The singer, actress, dancer and cabaret star passed away in Connecticut yesterday, her publicist confirmed.
Kitt, who was born on a cotton plantation in South Carolina in 1927, started her career as a dancer, but became best known for her sultry singing voice and seductive stage persona.
She released her first album in 1953 and went on to score hits with 'Let's Do It', 'Under The Bridges of Paris' and the festive favourite 'Santa Baby'.
Her most recent Top 40 hit came in 1989, when she released 'Cha Cha Heels', a collaboration with British synth-pop group Bronski Beat.
She also enjoyed success as an actress, appearing as Catwoman in the 1960s Batman TV series.
Kitt was first treated for cancer two years ago, but the disease recurred after a period of remission.
"She came back strongly. She had been performing until two months ago," her publicist Andrew Freedman told Reuters. "We had dates booked through 2009."
Kitt is survived by her daughter and manager Kitt Shapiro, who was by her side when she died.