Betty Rubble

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Betty Rubble
The Flintstones character
Betty Rubble.png
First appearance The Flintstone Flyer
Created by Hanna-Barbera
Portrayed by Rosie O'Donnell (1994 film)
Jane Krakowski (2000 film)
Voiced by June Foray (Pilot, 1959)
Bea Benaderet (1960-1964)
Gerry Johnson (1964-1966)
Gay Autterson Hartwig (1971-1980)
Julie McWhirter Dees (1987)
Betty Jean Ward (The Flintstone Kids, 1993-2000)
Grey DeLisle (2001-Present)
Information
Species Cavewoman
Gender Female
Occupation Housewife
Newspaper reporter1
Caterer2
Family Roxy Rubble (granddaughter)3
Chip Rubble (grandson)3
Marblehead Sandstone (nephew)4
Brad McBricker (brother)5
Pebbles Flintstone (goddaughter/daughter-in-law)
Spouse(s) Barney Rubble (husband)
Children Bamm-Bamm Rubble (adopted son)

Elizabeth "Betty" Jean Rubble (née McBricker) is a cartoon character in the television animated series The Flintstones and its spin-offs and live-action motion pictures. She is the black-haired wife of caveman Barney Rubble and the adoptive mother of Bamm-Bamm Rubble. Her best friends are her next-door neighbors, Fred and Wilma Flintstone.

Betty lives in the fictional prehistoric town of Bedrock, a world where dinosaurs coexist with cavepeople and the cavepeople enjoy primitive versions of modern conveniences such as telephones, automobiles and washing machines.

Betty's personality was based on that of Trixie Norton, wife of Ed Norton on the 1950s television series The Honeymooners; each of the four of the series' principal adult characters is an analogue of a Honeymooners character. Much as Trixie spent a lot of her time socializing with Alice Kramden, Betty spent a lot of her time socializing with Wilma, and the two would often end up working together to bail their husbands out of whatever scheme of Fred's had landed them in trouble.

Character

Betty's character can be considered the least developed character in the show, as she is rarely seen not following the lead of either Barney or Wilma. In spite of this, Betty is shown to have a distinctly emotional marriage with Barney, which more often includes pet names and obvious affection, as opposed to the more dynamic and energetic interaction between Fred and Wilma. The occasions when Betty leads the action are extremely scarce: one episode centers around her working undercover as a gentle old lady to earn money for a present for Barney, and on another occasion the plot for her and Wilma was led by her suspicions of Barney being involved with another woman (which turns out to be Fred in a disguise contrived in order to attend a ball game free of charge). This lack of protagonism (almost as background-set as supporting characters such as Pebbles, Bamm-Bamm or Dino, except for her more continuous presence) makes Betty less of a protagonist as is implied by the general concept of the show.

Biography

While the mid-1980s spin-off series The Flintstone Kids depicts Betty as a child, the series seems to be mostly apocryphal, owing to its presenting Betty as a childhood friend of Fred and Barney (the original series asserts that they first met as young adults6) and that they enjoy watching a TV show starring Captain Caveman (The Flintstone Comedy Show asserts that the adult Betty is ignorant of Captain Caveman's superhero identity when working with him at the Daily Granite newspaper). The series also erroneously refers to Betty's last name as "Bricker," not "McBricker."7 Still, the series' assertions that Betty was a childhood friend of Wilma, that she has an older brother named Brad, and that her parents ran a convenience store may be considered canon.

