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Lillian Friedman (Astor) :

      Lillian Friedman (Astor) 
          By: Varsha Ganesh


   One of the most successful woman          

     animators the world has held.



Childhood/ Before Becoming an Animator:


  • Born: April 12, 1912 in New York City
  • Education: Studied commercial art and fashion designing at Manhattan's Washington Irving High School.
  • Occupancy: She became a fashion designer after graduating.









Early Animation:


  • She supposedly applied for a job at Disney but was rejected.
  • At this time she also worked on commercials.
  • Was hired at Fleischer Studios in 1930 as an inker.
  • She was then promoted as an "in-betweener" by James Culhane.  Her responsibily was to have two sketchs basically flow together well. She was then made an animator, however that didn't work out so she went back to being a in-betweener.

Who was Lillian Friedman? Why did I chose her? Why is she an animation pioneer?

  • Acknowledged as the first woman animator in the studio system.
  • She drew characters such as Popeye, Betty Boop, and many others into life.
  • A hardworking lady who moved up multiple ranks in her career resulting in making the Head Animator at Fleischer Studios in 1933.


  • Lillian Friedman was then officially promoted to animator where she could generate actual content. However, it wasn't that satisfying because she only had a salary of $30 a week. (Much less than what men made in a week)
  • She was known as a "crackerjack animator".
  • In 1938 she left Fleischer Studios and moved to Miami.
  • In all, she animated 42 short films. They consisted of many Betty Boop, Popeye (Can You Take It)
    some of the original animation for Betty Boop’s Rise to Fame. She animated two different Oscar-nominated cartoons, Educated Fish and Hunky and Spunky, with her last work being on Barnyard Brat, and another Hunky and Spunky cartoon.
  • She then went to many banquets and awards.
  • She passed away on July 9th, 1989.

Days as an Animator:


  •  Jaques, Bob. "Lillian Friedman (Astor) - Pioneer Woman Animator." Popeye Cartoons (formerly Popeye Animators):. N.p., 03 Nov. 2007. Web. 11 Sept. 2016. 
  •  Denroff, Harvey. "A Chat with Lillian Friedman Astor." Cartoon Research. N.p., 28 Mar. 2016. Web. 11 Sept. 2016. 
  •  Shannon, Sonya. "10 Noteworthy Women Animators." Artware Studios RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Sept. 2016.