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Eartha Kitt was a fascinating woman with an equally fascinating story. Born in 1927, Eartha Kitt was the product of a rape between a Cherokee woman and German-Dutch man. As a young girl Eartha went to live with an aunt, who she believed was her biological mother, in South Carolina until she was eight years old. When her aunt got married, her new husband did not like the fact that Eartha was too light complected. So she moved to Harlem to live with her biological mother, although she didn’t know it at the time.

From there, Eartha started performing in Harlem and went on to become a singer, actress and a cabaret star. Spending a good portion of her career in Europe, Eartha spoke four languages and sang in seven. Always reemerging at different points in her career, Orson Welles called her “the most exciting woman in the world.” While there’s no way we can prove that, Eartha definitely was an exciting woman. If you need any proof, check out the pictures of the starlet throughout the course of her lifetime.

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