Show business great Kitty Carlisle Hart dies at 96
NEW YORK - Kitty Carlisle Hart, whose roles over time moved from the movies to Broadway to television to the opera to beloved grand dame of New York society, closed out a well-lived life Tuesday.
She was 96 and died in her Manhattan home after a battle with pneumonia she contracted over the Christmas holidays.
Until she became ill, she had been touring the country with her one-woman show, "Here's to Life." She talked in the show about the famous people she had known, including Irving Berlin, George Gershwin and her late husband, playwright Moss Hart.
Born in New Orleans, she attended the Sorbonne and the London School of Economics before committing to showbiz in the 1934 film "Murder at the Vanities."
Soon after, she played the female lead in the Marx Brothers' classic "A Night at the Opera." But she was best known to the next generation for her 11-year run - from 1956 to 1967 - on the popular TV show "To Tell the Truth." She was sharp and witty, but never rude.
She made her opera debut in 1984 and never formally retired from stage or film acting. She sat on the New York State Council for the Arts from 1971 to 1996, including 20 years as chairwoman, and she received the National Medal on the Arts in 1991.
Funeral arrangements were incomplete Wednesday, but her son Christopher said a "terrific memorial" will be announced soon.