As young adults, Betty and Wilma were employed as cigarette girls/waitresses at a resort. There, they first met, and fell in love with their future husbands, Fred and Barney. Eventually, Betty and Barney were married, presumably not long after Fred and Wilma.6

Betty became a homemaker, keeping house with such prehistoric aids as a baby mammoth vacuum cleaner, pelican washing machine, and so forth. Betty, much like Wilma, also enjoyed volunteering for various charitable/women's organizations in Bedrock, shopping, and (occasionally) meeting the celebrities of their world, including "Stony Curtis", "Cary Granite", and "Ann-Margrock". Betty at one time also had a job working for an 'old lady' who turned out to be a young lady in disguise and who was using Betty to pass counterfeit money; this was the only episode centered principally around Betty. 8

In the fourth season of the original series, Betty and Barney found an abandoned infant on their doorstep, by the name of "Bamm-Bamm." After a court battle for possession of Bamm-Bamm (in which the Rubbles faced the opposition's noted prehistoric lawyer "Perry Masonry"), the couple were allowed to adopt Bamm-Bamm.9 The Rubbles never had children of their own.

When Bamm-Bamm was a teenager, Betty gained employment as a reporter for one of Bedrock's newspapers, the Daily Granite (presumably a parody of the Daily Planet of Superman fame), under the editorial guidance of Lou Granite (presumably a parody of Lou Grant of the contemporaneous eponymous series, and formerly of The Mary Tyler Moore Show). While employed there, she shared various adventures with prehistoric superhero Captain Caveman, who (in a secret identity) also works for the newspaper.1

Later still, after Bamm-Bamm grew up and left home, Betty started a successful catering business with her neighbor and friend Wilma, before becoming a grandmother to Bamm-Bamm's twin children, Chip and Roxy.3

Portrayal

June Foray voiced Betty in the original pilot titled The Flagstones, although she was busy with other projects at the time- (such as The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show) and was unable to sign on as a regular voice for the series. Bea Benaderet voiced Betty from seasons one to four before resigning in 1964 due to the workload on Petticoat Junction. Gerry Johnson took over the role for the fifth and sixth seasons, as well as The Man Called Flintstone film before taking leave shortly afterward. Gay Autterson Hartwig, Julie McWhirter Dees, Betty Jean Ward and Grey DeLisle have since all performed the role in later Flintstones media.

In the 1994 film, Betty was portrayed by Rosie O'Donnell,1011 a casting decision somewhat controversial with fans as the plus-sized O'Donnell did not match Betty's slender figure from the animated series; O'Donnell reportedly won the role because she captured the high pitch laugh at her audition. Jane Krakowski's version of the character in the second movie was generally received better, though was largely overlooked owing to the film's poor overall reception. Her last name in the film is O'Shale in this version.

Crossovers

  • Betty has been seen in the Dexter's Laboratory episode Dad is Disturbed talking to Dexter's Mom, but was tied up by Dexter's Dad.
  • Betty has been seen in the I Am Weasel episode I Am My Lifetime, where she is placed in the Retirement Home for Sidekicks (which is actually Baboon's trailer).
  • In The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy episode "A Grim Prophecy," Grim is shown as a child in the Stone Age, just starting his job as the Grim Reaper. He has a list of living things to reap, and visible on the list is "B. Rubble," which could be either Barney or Betty.

References

  1. ^ a b The Flintstone Comedy Show, 1980-82, NBC
  2. ^ I Yabba Dabba Do, 1993, ABC
  3. ^ a b c Hollyrock-a-Bye Baby, 1993, ABC
  4. ^ "The Surprise," The Flintstones, season 3
  5. ^ "Day of the Villains," The Flintstone Kids, 1987
  6. ^ a b "Bachelor Daze," The Flintstones, season 4
  7. ^ "Betty's Big Break," The Flintstone Kids, 1987
  8. ^ "Old Lady Betty," The Flintstones, season 4
  9. ^ "Little Bamm-Bamm," The Flintstones, season 4
  10. ^ Page, Janice (1994-03-24). "ROSIE: She Cuts Through the Rubble and Tells It Straight Up : The Comic-Turned-Actress Is a Real-Life Rizzo Who Says What's on Her Mind". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-10. 
  11. ^ Page, Janice (1994-03-29). "A New Stage in Her Career : O'Donnell's Made It in Movies, but Broadway Was Her Dream". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-10. 







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