Lenny Bruce's Daughter Only Realized the Scope of His Fame Years after His Death
Kitty Bruce was only a child when her father died. She is the only daughter of the late pioneering comedian Lenny Bruce. Her grandmother had protected her from her father's career, but she later followed in his footsteps before opening a rehabilitation foundation in his honor.
Although Lenny Bruce's work sometimes landed him on the wrong side of the law, the late comedian was praised for carving an enduring new path in 20th-century entertainment and comedy.
He died tragically in 1966, leaving behind his only child and daughter, Kitty Bruce. Kitty drew her first breath in Miami, Florida, on November 7, 1955, born to Lenny and Honey Harlow. Her father struggled with substance abuse, and she, too, would later be sucked into that world.
Kitty Bruce on the Scope of Her Father's Impact
Kitty, full name Brandy Kathleen Bruce, was 11 when her father passed. She lived with Lenny in Hollywood Hills following his and her mother's divorce, which resulted in him winning custody of her. Kitty knew little of Lenny's work or fame at the time.
The most she came to know was through schoolmates who'd bring newspapers plastered with headlines about her dad. She said her grandmother "sheltered" her from her dad's career, and it would be years before she understood how far-stretching his impact was.
"It sounds so strange, but I never realized how many people he affected, and how many people knew about him, and how many people were fans of him. To me, he was my father," she reflected.
Kitty Bruce's Brief Drug Addiction
Kitty knew about her father's substance abuse; she suffered the same fate in the 1980s when she moved to North East Pennsylvania. "In my own experience in that world — I lived in an addictive world — I'm a clean and sober woman today, and a productive woman," she shared in 2009.
After experiencing addiction firsthand, she wanted to honor her father's memory. That year, she was working on establishing Lenny's House, a rehabilitation center for women battling alcohol and drug addiction.
Kitty Bruce's Hollywood Stint and Dedication to Charity
Although Kitty initially spoke about naming her non-profit Lenny's House, it seems she took a slightly different direction. According to IMDb, she is the CEO and founder of The Lenny Bruce Memorial Foundation.
The organization "helps those in early recovery from alcohol and drug addiction" and "provides scholarships for those in need of treatment and sober living." Additionally, it appears to be primarily based in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.
Kitty also supports other charities, promoting fundraisers for the Wounded Warrior Project and No Kid Hungry on her Facebook page. She also has an X (formerly Twitter) account; however, she has shared little about her personal life on the platforms.
Regarding her stint in Hollywood entertainment, Kitty's first onscreen appearance was in the 1975 film, "Switchblade Sisters." Two years later, she starred as Karla in the comedy horror, "Bad." Kitty was also in her father's 1998 documentary, "Lenny Bruce: Swear to Tell the Truth."
Robert De Niro narrated the Oscar-nominated film. Previously, Kitty was an additional crew member in a dramatized version of her father's life in 1974's "Lenny," starring Dustin Hoffman. She also tried her hand at singing, opening for artists like Diana Ross and George Carlin.