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Lillian Friedman Astor

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lillian Friedman Astor
Photo of Lillian Friedman Astor.jpg
Born(1912-04-12)April 12, 1912
New York, New York
DiedJuly 9, 1989(1989-07-09) (aged 77)
NationalityAmerican
OccupationAnimator
Years active1930-1939
Children1 [1]
AwardsMotion Picture Screen Cartoonists Golden Award (1987 honoree)

Lillian Friedman Astor (born April 12, 1912 in New York City – July 9, 1989) was the first American female studio animator, working at for the Fleischer Brothers' studio, inking and eventually animating various Betty Boop cartoons, as well as one Popeye, some Color Classics, and several Hunky and Spunky cartoons, although she received screen credit on only six cartoons in her lifetime.[2]

Personal life

Friedman started drawing at the age of 12 and later attended Washington Irving High School, where she studied commercial art and fashion design. After graduating, she worked as a fashion designer.[3][4]

Animation career

Friedman began as an inker, colorist, and inbetweener, along with a fellow classmate named Lillian Oremland, in July 1930 in an small animation studio financed by Montrose Newman working for a pilot that was a fantasy set to Spring Song. They then became inbetweeners at Frank Goldman's Audio Cinema, in a space shared with Terrytoons. She recalls animating a Listerine commercial with germ characters designed by Dr. Seuss, which Astor expressed frustration about his inability to animate. Through Goldman's friendship with Fleischer, they were both hired as inbetweeners at Fleischer Studios on July 1931. Shamus Culhane, liked her work so much that he hired her as an animation assistant on February 1932, but in April of that same year Culhane's idea of having an assistant was abandoned and she went back to inbetweening, but Culhane continued to encourage her on her dreams of being an animator. In 1933, head of Timing Department Nellie Sanborn, gave her the chance to redo a scene from a Betty Boop film, showed it to the Fleshier brothers, without telling them it was done by a girl inbetweener, and in July 1933, she was signed to a 3 year contract as an animator, where she got paid $30 a week.[4][5] After briefly being in Seymour Kneitel's unit, where the animators were all mean to Astor and made sarcastic remarks, she went to Myron Waldman's unit, which was the opposite and had very nice young animators who accepted her as one of them.[4][5]

She animated for an Popeye cartoon, where she was uncredited, Can You Take It (1934). Her animation work also appears in, Betty Boop's Prize Show (1934), Making Stars (1935), Judge for a Day (1935), Be Human (1936), The New Deal Show (1937), Pudgy Takes a Bow-Wow (1937), Buzzy Boop at the Concert (1938), Pudgy and the Lost Kitten (1938), Honest Love and True (1938), and the Color Classic Hawaiian Birds (1936).[6] She was also responsible for animating several scenes in Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor in 1936, specifically Popeye giving the "twisker" punch and the two-headed giant, "Boola."[7]

In 1937, the employees at Fleischer went on strike and went past the picket line, and so did Astor. Her open stand for the Commercial Artists and Designers Union, since she was hired there that year, caused abuse from the company and they forced her not to get paid more unless she stayed with the union. After failing to find a job after the studio moved to Florida, which the move was designed to bust the union, which it did. When her husband finally got a job in February 1939, she quitted animation and had a family.[4][5]

References

  1. ^ Aaron Astor
  2. ^ Who's Who in Animated Cartoons: An International Guide to Film & Television's Award-Winning and Legendary Animators, by Jeff Lenburg, pp. 95–97
  3. ^ Who's Who in Animated Cartoons: An International Guide to Film & Television's Award-Winning and Legendary Animators, by Jeff Lenburg, p. 96
  4. ^ a b c d Deneroff, Harvey (2016-03-20). "Lillian Friedman Astor". Deneroff.com. Retrieved 2020-10-28.
  5. ^ a b c "A Chat with Lillian Friedman Astor -". cartoonresearch.com. 2016-03-28. Retrieved 2020-10-28.
  6. ^ Deneroff, Harvey (May 20, 1988). "Lillian Friedman Astor: A Brief Biographical Sketch" (PDF). deneroff.com. Retrieved 2020-10-28.
  7. ^ Article from Paramount promotional booklet for "Popeye The Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor" 1936, see [1]

External links

This page was last edited on 12 May 2021, at 16:37
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