At Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles on Saturday, Francesca “Kitten” Natividad, the go-go dancer who became a cult pop culture figure when she was cast by sexploitation film director Russ Meyer in “Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens,” passed away from kidney failure and cancer, according to her friend Siouxzan Perry. She was 74 years old.
“She adored her friends, cats, family, and fans,” her sister Eva said.
Kitten Natividad Cause of Death
Natividad was born in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, but moved to El Paso, Texas, with her family when she was a child, where she eventually became president of her high school class. In California, she worked as Stella Stevens’ cook and maid before switching careers and taking the stage name “Kitten.”
She was introduced to “Faster, Pussycat!” director Russ Meyer by a mutual dancer friend, and Meyer ultimately cast her as the voice of the title character in his 1976 sex comedy, “Up.” She had undergone breast implants in Tijuana prior to Meyer paying for a second procedure, which gave her the oversized breasts that became her defining feature.
Natividad plays a housewife who submits to and inflicts a variety of sexual acts on her husband, a teenage boy, a truck driver, and a nurse in the 1979 satirical sex farce “Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens,” written by Meyer and film critic Roger Ebert.
Natividad and Meyer did not get married, but they were together for about 15 years. In spite of the fact that the rest of her career was predominately spent doing burlesque, nude modeling, and starring in porno films, she maintained a presence in both mainstream and genre media.
R.I.P. Francesca “Kitten” Natividad, legendary Russ Meyer supervixen. pic.twitter.com/XfTMlh0Mkx
— Mike Healy (@shades_below) September 25, 2022
Natividad appeared as a guest star on “The Dating Game” and “The Gong Show,” as well as in the films “My Tutor,” “Airplane II,” “The Wild Life,” “Another 48 Hours,” and “The Double-D Avenger,” in which she co-starred with two other former Meyer stars; and Adam Rifkin’s “A Night at the Golden Eagle.”
The night before his brother Sean Penn married Madonna, Chris Penn, who starred in “The Wild Life,” hired her to perform as an erotic dancer at a party. She later appeared in a music video for Peaches.
In 1999, after a diagnosis of breast cancer, Natividad had a mastectomy.
Her mother, sister Eva, four nephews, and a niece all survive her.
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