Eartha Kitt, dead at 81 in New York City (link), where she was under treatment for colon cancer.
Afterthought: I wish I had the time to develop the full-scale appreciation her talent deserves. But let me pull at just one strand: one of the reasons she was such a convincing sexpot is that you were (or at least a guileless 19-year-old was) never quite sure when she was kidding. That hint of mockery--was it self-mockery ot just mockery in the encounter with flaming testosterone?--was a technique that had worked, in a different way, for Mae West. Eartha (what kinda name is Eartha anyway?) had the added advantage of seeming foreign (she wasn't) and therefore exotic and therefore intrinsically hard to figure out (excuse me, I am a stranger in your country, are you making fun of me?).
Some numbers, like the item linked above, had their moments of straightforward, easy good-natured comedy. But there were others (I remeber "Angelitos Negros") that seemed so deadly serious, you couldn't believe they were from the same person. The total effect was one of calculated ambiguity; perhaps it was just a device to deflect the attention of the censors; perhaps (one couldn't be sure) it was a philosoophy of life. In the end, you could say she was hip and camp before her time, which may be why she was able to stay relevant through so much of a long career.