James Baskett was an American actor known for his portrayal of Uncle Remus, singing the song "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" in the 1946 Disney feature film Song of the South. In recognition of his warm portrayal of the famous black storyteller he was given an Academy Honorary Award, making him the first black male performer to receive an Oscar.
On July 9, 1948, Baskett died of heart failure resulting from the diabetes at age 44. He was survived by his wife Margaret and his mother Elizabeth. He is buried at Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis.