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16 Animated Characters Who Were Modeled After Super-Famous Celebs

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BETTY BOOP WAS INSPIRED BY BABY ESTHER AND HELEN KANE

16 Famous Cartoons That Were Actually Inspired by Celebrities betty boop baby esther helen kane jpg

YouTube/Paramount Pictures

Well, there’s a bit of drama behind Betty Boop’s origin. The creator, Max Fleischer, took inspiration for Betty’s looks and mannerisms from the singer, Helen Kane. But little did he know that Helen’s singing style, (or rather, her cutesy voice and “boop” scatters), were appropriated from an African American entertainer named Esther Jones (also known as Baby Esther).

Helen tried to sue Max and Paramount for using her likeness without her consent, but once the news got out that she herself stole Baby Esther’s style, the case didn’t go in her favor. So technically, the real inspiration for Betty was Baby Esther, even though she appears to look more like Helen.

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