Eartha Kitt was born on a cotton plantation of an African-American mother and a white father. She began singing as a member of the Katherine Dunham Company from 1943 to 1948 and soon released successful hits such as Let's Do It, C'est Si Bon and Santa Baby while she appeared in Orson Welles' Time Runs, in 1950. During the 1960s, she appeared as Catwoman in the Batman television series and in I Spy, in 1965. One of the 1950s most recognised African-American sex symbols – called 'the most exciting woman alive' by Orson Welles, the feline Eartha Kitt with her erotic sweet purring voice inspired numerous singers such as Diana Ross, Janet Jackson and Madonna. Therefore 'that bad Eartha' with the suggestive manner in which she sang, was a self-professed sex-kitten and called herself 'the original Material Girl': she all did it first.