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Margie Hines
Margie Hines

Name

Margie Hines

Marjorie L. Hines (better known as Margie Hines) was a voice actress who was already with Fleischer Studios long before they had auditioned more women to do the voice of Betty Boop. Hines was the first voice actress for Fleischer's popular Betty Boop and is classed as the original voice of said character, which debuted in the cartoon short Dizzy Dishes (1930). While she was touring in vaudeville, she was heard by Billy Murray, a member of the Fleischer staff who there and then found what they were seeking for Betty Boop. They talked business, and Max Fleischer hired Hines to perform "I Have To Have You", as she was a Helen Kane sound-alike and Kane was the basis for the character. Hines won a Helen Kane "Boop-a-Doop" contest in Brooklyn at the age of 17, and was given a part in a song-and-dance act which toured the country on Publix, Keith, Loew and Fox time. Hines and several other actresses voiced Betty until Mae Questel took over the role in 1931. Hines was the last person to voice Betty Boop in the original cartoon series in 1938 up until the character was retired in 1939.  Hines continued to do voice-overs for Fleischer Studios until 1944, then retired from voice work. Before Hines entered the entertainment field, she was employed as an office worker in New York.

Characters voiced by Margie Hines

Musical Justice 

According to a draft in the transcipt of the 1931 short Musical Justice, Margie Hines was going to play the role of Betty Boop in person but was replaced by Mae Questel, who performed "Don't Take My Boop-Oop-A-Doop Away" in the short. Instead, Hines can be heard performing "Don't Take My Boop-Oop-a-Doop Away" in the 1932 animated short Boop-Oop-a-Doop.

Voice Doubles (1932)

Margie Hines Betty Boop Voice 1932 was Correct

Margaret Livingston was another who started doubling for a voice. Only she doubled for parrot. And Margie Hines may be heard of in her own name before long. She does a boop-a-dooping for the Betty Boop cartoon films.

Aesop Fables Countess is Given New Voice (1932)

Countess Cat Van Beuren Betty Boop Clone Margie Hines 01

Countess Cat, leading lady of the Aesop's Fable cartoon series has a new voice. This transformation was not brought by an operation, but by the singing of a contract, and the young lady involved is Marjorie Hines, well known radio artist and musical comedy star.  

Marjorie Hines Aesop Fable Countess Cat

By terms of the contract, Miss Hines is to lend her voice exclusively to cartoons produced by Van Beuren. The peculiar qualities of this young lady's voice make her particularly adaptable to the character of Countess Cat, which is more or less featured in the Fable series. Some of the Aesop's Fable cartoons released by RKO Radio in which Miss Hines voice is to be heard are Venice Vamp, Hokum Hotel, Pickaninny Blues, A Yarn of Wool and Bugs and Books.

Countess Cat Van Beuren Betty Boop Clone Margie Hines 02

Hines provided the voice of Countess Cat in several animated shorts. The Countess is a parody of Betty Boop and made her solo appearance in The Farmerette where she stimulates lazy farm animals back to into work. Which was intended as a direct response to Fleischer's Betty Boop but instead of being a dog, she's a cat. Countess Cat was paired with up with Waffles Cat due to previous characters Milton Mouse & Rita Mouse (parodies of Mickey Mouse & Minnie Mouse) being stopped by an injuction by Walt Disney. The character also had her own scat lyrics similar to that of Betty Boop's - "Ha-Cha-Ha-Cha-De-De-Da-Da-Ha-Cha-Ha-Cha-De-De-Da *whistle, De-Do-Bo-Bo-Be-Do!" Hines also voiced several other Boop-ish characters in the Van Beuren & Terrytoons animated shorts, including a ZaSu Pitts character. Hines can be heard performing a Boop Oop a Doop number in the 1931 Terrytoon animated feature By the Sea. 

New Boop Boop a Dooper Likes the Stage But- (1933)

Margie Hines New boop a Dooper 1933

Majorie (Betty) Hines, Doll-voiced and Baby-Eyed, doesn't Crave the heartaches- Versatile Freeport Miss Happy in Kitchen.

Usually it is the young ang ambitious girl who craves fame on the stage, while the gamily protests.  With Marjorie Hines of Freeport the situation is reversed on the eve of 21, slender and shapely to the tilt of 98 pounds, dark hair intrifuinfly curied around a tiny face and a big baby blue eyes, the young miss, who belongs to the boop-a-doop group of entertainers says "Oh, I like the show business, But too many heartaches in it. Too much uncertainty."

Three years ago the talented Freeport girl who can boop-a-doop with the best of the doll-voiced boop-a-doopers sprang overnight from the family fireside to place behind the footlights by winning a Helen Kane imitation contest at a local cinema cathedral.  She had entered, nervous and hesitant, only at the urging of her mother and uncle.  Today  her family still urge her to take advantage of the opportunities that come her way.  And Miss Hines, still heeding them, continues in the theatrical business ,with decided leanings to the movies, radio and phonograph recordings. And between auditions and apperances is happy cooking in the family kitchen at 75 N. Bay view Ave and every Monday night playing bridge with friends in Free-port.  

Her talent at the type of singing made famous by the chubby Helen won Miss Hines after the contest a chance to create the voice of Betty Boop of the movies.

She was the original of Betty, who in turn was the original femme in movie cartoons. After that she did a series called Aesop's Fables, imitating goldfish, a cat's meow or as she said "most anything they wanted me to!"

Freeport calls her "Betty" because of the character she played.  A boyfriend? In love? Marriage?

