Bluebell - Veteran actress Mae Questel provided the sweet, squeaky
voice of Aunt Bluebell, a cute little old lady who fondled paper towels in a
series of ScotTowels commercials during the 1970s. In one spot, the well-meaning
Aunt Bluebell approached a customer and weighed ScotTowels and another brand in
a comparison test to prove the point that you get a better buy with ScotTowels.
Mae Questel also did commercials for Bromo Seltzer, Nabisco Honey Grahams and
In her younger days in vaudeville, Mae developed an act ("Mae Questel - Personality Singer of Personality Songs") that included impersonations
of such celebrities as Eddie Cantor, Ruth Etting, Marlene Dietrich, Maurice
Chevalier and Rudy Vallee.
After appearing on radio programs Mae was chosen by
cartoon producer Max Fleischer to be the voice of his newest animated character,
a pouty flapper named "Betty Boop." Betty's looks and childlike voice were
modeled after Bronx-born Helen Kane, a popular actress/singer of the time known
as the "Boop-Oop-A-Doop Queen." who created a sensation on Broadway in 1928 with
a "boop-boop-a-doop" rendition of the hit song "I Wanna Be Loved by You." Mae's
own recording of "On The Good Ship Lollipop" (in the voice of Betty Boop) sold
more than 2 million during the Depression.
Questel's other credits included the
voices to such classic animated characters as Lil' Audrey and Betty Boop (in
over 150 Fleischer Bros. cartoons) and Olive Oyl, Sweet Pea, the Sea Hag and
Eugene the Jeep for many POPEYE cartoons. Mae styled the voice of Olive Oyl, the
whiny girlfriend of Popeye, after screen actress Zasu Pitts.
Mae also did the voices of such TV commercial mascots as the Hasbro Kid, Nabisco's Buffalo Bee,
and the talking Fizzies Tablet and provided the voice for the animated character
Winky Dink on the children's TV show WINKY DINK AND YOU (1953-57) .
From the 1960s through the 1980s, Mae appeared in the films It's Only Money with Jerry
Lewis, Move with Elliott Gould, Funny Girl with Barbra Streisand;
New York Stories with Woody Allen's (as Mrs. Millstein, an intrusive Jewish mother from
Hell in the Oedipus Wrecks segment of the film, the voice (retired since 1939)
of Betty Boop in Who Framed Roger Rabbit and as Aunt Bethany in National
Lampoon's Christmas Vacation..
Born September 13, 1908 in New York City, Mae Questel died of Alzheimer's disease on January 4, 1998 at the age of 89. She is
buried at the New Montefiore Cemetery in Farmingdale (Nassau County) in New York
TRIVIA NOTE: The Betty Boop character was created by artist Grim Natwick.
Besides Mae Questel, the voice of Betty Boop was performed by several women
including Margie Heinz, Kate Wright, Bonnie Poe and Little Ann Little.