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Singer and actress Kitty Carlisle appeared on stage, film, and the silver screen. An accomplished soprano, Kitty Carlisle won roles on Broadway and in Hollywood musical productions, often making use of opera. She played Prince Orlovsky in Die Fledermaus and was well-known for playing the opera singer opposite the Marx Brothers in A Night at the Opera. During the war years, Kitty was famous at Bond rallies and USO shows for her rendition of the "Star-Spangled Banner." In the 1960s, she was a regular on the television show To Tell the Truth. She counted as friends and colleagues George Gershwin, Sinclair Lewis, Oscar Levant, Bing Crosby, Sylvia Fine, and Danny Kaye. Kitty's career in the arts included political support of the arts, and she continued to sing well into the 1990s.
Kitty Carlisle Hart and Moss Hart at their wedding. New Hope, August 11, 1946. Image courtesy of the Spruance Collection of the Bucks County Historical Society.
Chateau Mont-Choisi, Lausanne, Switzerland
Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London, England
Study with Princess Mestchersk, Paris, France
Study with Dullin, Theatre de l'Atelier, Paris, France
Teachers and Influences:
Influences include Madam Karchowska, Carlisle's singing instructor at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts; Estelle Liebling, singing instructor; Ed Otterbourg, her stage/movie mentor and companion to Kitty's mother; Morris Halpern, singing instructor; her agent Arthur Lyons; and Kitty's husband, Moss Hart, who occasionally acted with her.
Major Theatre Performances
Rio Rita, 1932
Champagne Sec, 1933
White Horse Inn, 1937
Three Waltzes, 1937
French Without Tears, 1938
The Night of January 16th, 1938
A Successful Calamity, 1939
Tonight or Never, 1939
Walk with Music, 1940
The Merry Widow, 1943
Design for Living, 1943
There's Always Juliet, 1944
The Man Who Came To Dinner, 1946
Tonight or Never, 1948
The Rape of Lucretia, 1948
Anniversary Waltz, 1954
Kiss Me Kate, 1956
The Marriage-Go-Round, 1965
Die Fledermaus, 1966, 1967
Light Up The Sky, 1970-71, 1972
Daughter of the Regiment, 1973
Don't Frighten the Horses, 1973
You Never Know, 1975
Murder at the Vanities, 1934
She Loves Me Not, 1934
Here Is My Heart, 1934
A Night at the Opera, with the Marx Brothers, 1935
Major Television Performances
To Tell the Truth, panelist
Awards and Appointments
Chairman, Governor Rockefeller's Conference on Women, May 1966
Vice-Chairman, New York State Council for the Arts, 1976-1981
Chairman, New York State Council for the Arts, 1981-1986, 1986-1991, 1991-1996
Visiting Committee of the Board of Overseers for the Visual and Performing Arts, Music Department
Associate Fellow, Yale University
Degree (honorary), Amherst University
Connection to Bucks County:
Kitty Carlisle first came to Bucks County during the 1930s to do productions at the Bucks County Playhouse. She married playwright/director Moss Hart in 1946 in New Hope. Kitty and Moss acted at the Bucks County Playhouse opposite each other in George S. Kaufman's The Man Who Came to Dinner, as part of their honeymoon in New Hope. They lived on Fairview Farm on Aquetong Road at Route 202 until 1954.
Colleagues and Affiliations:
Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman were colleagues, co-writing many popular plays. Another Bucks County friend and colleague was Jerry Chodorov. Kitty acted in his play Anniversary Waltz. Kitty and daughter Cathy acted in the production Don't Frighten the Horses, written for them by Harold J. Kennedy for summer stock theater at the Bucks County Playhouse.
Kitty Carlisle Hart and Moss Hart at their home. Fairview Farm, Bucks County. Image courtesy of Kitty Carlisle Hart.
Kitty Carlisle Hart
and Moss Hart
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