Remembering Kitty Carlisle Hart

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If ever there was an unofficial Queen of New York City, Kitty Carlisle Hart was it. Kitty, who would have been 101 on Saturday, was for many years considered the “grande dame” of New York’s cultural arts world. And with good reason. She was not only a superb singer and actress, but she also served for 20 years as chairwoman of the New York State Council on the Arts.

Even with these accomplishments, she may be best known as a beloved television personality. Back in the 1950s and 60s, when game shows were a staple of network primetime schedules, Kitty came into America’s living rooms regularly as a panelist on such classics as "What’s My Line?" and "To Tell the Truth."

This is how I remember her. In every one of her appearances, she was always the epitome of grace and class. A gifted storyteller, she possessed a sly wit that kept her from ever crossing into pretentiousness. She was, by all accounts, a very entertaining woman to sit next to at a party. So, here’s a YouTube birthday tribute to an actress, performer and arts advocate--a woman who wore many hats and made it all look easy with her warmth, sophistication and style.

 

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