R.I.P. Kitty Carlisle Hart

Actress, singer and arts advocate Kitty Carlisle Hart died of pneumonia Wednesday at the age of 96.  From the New York Times:

Outgoing and energetic, Miss Carlisle became in her middle years a visible advocate of the arts, lobbying the New York State Legislature and the United States Congress for funding. For 20 years, first as a member and later as chairman of the New York Council on the Arts, she crisscrossed the state to support rural string quartets, small theater groups and inner-city dance troupes.

 Some highlights:

  •  Starred in A Night at the Opera with the Marx Brothers. 
  • Married to playwright Moss Hart from 1946 until his death in 1961. 
  • She made her operatic debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1967 in “Die Fledermaus.”
  • From 1956 to 1967, she appeared as a panelist on the  game show “To Tell the Truth.”
  • Was awarded the National Medal of Arts from the first President Bush.
  • In 1998, she was named a  “living landmark” by the New York Landmarks Conservancy. The next year, she was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame.
  • She served on the board of Empire State College in New York and was an honorary trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art.

Read the 1992 profile from the New Yorker on Hart, which contains this life lesson:

Each morning, very purposefully, Mrs. Hart dresses herself in ebullience. She gazes into her bathroom mirror–a Hollywood-style mirror surrounded by bulbs, which is propped against a wall covered in the same red velvet flocked wallpaper as her foyer–and she thinks about any subtle indiscretions or cavalier behavior she might have perpetrated the day before. Then, in the silence of the bathroom, she smiles at herself and says out loud, “Kitty, I forgive you!”

 Kitty Carlisle Hart [IMDb]

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