Facts about Betty Boop

Betty Boop is 86 years old
Born: August 8, 1930
Birthplace: The Movies
Best known as: The coy and sexy cartoon dame from the 1930s

     

Betty Boop Biography

Betty Boop is the enduring cartoon cutie first developed by Max Fleischer for Paramount Studio’s Talkartoons cartoon series.

Oddly, Betty Boop began life as a dog; she was briefly sketched as a caricature of a French poodle. But by 1930 she had evolved into a coy flapper whose innocent skirt-lifting and trademark line “boop-boop-a-doop” were suggestive of more than just singing and dancing. Betty Boop made her debut on August 8, 1930 in “Dizzy Dishes,” the sixth installment of the Talkartoon series. Boop was a big hit right away, and starred in over 100 cartoons from 1931 to 1939.

Betty Boop’s curious look — oversized squarish head, curls, and enormous eyes with a few long lashes — is said to have been based on singer and actress Helen Kane, who also used the “boop-boop-a-doop” line in her 1928 rendition of “I Want to Be Loved By You.” Betty Boop’s design was altered several times in response to critics of her hubba-hubba look, and over the years she became increasingly less saucy (and less popular).

A Betty Boop renaissance in the 1990s put her smiling image onto everything from jewelry to slot machines, and Betty Boop has continued to have strong merchandising power well into the 21st century.

Extra credit

Mae Questal, the voice of Olive Oyl in the Popeye cartoon series, also did Betty’s.