang Old Fashioned Girl, C'est Si Bon and Santa Baby among others and really entertained the crowd with her sexy voice and humour. For a performer already in her in her 60s she had very showy legs! Talk about a high cut dress! The crowd loved her and fans around world will be saddened by her loss. If you have never listened to her music, please do. The lyrics are well chosen for her style. I am so glad I was able to see her live.
I was graced with Ms. Kitt's presence three times in my life. Once after she performed on Broadway she looked me in the eye before slipping into her limo and said, "I'm so glad to see young men still dressing so dashingly!" Another time she performed in her pyjamas at a friends house in Harlem, leg up on the piano and a wine glass in hand. Finally I saw her in June at the Carlyle where she blew me away by singing, "I Will Survive" as a cabaret song. Here's to you Ms. Kitt!
Cator Sparks, New York, NY
I enjoyed Eartha's personality and her music in England and the West Indies for over 40 years. She was always there for me whatever my mood. I mourn her passing and her music will live on in my home. Eartha we love you.
Juliet Roopnarinesingh, Trinidad and Tobago
Eartha Kitt was an amazing actress in every role she ever played. Examples of some of her great work include the mentioned 1960s series; Batman where she appeared as Cat Woman. In her prime she was indeed a very beautiful woman. In 1992 she appeared in Boomerang which also starred Eddy Murphy, Grace Jones, Martin Lawrence and Halle Berry. Eartha played a mature woman hoping to lure toy boy Eddy into the boudoir. This is a very sad way to end Christmas Day. Eartha Kitt will be greatly missed. May you rest in peace Eartha.
Max Love, London
I saw her perform with Jools Holland at the filming of Later... last summer and she was electric - best performer on the show.
Joe Cannon, London, UK