Advertisement

Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Little Orphan Annie Says Goodbye

posted by Nell Minow

The sun’ll come out tomorrow, but Little Orphan Annie won’t be there to see it come up in the morning. After 86 years, the daily comic strip about the plucky redhead and her dog, Sandy has come to an end.

annie.gif

Harold Gray created the strip and was its writer and artist from 1924 to 1968. During the Depression, the story of the feisty, independent-spirited orphan captivated newspaper readers. It became a popular radio show and Annie merchandise included everything from books and dolls to piggy banks, tea sets, board games, and, as anyone who has ever watched “A Christmas Story” knows, a decoder ring. Decades later, a musical based on the comic strip was one of the biggest box office hits in Broadway history. Several of its young stars went on to careers in show business including Sarah Jessica Parker. There is even a documentary called Life After Tomorrow about the girls who played Annie and the orphans and what happened to them while they were in the show and after they outgrew the role.

Advertisement

The musical later became a movie with Albert Finney as Annie’s adoptive father Daddy Warbucks and Carol Burnett as the cruel Miss Hannigan, and was remade for television. In 1977, Leonard Starr of “On Stage” took over the strip, retitled “Annie.” Under his direction, it received the National Cartoonist Society’s Story Comic Strip Award in 1983 and 1984. Starr retired in 2000 and the cartoonists who followed were not able to continue at his level. The fading appeal of comic strips and the struggles of print newspapers led the syndicate to announce its cancellation.

Advertisement

Little Orphan Annie survived the Depression, WWII, the Cold War, Watergate, and the dot.com bubble. She began just four years after American women got the vote and six years after the end of World War I. Gray, Starr, and all those who worked on the strip created a cultural touchstone that will continue through future generations. A junior version of the musical is performed frequently in elementary schools. Somewhere, someone is singing “Tomorrow.”

Advertisement

Previous Posts

Tonight on PBS: A Capitol Fourth with Barry Manilow, Hunter Hayes, and KC and the Sunshine Band
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IQqWgdF1z0[/youtube] Tune in tonight to watch A Capitol Fourth on PBS, featuring Barry Manilow, Hunter Hayes, KC and the Sunshine Band, Alabama, and Lang Lang, and hosted by Bradley Whitford. And ...

posted 12:00:57pm Jul. 04, 2015 | read full post »

Marvin Gaye Sings the Star Spangled Banner
Happy 4th of July! [vimeo]https://vimeo.com/34606761[/vimeo] ...

posted 8:38:56am Jul. 04, 2015 | read full post »

The Declaration of Independence -- Happy 4th of July!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETroXvRFoKY ...

posted 7:00:25am Jul. 04, 2015 | read full post »

For the 4th of July: Singing Founding Fathers in "1776"
Happy Independence Day!  Every year, I recommend the rousing musical about the Declaration of Independence. "1776" makes the Founding Fathers vivid, human, and interesting characters, and is so involving that you almost forget that you already ...

posted 8:00:01am Jul. 03, 2015 | read full post »

Sesame Street's Maria Says Goodbye
Sonia Manzano has announced that she is leaving Sesame Street after 44 years.  She was 22 years old when she auditioned for the brand new series that would revolutionize children's programming. She became Maria, one of the first Latina ...

posted 1:20:21pm Jul. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.