Full Name:

Lillian Friedman Astor

Occupation / Title:

Date of birth:


Date of death:



New York City, New York, USA


Lillian Friedman Astor was born in New York City. She developed a passion for drawing as a preteen, and went on to attend Washington Irving High School, focusing on fashion design. After a brief stint as a fashion designer upon graduation, she sought work instead as an animator, initially at the small but influential Audio Productions. Disney Studios turned her down, but she was hired as an inbetweener at Fleischer Studios in 1932.

While at Fleischer, she struggled to gain recognition, in spite of her clear talent. Even when she was hired to a full-time animator in 1933, her salary was $30 a week, only a fraction of what her male-coworkers made. She initially worked in Seymour Kneitel’s unit, but soon switched to Myron Waldman’s, which had a far more supportive atmosphere. Altogether, she animated 42 cartoons, but only received credit for six: the Popeye cartoon “Can You Take It,” the Betty Boop cartoons “Prize Show,” “Making Stars,” “Judge for a Day,” “Be Human,” “The New Deal Show,” Pudgy Takes a Bow-Wow,” “Buzzy Boop and the Concert,” “Pudgy and the Lost Kitten,” and “Honest Love and True,” as well as the Color Classics cartoon “Hawaiian Birds.”

In the 1937 strike, Friedman, a newly minted member of the Commercial Artists and Design Union, was one of several animators who agreed to cross the picket lines. This decision ultimately harmed Friedman’s career, with tensions rising between scabs and union advocates during and after the strike. In 1938, Fleischer moved to Miami as a means to bust the union. She retired from animation a year later, when her husband was able to find work, and dedicated her time to raising a family. In recognition of her contributions to animation, the Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists awarded her a Golden Award in 1987. She passed away in 1989, at the age of 77.


Deneroff, Harvey. “A Chat with Lillian Friedman Astor.” Cartoon Research, 28 March 2016, cartoonresearch.com/index.php/a-chat-with-lillian-friedman-astor.

“Lillian Friedman Astor.” Great Women Animators, greatwomenanimators.com/lillian-friedman-astor-2. Accessed 7 March 2021.

Suggestions are not enabled for this post.