A long way from her first acting role as a bleating sheep in an elementary school Christmas pageant, the Hawaiian-born Australian import Nicole Kidman is considered one of Hollywood’s finest actresses after getting her first American break opposite Sam Neill in Dead Calm. She went on to appear in such films as Days of Thunder, and Billy Bathgate. Ms. Kidman required a little time off after breaking a rib while filming Moulin Rouge, had to wear a corset for The Portrait of a lady, and taught herself to write right-handed for her role as Virginia Woolf in The Hours. She’s also played opposite four leading men who’ve played Batman in movies and once plucked a scorpion from Hugh Jackman’s leg, claiming “that one didn’t belong in Hugh’s bags”. Incidentally, though spiders and snakes don’t bother her a bit, she is frightened by butterflies. This and more is surely the reason she was proclaimed “Most Intriguing” by People Weekly in 1995, though she’s indeed one of the most private celebrities. When she’s not busy filming—or recovery from an injury—Ms. Kidman can be found relaxing on a Tennessee farm she shares with her husband Keith Urban, where they’re raising two kids and a herd of Alpacas, for “their gentle natures”.
Easily one of the cutest members of the Camelidae family, Alpacas also bear some of the silkiest fibers found in nature. Warmer than sheep’s wool, but not itchy, their fleece is hypoallergenic, flame-retardant, water-resistant and comes in a rainbow of hues, including white, light rose/grey, dark fawn and other blends, thus reducing the need for pollution-intensive dying. Alpacas are considered somewhat house-trainable as by nature, they use a common ‘bathroom’, and among other endearing traits is that they hum! Whether content or curious, distressed or cautious, they emit a musical purring sound that is generally described as humming. ∞
Well known for her recordings of “Santa Baby” in the 50’s and 60’s, Orson Wells once called her “a most exciting woman” as Eartha Kitt indisputably embodied the feline persona throughout a career that seemed determined to encage her. When she sang, she purred, when scorned, she hissed. And when displeased, sometimes she scratched. Yet through it all, she managed to leave a warm place where the Cat remains curled in our hearts when she died at her home in Connecticut on (ironically) Christmas Day of 2008.
Would you keep a herd of Alpacas? What do you remember most about Eartha Kitt?