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Betty Boop ACTOR


Betty Boop is probably the most famous and beloved female cartoon character in the world. She has been featured in comic strips and films for more than seventy years, and even has numerous lines of mass merchandise. While she is merely an animation, Betty is regarded as one of the first and most memorable sex symbols.

Boop's existence was made possible by the renowned animator Grim Natwick, who designed her based on two people: Helen Kane, a popular singer of the 1920's with a similar style to Betty Boop's, and Clara Bow, a well-known actress of the 1920's whose Brooklyn accent Betty trademarked. Boop was voiced by Margie Hines, Kate Wright, Ann Rothschild, Bonnie Poe, and most notably Mae Questel, who played the cartoon from 1931 until the end of Betty’s series. Currently, the caricature is voiced by Tress MacNeille and Tara Strong in commercials.

Comically, Betty was first drawn up as a flirtatious singing poodle and made her debut as so in the Max Fleischer short “Dizzy Dishes” (part of the “Talkatoons” series) on August 9, 1930. However, In 1932 her look was redesigned by Berny Wolf, Seymour Kneitel, Roland Crandall, and Willard Bowsky; her dangly pooch ears became big hoop earrings, and her black doggy snout became a lady-like button nose. She was firstly entirely human in the cartoon “Any Rags”. Boop was present in ten cartoons in supporting roles as a beautiful but brainless flapper girl before the start of her own show.  In individual cartoons she was referred to as “Nan McGrew” and “Nancy Lee”.

In 1932, the “Talkatoons” series became the “Betty Boop” series, which was released by Paramount Pictures. After this point, she was known as “The Queen of the Animated Screen”. Due to the immense fan following, Betty Boop merchandise swept the nation. The show was very popular throughout the 1930’s, but ended in 1939. Her very first episode was called “Stopping the Show”. In the series, Betty was accompanied by her boyfriend, Bimbo, a dog from the “Talkatoons” series. Unfortunately, in 1933 Bimbo was terminated from the show due to the Production Code censorship laws claiming that the show suggested there was bestiality.  
Another problem that occurred was a $250,000 lawsuit filed by Helen Kane against Max Fleischer and Paramount Publix Corporation in 1932. The suit was based off of the claim that Kane’s trademarks image, singing and dancing style, and catchprahse “boop-oop-a-doop” were stolen from her and given to Betty Boop. Also, since Kane had a contract with Paramount Pictures, too, she argued that the “deliberate caricature” had created “unfair competition” for her since her career had started going downhill by 1931. However, it was proven that other singers had used the phrase “boop-oop-a-doop” before and Betty bore resemblances to some other women of that era. Kane, of course, lost the suit.

Betty did not always have such a womanly figure, for she did not develop her characteristic looks until Max Fleischer’s brother, Dave, revised her in 1932. She was the first cartoon to totally embody a sexual woman, and was well equipped with short dresses and a garter belt. Boop also exposed cleavage and in some of her shorts, other characters attempted to sneak a peek at her while she was changing. In fact, in “Betty Boop's Bamboo Isle” (1932), she performs the hula dance topless with only a hula skirt and lei, which was actually repeated in a cameo on the very first episode of “Popeye” (1933). Nonetheless, the show’s producer attempted to keep her “pure” (she was only supposed to be sixteen). In “Chess-nuts” (1932) her virginity is nearly taken by the Black King, but she rejects him and is rescued by Bimbo. She even exclaims when she is threatened by a scandalous ringmaster in the film “Boop-Oop-A-Doop” (1932) that “He couldn’t take my boop-oop-a-doop away!”

