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Mae Questel

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Biography

Mae Questel (September 13, 1908 – January 4, 1998) was an American actress and vocal artist.

Mae Questel was the woman behind the voice of Olive Oyl, Casper the Friendly Ghost, Little Audry, Little Lulu, and Betty Boop. Born in the Bronx in 1912,

A competition that was held in the RKO Fordham Theater in order to select a young lady who could most successfully imitate Helen Kane’s whiny neurotic baby talk act, already becoming famous for its tag line, “Boop-boop-be-doop.” The Helen Kane impersonation contest was held immediately after a live Helen Kane performance, which Questel claimed to have watched most carefully. Triumphant and now armed with an RKO vaudeville circuit contract

Personality Singer of Personality Songs” in 1930, impersonating Fanny Brice, Marlene Dietrich, Ruth Etting, Eddie Cantor, Rudy Vallée, and Maurice Chevalier

Helen Kane eventually sued the Fleischer studios for swiping her persona — and lost. Several singers hopped on the Boop bandwagon, including Annette Hanshaw and someone billed only as “the Mystery Girl,Who was known as kathryn/catherine Wright aka Kate wright who was also another voice for Betty Boop” but Mae Questel out-Booped them all with a series of cutesy, Boop-infested records made in the mid-’30s, including “On the Good Ship Lollipop” and “At the Codfish Ball.” These ditsy yet immensely popular million-seller recordings soon put her in direct competition with the prepubescent Shirley Temple. Also in the mid-’30s, Mae Questel came up with voices for the Popeye cartoons; she spoke through both the infantile Swee’ Pea and gangly, elastic Olive Oyl, whose voice she said grew out of her imitation of actress Zasu Pitts.

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