Kitty Carlisle, sometimes billed as Kitty Carlisle Hart, was born Catherine Conn in New Orleans on September 3. I can't tell you what year. Some sources I consulted said 1910. Others said 1914 or 1915. Maybe she doesn't want us to know.

She was born nearsighted, but didn't discover her myopia until she was 8 and her mother took her to see her first movie, a Charlie Chaplin film. She says that her mother considered it improper for children to see movies, and that she only took her to that particular film because their cook had gone mad and tried to kill them all and the house was full of police, and she thought it would be a good distraction.

At some point her family moved to Paris, where she grew up. She had a crush on Rudolph Valentino until she saw him on the street in Paris one day and was very disappointed with the reality. She claims never to have had a crush on a movie star again.

During the Depression, she appeared in several movies, most notably A Night at the Opera (1935, with the Marx Brothers). She claims that she didn't like making movies because she didn't think that she was good at it. However, this didn't keep her from appearing in Radio Days (1987) and Six Degrees of Separation (1993).

She is remembered more for her work on television than in the movies. She was the only panelist to appear on every version of To Tell the Truth from 1956 through 1991. "People learned proper English watching that show," she says, "because we spoke so well, really, we did."

She married playwright Moss Hart in 1946, and they remained married until his death in 1961. They had two children.

Mrs. Hart, as she prefers to be addressed, chaired the New York Council for the Arts for 20 years, from 1976 to 1996.


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