Sadly, in 1933 the short “Boilesque” was banned, due to its risqué nature, in Philadelphia. Following, in 1934, the National Legion of Decency and the Production Code placed more extensive restrictions on Motion Picture content, and “Betty Boop” was greatly affected. Consequently, in 1934 the character’s whole person was changed from a carefree flapper to a husbandless housewife who wore long skirts and a high neckline. A little puppy name Pudgy was additionally introduced starting with the episode “Little Pal” (1934) to make the show more pleasing to youthful audiences. However, the producers struggled to keep Betty’s cartoon appealing and so they paired her up with some popular comic strip characters. These film attempts didn’t pan out too well, but one coupling did send Popeye into the limelight. Additionally, in 1934 up until 1937, the cartoon was featured in its own syndicated comic strip called Betty Boop. Another strip was created from 1984 to 1987 titled Betty Boop and Friends. Disappointingly, Betty Boop's on screen career came to a temporary hiatus in 1939, though she would be back.

Betty’s films would reach out to the world once again in the 1950's when they were played on television by U.M.& M. T.V. Corp. and soon after, National Telefilm Associates (NTA). In the 1960's, she was put into the light again during the counterculture movement. NTA took this opportunity to add color to Betty’s black and white shows and re-air them. In 1974, Ivy Films put together a movie of some of the better “Betty Boop” shorts called “The Betty Boop Scandals of 1974”, although it didn’t do too well. NTA also released a compilation titled “Hurray for Betty Boop” (1980). Marketers in the 1980's rediscovered this sex symbol as well, for they produced loads of merchandise of Betty in her earlier, sexier form, plenty of which is still available today. The cartoon made another cameo appearance in 1988. It was in the Academy Award winning film “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”. Betty additionally starred in two television specials, “The Romance of Betty Boop” (1985) and her final production, “Betty Boop’s Hollywood Mystery” (1989).

“Betty Boop” has exchanged hands over the years, but home video rights currently belong to Lions Gate Home Entertainment and television rights are owned by Trifecta. The Betty Boop character and trademark are still under Fleischer Studio, and merchandising is licensed to King Features Syndicate.

While her films are now over, Boop still holds a place in many peoples’ hearts. In fact, in 1994 the cartoon “Snow White” (1933) was held for preservation in the U.S. Library of Congress in the National Film Registry. She is in addition referenced in multiple comic strips and animated features. In 1995, an eight-volume set “Betty Boop: The Definitive Collection” was released. In 2010, she became the official fantasy cheerleader for the United Football League. Betty even has a musical for the 2010-2011 season on Broadway. Up to date, Betty Boop is the highest selling female cartoon character in merchandise, and has been since the 1930's.

