Eartha Mae Kitt (January 17, 1927 – December 25, 2008) was an American singer, actress, dancer and cabaret star. She was perhaps best known for her highly distinctive singing style and her 1953 hit recordings of "C'est Si Bon" and the enduring Christmas novelty smash "Santa Baby". Orson Welles once called her the "most exciting woman in the world". She took over the role of Catwoman for the third and final season of the 1960s Batman television series, replacing Julie Newmar, who was unavailable due to other commitments. She also voiced Yzma on Disney's The Emperor's New Groove and its television spinoff, The Emperor's New School, earning five Emmy Awards in the process, the last shortly before her death.
Kitt was born Eartha Mae Keith on a cotton plantation in North, a small town in Orangeburg County near Columbia, South Carolina.