Bonnie Poe
Bonnie poe1


Bonnie Poe, Crazy Poe, Izzy

Bonnie Poe was a New Yorker who voiced the animated character Betty Boop starting from 1933 at the age of 18. By 1935, she was 20 years old and had finished with the Betty Boop series and moved to NBC radio. Poe started doing Betty's voice on the Betty Boop Fables radio show on NBC. Her Betty Boop voice was a impersonation of 1920s singer and actress Helen Kane. Bonnie Poe's first role in the Fleischer cartoons can be heard in the 1933 Screen Song Boilesk as a flapper using the same voice she used for Betty Boop, alongside Billy Costello. Poe did the inital voice for Olive Oyl, but was later replaced by Mae Questel.  Poe continued to do the voice for Betty Boop from 1934 to 1935. She later provided Betty's voice in two 1938 shorts when Questel was unavailable, and was subsequently replaced by Kate Wright and Margie Hines. Bonnie Poe can also be heard in a majority of the Fleischer Studios cartoons from 1933-1938, including the Color Classics releases.

$250,000 Lawsuit


Bonnie Poe served as defense in the Helen Kane lawsuit against Betty Boop.  It was stated that Margie Hines, Mae Questel and Poe were as much Boop-Oop-a-Doop girls as Kane.

Bonnie Poe Vs Helen Kane

The latter however avered that they got their start "booping" through contests which she sponsored.

Hollywood on Parade No. A-8

Mae Questel dressed up as Betty Boop, has to hide one withered arm

(Mae Betty Boop Questel dressed up as Betty Boop)

At the age of 18 (1933) Bonnie Poe appeared in a live-action short called Hollywood on Parade No. A-8 as Betty Boop, alongside Bela Lugosi as Dracula. She performed a song called "'My Silent Love". The controversy is that Betty is portrayed by Poe, such controversy coming from Helen Kane, the “Original Boop-Oop-a-Doop Girl,” a popular singer who capitalized on her novel coquettish voice to become an on-stage hit in the late 1920s through early 1930s. Kane sued over the impersonation of her as Betty Boop. Any such appearance as Betty Boop would have negated her claim. Beside is an image of Mae Questel, who has to hide one of her 'withered arms', while dressed up as Betty Boop.

Hotel Roosevelt Grill (1933)

Among those spotted this week in the Hotel Roosevelt grill where genial Reggie Childs and his WZJ-WOR orchestra play: Conrad Thi-bault, Lulu McConnell, Sisters of Skillet (very sad looking, by the way), the Harmonians, Frank Novak, Harriet Lee, Gladys Rice, Helene Daniels, Lanny Ross, Bonnie Poe and Ben Alley.


  • Various books mistake Bonnie Poe for Mae Questel, who had previously played the character in  the live-action short entitled Musical Justice.
  • The person playing Betty Boop in Hollywood on Parade No. A-8 could not have been Mae Questel, due to the fact that the latter had one withered arm and always had to hide it behind her back or have her hands on her hips, as seen when she portrayed Betty Boop in Musical Justice.


In 1933, Bonnie Poe was featured in a Brooklyn newspaper where she would give advice in a news column. Poe: "The trouble with modern marriage is that too many couples think a pair beats a full house." Poe: "An efficiency expert is a man hired to fire old employees" by an executive who is too tender hearted to do it himself." In 1934, Bonnie Poe appeared in Rambling Round Radio Row as a Betty Boop performer. She performed a song called "Pudding Head Jones", and also added the scat lyrics "Boop-Oop-a-Doop" into her song. She was also known as Beth, Crazy Poe & Izzy. Her name has also sometimes been mispelled as Bunny Po. Bonnie Poe could last be seen in person with the other voices of Betty Boop in 1934, in the Fleischer Victory Newsreel. She helped Mae Questel with the Booping to the song "Don't Take My Boop-Oop-A-Doop Away", after winning the Helen Kane $250,000 Lawsuit. Bonnie Poe also voiced Betty in 1938 two times before the role was taken over by Kate Wright and Margie Hines. Poe also provided the voice for Olive Oyl one last time in I Yam Lovesick, doing an impression of ZaSu Pitts for the very first time. Poe also did a radio interview with Billy Costello, the original voice of Popeye. In 1935, Bonnie Poe had a role on radio station NBC-W1OD, in a program called House of Glass, which was created by Gertrude Berg. Poe played the role of Dottie Martin, an out-of-work entertainer who temporarily juggled trays in a hotel.

Betty Boop's Double Shift

Songs Performed as Betty Boop


  • Bonnie Poe died from complications connected to pneumonia in 1993.








  • Margie Hines Van Beuren credits were erroneously attributed to Bonnie Poe.
  • According to Fleischer historian Ray Pointer Bonnie Poe also provided the voice for the Mae West-like character in the 1936 Popeye cartoon Never Kick a Woman.
  • Bonnie Poe can be heard in a majority of Betty Boop cartoons from 1933-1934 and lastly in 1938. 
  • Sometimes she would utter Poop-Poop-e-Doop instead of Boop.
  • In 1934, Bonnie Poe filed a $25,000 heart balm action against George Raft.

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