Betty Boop (1930s)
Betty Boop is an animated cartoon character created by Max Fleischer and other animators, namely Crim Natwick. She originally appeared in August 1930 in the cartoon Dizzy Dishes, the sixth episode of Fleischer’s Talkartoon series. Also, originally, she was drawn to look like an anthropomorphic French poodle. She was finalized as a human character in 1932 and remains looking like a caricature of singer Helen Kane. Betty was usually entitled Nancy Lee or Nan McGrew (derived from Kane’s 1930 film Dangerous Nan McGrew). It wasn’t until 1931’s Betty Co-Ed that the name Betty was actually applied to her. (This was her first starring role.)
Boop is regarded as one of the first and most famous animated sex symbols, was a symbol of the Depression era and serves as a reminder of the carefree Jazz Age flapper days.
In May 1932, Kane filed a $250,000 infringement lawsuit against Max Fleischer and Paramount for exploiting her image. She lost the case.
Though Boop’s appearances were mainly in the 30s, she continued to be a favorite of many. You can find Boop’s face and her figure everywhere! A Boop feature film was to appear in 1993, but was scrapped after Alan Ladd Jr. and was replaced by Franch Mancuso as head of MGM.