Annie Mae Keith: Who Is Eartha Kitt’s Mother?

Annie Mae Keith, an enigmatic figure in the life of the legendary Eartha Kitt, holds a significant place as Kitt’s mother. 

Eartha Kitt is celebrated for her talents as an American singer, actress, comedian, dancer, and activist. She rose to fame with iconic recordings such as “C’est si bon” and the timeless Christmas song “Santa Baby.”

Quick Bio

NameAnnie Mae Keith
GenderFemale
Famous asEartha Kitt’s mother
Date of BirthNovember 10, 1910
Place of BirthUnited States of America
Date of DeathJanuary 17, 1936
NationalityAmerican
EthnicityMixed
ChildrenEartha Kitt
Grand childrenKitt McDonald

Who is Annie Mae Keith?

Annie Mae Keith was the mother of famous American celebrity Eartha Kitt. She was born on November 10, 1910, in the United States of America.

Despite her integral role in Eartha Kitt’s life, Annie Mae Keith remains mysterious. According to Eartha’s Wikipedia, Annie Mae is of Cherokee and African descent. She is an American national. 

Annie Mae Keith passed away on January 17, 1936, at the age of 25.

Personal Life and Relationships

Annie Mae Keith had led her life away from the spotlight. She is mainly known as Eartha Kitt’s mother. 

The identity of Eartha’s father is shrouded in mystery, with conflicting reports suggesting different individuals. Reports indicate that he was the son of the farm owner where she was born.

In a 2013 biography by British journalist John Williams, the claim is made that Kitt’s father was a white man named Daniel Sturkie, a local doctor. 

However, Annie’s granddaughter has doubts about this assertion’s accuracy.

Annie Mae Keith faced challenges after Eartha’s birth. Eartha was reportedly conceived through a traumatic event, and Annie Mae went on to live with a black man who rejected Eartha due to her relatively pale complexion. 

Annie Mae Keith’s Children

Eartha Kitt is Annie Mae Keith’s only child. She was born on January 17, 1927. It is reported that Eartha was conceived by rape.

Despite a challenging and poor childhood, Eartha Kitt became a worldwide icon.

Early Life Struggles of Eartha Kitt

After being rejected by her mother’s partner, Eartha was subsequently raised by a relative named Aunt Rosa, where she experienced abuse.

Early Life Struggles of Eartha Kitt
PHOTO: ZAC JOHNSON

Following Annie Mae’s death, Eartha lived with another relative, Mamie Kitt, who may have been her biological mother. 

This period marked Eartha’s transition to Harlem, New York City, where she attended the Metropolitan Vocational High School, later renamed the High School of Performing Arts.

Eartha Kitt’s Career Success

Eartha Kitt had a diverse career that lasted for many years, where she thrived as a singer, dancer, actress, and activist. 

Known for her captivating voice and unique musical style, Eartha Kitt stood out as a performer. 

Eartha Kitt's Career Success
PHOTO: AARP

Her famous songs like “C’est Si Bon” and “Santa Baby” showcased her talent, earning her numerous awards. Her magnetic stage presence and charm made her a favorite among audiences worldwide.

In addition to her music, Eartha Kitt showcased her acting skills in films, TV shows, and theater. 

Her most notable role was as Catwoman in the 1960s TV series “Batman.” A distinctive blend of sensuality, intelligence, and wit marked Eartha’s performances.

Aside from her artistic achievements, Eartha Kitt passionately advocated for civil rights and social justice. 

She fearlessly spoke out against racial segregation and faced blocklisting in the 1960s for her anti-war and anti-establishment views. 

Despite challenges, she used her fame as a platform to champion the cause of the marginalized and oppressed.

Eartha Kitt’s Marital Life

Annie Mae Keith’s daughter, Eartha Kitt, tied the knot with John William McDonald on June 6, 1960. He was associated with a real estate investment company. 

Prior to this, Eartha Kitt had relationships with cosmetics magnate Charles Revson and banking heir John Barry Ryan III.

Eartha Kitt's Marital Life
PHOTO: WWWFACEBOOK.COM/ @EARTHA KITT

The couple welcomed their only child, Kitt McDonald, into the world on November 26, 1961. Kitt was baptized Catholic at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church. 

Unfortunately, the union between Kitt’s parents didn’t endure, leading to their divorce in 1965.

What Happened to Annie Mae’s Daughter?

Tragically, Annie Mae Keith’s daughter passed away on Christmas Day in 2008, just three weeks before her 82nd birthday. 

What Happened to Annie Mae's Daughter
PHOTO: WWW.INSTAGRAM.COM/ @KITTSHAPIRO

Eartha Kitt was diagnosed with colon cancer. She was at her home in Weston, Connecticut.

This glimpse into the life of Annie Mae Keith sheds light on the challenges and triumphs that shaped the early years of Eartha Kitt, an iconic figure in entertainment history.

Annie Mae Keith, Grand Daughter

Kitt Shapiro, born on March 26, 1961, making her the only child of Eartha Kitt and her second husband, John William McDonald. Reflecting her mother’s diverse heritage, Kitt Shapiro is of African-American and Cherokee descent.

In contrast to her renowned mother, Kitt Shapiro has maintained a relatively private life.

Annie Mae Keith Grand Daughter
PHOTO: WWW.INSTAGRAM.COM/ @KITTSHAPIRO

Her notable endeavors include a career as an entrepreneur and fashion professional. She is credited with founding the flourishing accessories company, Simply Eartha, which showcases jewelry and lifestyle products inspired by her mother’s wisdom and quotes.

The brand’s mission is to honor Eartha Kitt’s legacy by disseminating her enduring messages of empowerment, love, and authenticity.

Her Grand daughter, Charitable Work

Kitt Shapiro’s engagement in various charitable activities further extends the influence of her mother’s legacy.

Eartha Kitt, renowned for her advocacy work, especially in civil rights and social justice, has evidently influenced and inspired her daughter in this regard.

Navigating the challenges and distinctive circumstances that come with being the offspring of a legendary figure like Eartha Kitt, Kitt Shapiro has forged her individual path, contributing significantly in her own right.

Annie Mae Keith’s Net Worth

Annie Mae Keith was not a public figure, and there is no information about her net worth. However, her daughter, Eartha Kitt, had a net worth of $4 million at time of her death.