|A sketch of Kitty by Larry Sobel from my collection|
Born Catherine Conn in New Orleans in 1910, she preferred to be called, “Kitty.” Kitty Conn and her mother were extremely close. Her mother’s singular ambition was to see her daughter achieve her dream of success as an opera singer. Together, they traveled the world to make that happen. Very quickly, Kitty Conn (then known as Carlisle), became a celebrated beauty—mixing with the elite and making her mark on the world. She was engaged to George Gershwin and had romances with some of the most prominent men of the day. Her heart, however, belonged to one man—legendary playwright, Moss Hart. Moss and Kitty married in 1946 and remained married until his sudden death in 1961. They had two children.
After the death of her beloved husband, Kitty continued her work—both professional and charitable. She became a champion for the arts and especially for young artists. For twenty years, she served as the chair of the New York State Council for the Arts. Age meant nothing to Kitty Carlisle Hart. She exercised daily and continued to perform her cabaret act until her death in 2006 at the age of 96.
|Kitty as "Rosa" from A Night at the Opera|
One of her crowning achievements was her debut with the Metropolitan Opera, as Prince Orlofsky in Strauss's Die Fledermaus. She would play the part ten more times in her lifetime.
Most importantly, however, Kitty Carlisle Hart was the epitome of grace and class. Eternally beautiful in every conceivable way, I will always remember her kindness and unceasing support of young artists.
Three cheers for the amazing Kitty Carlisle Hart!
|I recieved this photo from her after sending her the first manuscript for The Garnet Red.|