In the early days of animation, Olive Oyl and Betty Boop were two of the most popular characters in existence. Instantly recognizable not just for their appearance, but their unusual voices. Or should I say, their unusual voice. A few different women played each character, but Mae Questel played both cartoon heroines.
Check out Mae Questel as Olive Oyl in the pilot episode of Popeye the Sailor (1933), and as Betty Boop in Baby be Good (1935).
After that, is an appearance Ms. Questel made on a talk show in 1978, at the age of 70. She talks about her career in vaudeville, and being the voice of Betty Boop and Olive Oyl and even does a little impromptu singing. I’m absolutely astounded by her voice!
As Olive Oyl:
As Betty Boop:
And here’s that incredible voice, undiminished, all those years later:
2 thoughts on “Boop Boop be Doop, the Amazing Voice of Mae Questel”
I had forgotten that Mae was the voice of both cartoon heroines. What a blessing we had in her. I do remember her doing tv ads later in the 70s and/or 80s for Scot Towels as shown in the clip. I couldn’t lay money on it, but I used to watch the Mike Douglas show in the 70’s about this time, and I really think I saw it at the time! It’s interesting to me that an all too new profession in the early 1900s produced instant classic forms for all media thereafter.
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That is so awesome you knew who she was! I’d never heard of her before. She had a wonderful voice!