|Classic Betty Boop Sketch|
|Max Fleischer with his creation.|
In 1932, jazz singer Cab Calloway performed in the famous film short "Minnie the Moocher" singing that evocation song while the video blended into a Betty Boop animation which defined her character and made her a star. This musical short was one of the original music videos and the song became Calloway's signature theme song for subsequent stage appearances.
As Betty's popularity progressed, many of her early cartoons found her fighting off predatory men trying to compromise her virtue, making some modern American women view Betty as a feminist icon against sexual harassment. By 1934, the Hayes Production Code forced animators to tame the Boop character by making her a ambitious career girl trying to make it in the big city. She began wearing appropriate business attire and less jewelry. The newer cartoons lost their edge and their popularity--the last of the original cartoons was made in 1939. The Betty Boop series gained a new audience when her cartoons were released for television making Betty an American cartoon superstar.
Six different actresses portrayed the voice of Betty Boop. Two of them--Margie Hines and Mae Quistal were also the voice of Olive Oyl in the Popeye cartoons of the same era.
Although the series ended in 1939, Betty's character appeared in two television specials in the 1980s, and she made a cameo appearance in the feature movie Who Shot Roger Rabbit? in 1988. Her image is still popular worldwide and has become a merchandising goldmine for King Features Syndicate.
Link to "Minnie the Moocher"