Mae Kwestel, Mae Questel
Mae Questel: It was such fun I loved everything I did. And I loved Max, he was wonderful to me. He called me my little Betty Boop. Boopy-Doopy-Doopy-Doop-Boop-Boopy-Doop, Bop!
During the 80's Mae Questel became ill and retired but still had a contract with King Features for Olive Oyl from the Popeye the Sailorman series.
- In 1980 Mae was replaced by Victoria D'orazi because it was felt by New Line Cinema that Mae Questel’s voice was inappropriate for the new songs that were included.
- Mae was replaced by Desirée Goyette in 1985 as the voice of Betty Boop. Reason for this was that Bill Melendez commented that he had planned to animate the character better than the Fleischer artists ever had. He stated that he had no plans to hire any of the original animators who had worked on the original shorts, nor would he consider using Mae Questel, Betty's long time voice.
- According to Desiree Goyette, Questel was contacted first but she was elderly at the time and her voice had dropped "quite alot actually".
- Mae reprised her role as Betty in the 1988 film Who Framed Roger Rabbit' but in 1989 Mae was replaced by Melissa Fahn in 1989. George Evelyn the show's director told a writer of a production company that she wanted to re-create the Fleischer look and did so in part with the help of Richard Fleischer who supplied materials from the family archives. Everlyn had wanted to use Mae Questel for Betty's voice but Mae was busy filming Woody Allen's segment of "New York Stories". Evelyn launched a series of auditions, and in true "Hollywood" fashion the secretary (Melissa Fahn) at the recording studio that was producing copies of the audition tapes had the voice Evelyn wanted.
- During the 70's & 80's Mae used her Betty Boop voice in interviews and conventions and would occasionally perform a song made popular by Helen Kane Button Up Your Overcoat, a song which was never performed by Betty Boop in the cartoon series. But in one of her interviews it was hinted that this was the song she had performed during the Helen Kane look and sound-a-like contest and had won first place.
Characters voiced by Mae Questel in the Betty Boop SeriesEdit
- Baby Boop (Is my Palm Read)
- Junior (The Foxy Hunting)
- Aloysius/Billy Boop (Stopping the Show & Let Me Call You Sweetheart)
- Mrs Boop in Minnie the Moocher
- Evil Queen in Snow White
- Bimbo's Mother in Minding the Baby
- Junior in The Foxy Hunter
Mae Questel also provided the voice of Felix the Cat in three shorts produced by Van Beuren Studios, and Cute Kitty & Louise the Mouse in Famous Studios "Herman & Katnip". Little Audrey and Casper the friendly ghost in their respective animated shorts. The Woman in the Shoe & Little Bo Peep in color classics. In the 1950s, she was the voice for the title character of the pioneering interactive Saturday-morning cartoon series Winky Dink and You. Questel's final film was a voice cameo appearance in Felix the Cat: The Movie. She continued to provide the voice for Olive Oyl in television specials and elsewhere until her 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.
Songs Performed by Mae Questel as Betty BoopEdit
- You're Driving Me Crazy
- That's My Weakness Now
- Wanna Be A Member?
- I'm An Indian
- Hello Beautiful
- Keep a Little Song Handy
- I've Got a Cold In My Nose
- Foolish Facts
- Mean To Me
- Crazy Town
- Change Come Get Your Penny
- Home! Sweet Home!
- I Want To See My Step-Mama
- When I'm The President
- Is That the Human Thing to Do?
- I'm Here In My Penthouse
- Ha! Ha! Ha! (Song)
- Crazy Jingle
- All By Myself
- There's Something About A Soldier (Song)
- Little Pal
- Keep In Style (Song)
- Noise Noise Noise
- Not Now (Song)
- Be Human (Song)
- Everybody Oughta Have A Pet
- No! No! A Thousand Times No!! (Song)
- A Language All My Own (Song)
- Grampy's House (Song)
- It's Good For Ya
- New Deal for Pets
- Go Out & Make Friends With the World
- You're Not Built That Way (Song)
- Ya Gotta Have Pep
- New Deal for Pets
- Ching Ling Choy
- Down In Our Alley
- Vote For Grampy
- I've Got Those House Cleaning Blues
- Be Up To Date (Song)
Mae Questel on her Decca Recordings (1970's): "You know, I'm a collectors item now. Some of the old records I made for the Decca people are now buying as collectors items."
Recordings as The Betty Boop Girl:Edit
Shirley Temple knock-offs:
- On the Good Ship Lollipop
- At The Codfish Ball
- The Right Somebody To Love
- Oh My Goodness
- Polly Wolly Doodle
- When I Grow Up
- You Gotta Eat Your Spinach Baby
- Animal Crackers In My Soup
- In Our Little Wooden Shoes
- Don't Take My Boop-Oop-a-Doop Away (Victor)
- The Girl In The Little Green Hat
- I Want You For Christmas
- The Wedding Of Jack and Jill
- Practicing The Piano
- Choc'late Soldier Man
- The Broken Record
- You'd Be Surprised
- Oh, Gee, Oh Gosh, Oh Golly I'm In Love
- The Music Goes Round And Around
- I'm a Little Teapot/Polly Put the Kettle On
- Chameleon Days as Helen Kane
- Musical Justice as (Betty Boop) live action.
- Questel had a withered arm; in her on-camera film appearances, she was usually photographed with elbows bent and both hands at her waist or holding an object in the crook of her elbow to make it less obvious that one arm was shorter and smaller than the other.
- Mae Questel was once thought to be the only voice of Betty Boop, when Betty was revived in the 80's.
- Mae had embarked upon a career in teaching when some of her friends, knowing her to be a natural mimic, entered her in a Helen Kane impersonation contest at the RKO Fordham Theater where Miss Helen Kane was appearing.
- Mae's dead-on mimicry earned her a contract with the RKO vaudeville circuit which finally kicked off her professional career of voice-acting.
- Mae Questel is probably best known as "Aunt Blue Bell" in the 70's paper towel commercials and as the Aunt Bethany in 'National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.
- Mae Questel was often mistaken for Bonnie Poe in Hollywood On Parade A8.
- In Who Framed Roger Rabbit her voice had been pitched up as her voice had dropped.