This day in Jewish history / August 9
On this day in 1930, American movie audiences were introduced to the cartoon character known as 'Betty Boop.'
On this day in 1930, American movie audiences were introduced to the cartoon character known as “Betty Boop,” whose first role was a bit part as a nightclub singer in the animated film “Dizzy Dishes.”
Though Boop’s ethnic identity is unclear, her creator was the Austrian-born Jewish film producer Max Fleischer (1883-1972), who with his brothers Dave and Lou established Fleischer Studios in 1921.
Fleischer was the first to make an animated film with synchronized sound – in 1926, two years before Walt Disney introduced “Steamboat Willie.”
Fleischer and Paramount prevailed in a lawsuit filed by actress and signer Helen Kane, “the Boop-Oop-a-Doop Girl,” who claimed they had appropriate her appearance and style, the image of Betty Boop was toned down after Hollywood adopted a new production code in 1934: the highly sexualized flapper now became a more modestly dressed career woman. That was the beginning of the end for Betty, whose last feature appearance came in 1939.