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,” died Saturday of kidney failure after suffering from cancer at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, according to her friend Siouxzan Perry. She was 74.
“She adored her friends, cats, family and fans,” her sister Eva wrote in a statement on Facebook posted by Perry.
Born in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Natividad moved to Texas as a child, where she became class president of her high school in El Paso. After moving to California, she became a cook and maid for actress Stella Stevens before becoming a go-go dancer and adopting the name “Kitten.” She met “Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!” director Meyer through a dancer friend, and he hired her to narrate his 1976 sex comedy “Up.” She had already had breast implant surgery in Tijuana when Meyer paid for a second surgery, giving her the outsized proportions that would become her calling card….
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