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Eartha Mae Kitt (January 17, 1927 – December 25, 2008) was an American actress, singer, cabaret star, dancer, stand-up comedienne, activist and voice artist, known for her highly distinctive singing style and her 1953 recordings of "C'est Si Bon" and the enduring Christmas novelty smash "Santa Baby", which were both US Top 10 hits. Orson Welles once called her the "most exciting woman in the world".
Kitt began her career in 1943 with the Katherine Dunham Company and appeared in the 1945 original Broadway production of the musical Carib Song. In the early 1950s, she had six US Top 30 hits, including "Uska Dara" and "I Want to be Evil". Her other notable recordings include the UK Top 10 hit "Under the Bridges of Paris" (1954), "Just an Old Fashioned Girl" (1963) and "Where Is My Man" (1983). She took over the role of Catwoman in 1967 for the third and final season of the Batman television series, replacing Julie Newmar. In 1968, her career in America suffered after she made anti-war statements at a White House luncheon. Ten years later, she made a successful return to Broadway in the 1978 original production of the musicalTimbuktu!, for which she received the first of her two Tony Award nominations. Her second was for the 2000 original production of the musical The Wild Party.