After making a name for herself as a beloved singer, songwriter, and actress, Kathy Kirby had a net worth that reflects her success. So, if you’re ready, let’s get right to the point and learn more about Kathy Kirby’s net worth, career, earnings, and other accomplishments. Kathy Kirby, also known as Catherine Ethel O’Rourke, was an English vocalist who was supposedly the highest-paid female singer of her generation when she was born on October 20, 1938. She is best known for her cover of Doris Day’s “Secret Love” and for representing the country UK in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1965, where she placed second.
Her fame peaked in the 1960s when she was one of the most well-known and well-recognized figures in British entertainment. Kirby was the eldest of three children born to Irish parents in Ilford, Essex, which eventually became part of Greater London. Her mother, Eileen, raised them alone after their father abandoned them when they were little. Kirby was raised in Ilford’s Tomswood Hill neighborhood and went to the Ursuline Convent School, where she performed in the choir.
Kathy Kirby’s Net Worth
At the time of her death, Kirby had a net worth of $6 million dollars. Kirby’s vocal aptitude was evident early in life, and she began taking singing lessons in order to pursue a career as an opera singer. After meeting bandleader Bert Ambrose at the Ilford Palais in the year 1956, she decided to pursue a career as a professional vocalist. She stayed three years with Ambrose’s band, and he remained her manager, lover, and mentor until his death on stage in Leeds in the year 1971. The superstar performed at the Florida Park Restaurant in Madrid during the summer of 1957, and upon his return to the UK, he not only performed with Ambrose’s orchestra but also with Nat Allen and his band.
Kirby joined the Denny Boyce Band in 1959, which featured vocalists Tony Mansell and Rikki Henderson and performed regularly at London’s Lyceum Ballroom. She had her solo cabaret debut at the Astor Club in the summer of 1959, and she also starred in the 1959 film The Shakedown, in which she performed the popular theme song in a nightclub scene, which was also used throughout the closing credits. She later signed with Pye Records in 1960 and released two songs for the label: “Love Can Be” and “Now You’re Crying.” They only sold a few copies, but they did help her land a six-month gig at Mayfair’s Blue Angel nightclub. She was compared to Marilyn Monroe and acquired a “blonde bombshell” style.
Kathy Kirby’s Post -Retirement Life
After her retirement, she did not perform in public, but interest in Kirby and her work grew, particularly among gay men, for whom she was something of an icon. She recorded short welcomes for her official website in the last decade. In 2005, a biography was released, and in 2008, Graham Smith wrote and produced Secret Love, a theatrical piece about her life. For the 2012 Haworth Festival, Smith rewrote the show and renamed it Dance On: The Kathy Kirby Story.
In 2008, the Daily Express stated that plans for a newly filmed interview had been shelved, but further sources indicated that the interview had been taped, and it was later included on a DVD compilation published the following year. Kathy also gave an interview to the Express in 2009, which was claimed as her first in 26 years and included recent images.
Kathy Kirby’s Personal Life
Kirby crossed paths with bandleader Bert Ambrose in her teens and began a relationship with him that lasted until his death in 1971, despite the fact that he was 42 years older and had an estranged wife at the time. She admitted to having an affair with Bruce Forsyth during this time in a 2009 interview. In the 1970s, Kirby married Frederick Pye, a writer and former London police officer. She was transferred to St Luke’s psychiatric institution in London in 1979 after her bankruptcy in the year 1975 and a court case following an arrest for an unpaid hotel bill.
She moved in with a female fan, Laraine McKay, after her discharge and stated that they planned to marry. McKay was sentenced to prison for forgery and fraud. Kirby had romances with singer David Cross and lawyer Alan Porter in the early 1980s. Kirby was diagnosed with schizophrenia and spent much of her life in poor physical and mental health. She resided in a variety of residences and hotels in west London after retiring, eventually living in Emperor’s Gate, South Kensington, and subsisting on state benefits and royalties.
Kathy Kirby’s Death
Kathy Kirby, widely known for her 1963 cover of Secret Love, died at the age of 72. Kirby passed away on May 19, 2011, just days after relocating to Brinsworth House. She had a heart attack, according to a message posted on a fan website by a relative. She’ll also be recognized for performing I Belong as the UK’s entry in the Eurovision Song Contest, finishing second to Luxembourg.
Kirby had two top ten hits and three other top 40 singles over her career. Her family released a statement saying the actress died after a brief illness. “Kirby will be deeply missed by her family and many friends who have stood by her side throughout the years,” according to the statement. The singer, who lived in west London, last appeared on TV in the early 1980s after mostly disappearing from the public eye.