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BETTY BOOP - HER LIFE

Betty Boop was created in the early 1930's as a dog (!), adored by another dog character named Bimbo, in the cartoon series produced by Dave & Max Fleischer.   It didn't take long for Betty to surpass Bimbo in popularity and become the main character, to be adored by Bimbo!   As Betty's popularity grew, she went through a transformation, losing her most of her dog characteristics.  Her dog ears were the last feature to be transformed, becoming earrings.  Before long she became the cute, flirtatious character that Betty Boop fans love. 

Her body was modelled on that of Mae West, with Mae Questal voicing-over for Betty.   There were more than 100 Betty Boop cartoons produced, including, "Betty Boop for President" (1932), "Bamboo Isle" (1932), and "Riding the Rails" (1938), which received an Oscar nomination (see Links page).  Some of the characters in her cartoons are Grampy, the eccentric inventor who, after putting on his thinking cap, seems to be able to solve any problem;  Koko the clown, although he usually appeared as an "extra";  and Pudgy, Betty's little dog. 

Betty's popularity began to decline after her creators were forced to 'clean up' her image under the Hays Code.  Gone were the short little skirts with her garter showing.  Her hemline moved down to her knees, and her character took on a more conservative persona.  Since it was the cute and sexy characteristics that made Betty popular, eliminating them meant the beginning of the end of Betty's popularity.  During her prime, it was not uncommon to see big name musical guests making appearances in her cartoons.   In the 1930's, Betty Boop dolls, toys and other collectibles were made.   Her popularity declined for several decades but happily, in the 1980's, she became popular again and today there are many Betty Boop products available (see my Links page). Perhaps 'Dame' status might be in order?  Nooo, I don't think it would suit her, she is far too sexy!

 

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