Playful Little Audrey
Little Audrey began life in the Famous Paramount animated cartoons. Her first cartoon was "Santa's Surprise" in 1947, and eventually she appeared in 16 animated shorts. Leonard Maltin first postulated the reason that Little Audrey was created was so that Paramount would no longer have to pay licensing fees to Marjorie Henderson Buell (Marge) for the use of animating her creation, Little Lulu. This notion has generally been accepted as fact for both Audrey and Lulu have much in common personality-wise and were voiced by the same woman, Mae Questel. Many of these cartoons later appeared on TV as part of "Matty's Funday Funnies".
Audrey apparently was popular enough that soon she appeared on a number of products, had her own newspaper comic strip, and starred in her own comic book published by...St. John! Yes, similar to Casper, St. John published 24 issues of "Little Audrey" from 1948-1952, before moving to Harvey.
One particularly interesting Audrey story after she moved to Harvey was in "Little Audrey" #31, in which she discusses her rise to fame as a Famous Paramount character.
"Little Audrey" was canceled with issue #53, only to be revived two months later as "Playful Little Audrey" in 1957. I once believed that this occured due to Harvey purchasing Paramount's characters, but Alan Harvey maintains that the title change was due to renewing 2nd class postage permits.
"Audrey" spun off many titles and was generally popular throughout the 50s and 60s, but by 1976 and #121, Audrey went the way of all the Harvey World females: cancellation. Little Dot, Little Lotta and Wendy all followed suit to make room for the ever-expanding Richie Rich line of the late 70s. As Audrey was a backup feature for only the previously canceled "TV Casper and Company", she did not make a return to comics until being featured in "Richie Rich and his Girlfriends", marking the first time Richie and Audrey "officially"met.
Audrey had a brief revival for eight issues during the Jeff Montgomery era, but currently her comic book status (as with all Harvey characters) is in limbo, but she had appeared recently in "The Harvey Magazine". The only way to have seen Audrey was to watch her classics performances as part of "The Richie Rich Show" that was recently seen in syndication and now on Fox Family Channel's "The Harveytoons Show".
Audrey is also made her live-action debut in the upcoming "Baby Huey's Great Easter Adventure" direct-to-video movie.
Supporting feature in:
Other appearances include:
First comic book appearance: Little Audrey #1, 4/48
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