1989              Betty Boop's Hollywood Mystery

1988              Who Framed Roger Rabbit 

1985              The Romance of Betty Boop 

1939              Rhythm on the Reservation 

1939              The Scared Crows 

1939              Musical Mountaineers 

1939              So Does an Automobile 

1939              My Friend the Monkey

1938              Thrills and Chills 

1938              On with the New 

1938              Sally Swing 

1938              Buzzy Boop at the Concert

1938              Buzzy Boop 

1938              Pudgy and the Lost Kitten 

1938              Out of the Inkwell 

1938              Honest Love and True 

1938              Be Up to Date 

1938              Riding the Rails 

1937              Zula Hula

1937              The Foxy Hunter

1937              The New Deal Show

1937              Service with a Smile

1937              The Candid Candidate 

1937              Ding Dong Doggie 

1937              The Impractical Joker

1937              The Hot Air Salesman 

1937              Whoops! I'm a Cowboy

1937              House Cleaning Blues

1936              Making Friends 

1936              Be Human 

1936              Grampy's Indoor Outing 

1936              Happy You and Merry Me 

1936              You're Not Built That Way

1936              More Pep 

1936              A Song a Day

1936              We Did It

1936              Betty Boop and Little Jimmy 

1936              Not Now

1936              Betty Boop and the Little King 

1936              Little Nobody 

1936              Betty Boop with Henry the Funniest Living American

1936              Making Stars 

1936              Judge for a Day 

1936              Betty Boop and Grampy

1936              A Language All My Own

1936              A Little Soap and Water 

1936              No! No! A Thousand Times No!! 

1936              Swat the Fly 

1935              Stop That Noise 

1935              Taking the Blame 

1935              Baby Be Good 

1934              When My Ship Comes In 

1934              Keep in Style 

1934              Betty Boop's Prize Show

1934              There's Something About a Soldier

1934              Poor Cinderella 

1934              Betty Boop's Life Guard 

1934              Betty Boop's Trial 

1934              Betty Boop's Rise to Fame 

1934              Betty in Blunderland

1934              Ha! Ha! Ha! 

1934              Red Hot Mamma 

1934              She Wronged Him Right 

1933              Parade of the Wooden Soldiers 

1933              Betty Boop's Halloween Party 

1933              Morning, Noon and Night 

1933              I Heard 

1933              The Old Man of the Mountain 

1933              Mother Goose Land 

1933              Betty Boop's Big Boss 

1933              Betty Boop's May Party 

1933              Betty Boop's Birthday Party 

1933              Snow-White 

1933              Hollywood on Parade No. A-8 

1933              Betty Boop's Penthouse 

1933              Is My Palm Read 

1933              Betty Boop's Crazy Inventions 

1933              Betty Boop's Ker-Choo 

1932              Betty Boop's Museum 

1932              I'll Be Glad When You're Dead You Rascal You 

1932              Betty Boop for President 

1932              Romantic Melodies 

1932              Betty Boop's Ups and Downs

1932              Betty Boop's Bamboo Isle 

1932              Just a Gigolo 

1932              Betty Boop, M.D. 

1932              Betty Boop's Bizzy Bee 

1932              Stopping the Show 

1932              Rudy Vallee Melodies 

1932              The Betty Boop Limited 

1932              Admission Free 

1932              Let Me Call You Sweetheart 

1932              A Hunting We Will Go 

1932              Oh! How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning 

1932              Chess-Nuts 

1932              The Dancing Fool 

1932              Just One More Chance 

1932              Crazy Town 

1932              S.O.S. 

1932              Minnie the Moocher 

1932              Wait Till the Sun Shines, Nellie 

1932              Boop-Oop-A-Doop 

1932              Any Rags 

1931              Musical Justice 

1931              Dizzy Red Riding Hood 

1931              Jack and the Beanstalk 

1931              Mask-A-Raid 

1931              Kitty from Kansas City 

1931              Minding the Baby 

1931              Bimbo's Express 

1931              Bimbo's Initiation 

1931              Silly Scandals 

1930              Mysterious Mose 

1930              Barnacle Bill 

1930              Dizzy Dishes 

A Language All My Own

A Little Soap and Water

A Song a Day

Baby Be Good

Betty Boop and Grampy

Betty Boop and Little Jimmy

Betty Boop and the Little King

Betty Boop in Blunderland

Betty Boop With Henry

Betty Boop, Buzzy Boop

Betty Boop's Crazy Inventions

Betty Boop's Ker-Choo

Betty Boop's Rise to Fame

Ding Dong Doggie

Grampy Be Human

Grampy Takes a Bow-Wow

Grampy, the Impractical Joker

Grampy's Indoor Outing

Happy You and Merry Me

House Cleaning Blues

Is My Palm Red

Judge For a Day

Little Nobody

Making Friends

Making Stars

More Pep

Musical Mountaineers

My Friend the Monkey

No, No, A Thousand Times No!

Not Now

On With the New

Poor Cinderella

Pudgy and the Lost Kitten

Pudgy Picks a Fight

Rhythm on the Reservation

So Does an Automobile

Stop That Noise

Swat the Fly

Taking the Blame

The Candid Candidate

The Funniest Living American

The Hot Air Salesman

The Scared Crows

Training Pigeons

We Did It

Whoops! I'm a Cowboy

You're Not Built That Way

Cab Calloway / Minnie the Moocher featuring Betty Boop

Ha! Ha! Ha! 

Matinee Classics - Betty Boop Cartoons
Matinee Classics - Betty Boop Cartoons
Matinee Classics - Betty Boop Cartoons
Matinee Classics - Betty Boop Cartoons
Matinee Classics - Betty Boop Cartoons
Matinee Classics - Betty Boop Cartoons
Matinee Classics - Betty Boop Cartoons
Matinee Classics - Cartoons - Talkartoons by Max Fleischer

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