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Little Orphan Annie

Little Orphan Annie, by Harold Gray[?], ran as a daily and Sunday comic strip for several decades. Annie, an orphan[?], was taken in by "Daddy" Oliver Warbucks, a prototypical capitalist of almost unlimited wealth and influence. With his right-hand men, Punjab (an eight-foot native of India) and The Asp (an inscrutably generalized Oriental), Warbucks tackled international intrigue and the neverending plots to kidnap or harm Annie. Probably no other comic strip has ever so completely glorified the American business ethic, although Warbucks enjoyed cordial relations with his unionized employees and there were a share of corrupt businessmen as villians.

Annie's main physical characteristics were a mop of red, curly hair and vacant circles for eyes. She was always accompanied by her dog, Sandy.

Adaptations Little Orphan Annie was made into a 1932 movie.

In 1977, Little Orphan Annie became a Broadway musical, called Annie[?], with music by Charles Strouse[?], lyrics by Martin Charnin[?], and book by Thomas Meehan[?]. The original production ran from April 21, 1977 to January 2, 1983; there have been other productions around the world, and the musical has been filmed several times, notably in a 1982 version starring Albert Finney as "Daddy" Warbucks, Aileen Quinn[?] as Annie, and Carol Burnett as Miss Hannigan, the matron of the orphanage.

The Broadway Annies were Andrea McArdle[?], Shelley Bruce[?], Sarah Jessica Parker, Allison Smith[?], and Alyson Kirk[?]. Some of the notable actresses who portrayed Miss Hannigan are Alice Ghostly[?], Betty Hutton[?], Ruth Kobart[?], Marcia Lewis[?], June Havoc, and Nell Carter.

Parodies The strip lent itself easily to parody, which was taken up by both Walt Kelly in Pogo (as "Little Arf 'n Nonnie") and by Al Capp in L'il Abner[?], where Punjab became Punjbag, an oleaginous slob.

The 1980s children's television programme You Can't Do That on Television in its - later banned - "Adoption" episode, parodied the character as "Little Orphan Andrea". Andrea, like Annie, sported curly red hair and a red dress, but unlike her was a very naughty orphan who had a habit of beating the other kids up!



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