To the first question she admitted "Yes!". To the others she responded with blushes and silence though, later she confessed that sometimes she thinks marriage and domesticity better than a career.

Harry Warren America's Foremost Composer

In 1933, Margie Hines made a live-action appearance in Harry Warren: America's Foremost Composer, where she performed in her Betty Boop singing style. 

The American Magazine (1933)

Margiehines19331

In October 1933, Margie Hines was featured in The American Magazine, on page 60 of Interesting People (Boop-A-Dooper Marjorie Hines). According to Margie Hines in the 1933 interview, she claimed that, three years earlier when she was seventeen, she won a Helen Kane Boop-a-Doop contest and automatically became the voice of Betty Boop of flicker cartoons.

Margiehines19332

She loved reading a lot of novels, and always wore pink and blue.  She never ate till a day's work was done, sometimes she ate at midnight. Then she relaxed and had a great big dinner, and lived in the countryside of New York. 

The Original Betty Boop (1933)

Margie hines witness 1933

The original Betty Boop, by the way was Majories Hines, a Brooklyn girl, who may be called as a witness.

Helen Kane:

"I'm sore but I think this trial is going to be fun."

Margie Hines Original Voice of Betty Boop

Marjorie Hines, the first Betty Boop, was succeeded later by Mae Questel. There is now still a third Betty. All three have sung on the radio under the cartoon name, and no one seems to have noticed the difference.

$250,000 Lawsuit

From 1932 to 1934, Margie Hines was involved in the Fleischers V Helen Kane lawsuit. Hines was summoned to testify. She was asked if she knew the meaning of the disputed "Boop-Boop-a-Doop" sounds; she replied "Well- I call them "licks."

Miss Marjorie Hines (1934)

Miss Margie Hines 1934

Perhaps you've heard her with Gus Arnheim and Huston Ray. If not, and you go to the movies we're sure you've heard her as the voice behind those Betty Boop flicker cartoons. That's the way Majorie started her career.  Since then she has been many things: A baby's cry, the voice of a gold fish a cat's meow! And now a featured orchestra singer.  The voice you have often heard in the movies as the birds and bees flitted across the screen after cute Betty Boop, is also a cute radio voice. Jack Fulton of Paul Whiteman's outfit thinks so and he's the boy that brought Marjorie to Charley Gaylord via Gus Arnheim via Huston Ray via NBC. Majorie told us she likes to read a lot of novels. "goes for" pink and blue, never eats a big meal until she is through singing usually until midnight.  Will marry someday and he'll probably be a college boy (boop-a-doop) Has friends everywhere in the movies and radio. Worked with Vic Erwin (former local boy) in that network Betty Boop series.

Miami, Florida

Mae Questel, who was Fleischer's voice for Betty Boop and Popeye characters Olive Oyl and Swee'Pea during the mid 1930s, refused to move with the Fleischer Studios staff when they left New York City for Miami, Florida. As a result, Hines was hired to replace Questel in both the Betty Boop and Popeye series, beginning in 1938. Hines voiced Betty through her final series entries in 1938 and 1939, and continued to voice Olive until 1943, when the studio, by then taken over by Paramount Pictures and renamed Famous Studios, returned to New York. The Marry-Go-Round (1943) was Hines' final short as the voice of Olive, with Questel returning to the role in 1944. 

Songs Performed as Betty Boop

Filmography

1930

1931

1932

1938

1939

Death

  • Hines was presumed to have died in 2011 at the age of 101.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Little Ann Little claimed she was the "original" voice of Betty Boop because she also did the voice in 1930, in the animated short Mysterious Mose However, Margie Hines did the voice before her in Dizzy Dishes and then continued to do the role on and off. Questel even debuted as Betty in 1931 and Hines continued to do various cartoons as Betty. The role was shared with several other women in the early cartoons. Hines finished voicing the character in 1932 and later returned to the role in 1938.
  • Hines also provided the voice of Betty in the Betty Boop Fables radio show, which was shared with Questel and Bonnie Poe.
  • Margie was five feet and-a-half small and weighed 98-odd pounds.
  • Margie also "Boop-a-Dooped" from station Pittsburgh Station KDKA and received numerous fan letters.
  • Margie was from Wantagh, Long Island.
  • Was featured in a 1932 Warner Brothers film entitled The Perfect Suitor, as the leading lady.
  • She also did the voice for Olive Oyl from the Popeye series for a short while.
  • From 1939 to the early 1940s, Hines was briefly married to co-star Jack Mercer, who provided the voice of Popeye the Sailor. The two were later divorced.
  • Hines was the first and last person to voice Betty in the original cartoon series (in 1930 and 1939).
  • Margie Hines also lent her voice to many Fleischer Studios cartoons, including the Stone Age Cartoons as various characters and also voiced Mrs LadyBugin the Fleischer feature film Mr Bug Goes To Town. She also had a small part in Gulliver's Travels, as a female Lilliput denizen, and did main character Princess Glory's crying and sobs.
  •  In 1932, Hines also did vocals for Aesop's Film Fables, produced by Van Beuren Studios. Her Van Beuren credits were erroneously attributed to Bonnie Poe, another actress who had voiced Betty Boop.
  • Margie Hines' name has been mispelled/changed in various credits: Margie Heinz, Margie Heintz, Marge Hines, Marjorie Hines, Margaret Hines and sometimes Margret Hines. The L. in her middle name is Louise.
  • Hines was paid tribute/referenced alongside her ex-husband Jack Mercer on Reddit, on the 24th of March 2015.

See Also

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