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Mae Questel

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Mae Questel
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Mae Questel

Mae Questel

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Mae Questel (pronounced "ques-TELL"; September 13, 1908–January 4, 1998) was an American actress and vocal artist best known for providing the voices for the animated characters, Betty Boop & Olive Oyl. At the age of 17 Mae Questel won a Helen Kane look & sound alike contest held at the RKO Fordham Theatre in the Bronx where she sung He's So Unusual. Helen Kane autographed a photo to Mae that said, "To Another Helen Kane/Another Me". Mae was seen by Max Fleischer who was looking for someone to provide the voice for his character Betty Boop, she was also asked to portray Betty Boop in person, after a Betty Boop cartoon was shown to the audience she would jump through a paper heart dressed as Betty Boop.

Recordings

  • That's My Weakness Now (In the Betty Boop cartoon, "Stopping the Show" Mae Questel performs this song as Betty Boop.
  • Aint'cha (In the Betty Boop cartoon, "The Betty Boop Limited" Mae Questel performs this song as Betty Boop and also performed this live on radio in the 1930s.
  • Button Up Your Overcoat. (Mae Questel would perform this song live several times, it is indicated that Mae performed this song in a Helen Kane look and sing a-like contest.

Trivia

  • During the $250000 Infringement lawsuit Mae testified against Helen Kane, saying that Betty Boop & her voice was not a caricature of Helen Kane & that Helen allowed the use of impersonations.
  • Mae Questel was also hired as a Helen Kane look-a-like.
  • Mae plays the role of Betty Boop live in Musical Justice.
  • Mae Questel plays the role of Helen Kane on radio in Woody Allens film Zelig and performs a false knock-off called Chameleon Days (which is the only time Mae admits that her Betty Boop voice was a impersonation of Helen Kane.)
  • Mae Questel was known as "The Betty Boop Girl" & "The Personality Girl".
  • During the 30s Mae Questel recorded many records, enitled "Mae Questel the Betty Boop Girl" most were Shirley temple knock-offs recorded as Betty Boop.
  • Mae Questel was Jewish, like the character she voiced, Betty Boop.
  • Mae Questel is the best-known voice actress for the character Betty Boop, even though the character was voiced by several women.

Gallery

Death

  • Mae Questel died in 1998 from complications related to Alzhimer's disease at the age of 89 in New York City. She was buried in West Babylon, New York's New Montefiore Cemetery. She had two sons, Robert Balkin, who pre-deceased her, and Richard, who survived her.

See Also

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