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Saturday May 15, 2010 8:52 pm

Little Orphan Annie, Dead at 85




Posted by Tom Mason Categories: Movies, Independent

Little Orphan AnnieLittle Orphan Annie, the plucky little orphan girl, died today after an extended illness, just a few weeks shy of her 86th birthday. The official cause of death was listed as a broken heart after discovering that she’d been appearing in just 20 newspapers.

Afflicted by a disease that gave her blank eyeballs and kept her perpetually a little girl, Annie began her career in the self-titled comic strip as the ward of the infamous war profiteer Daddy Warbucks, a mouthpiece for conservative politics who launched frequent anti-union tirades. Because of her association with one of the world’s richest men, Annie was often the target of thieves, spies, and villains.

Read More | Little Orphan Annie

“I’ve been kidnapped more times than Lois Lane,” she once said of her multiple disappearances and separations from Warbucks. “She was a good kid,” said the typical family who always took her in when she was lost. Despite this hard knock life, nothing could ever stop her sunny disposition and upbeat personality.

Her “sun will come out tomorrow” attitude was appealing to many of her readers. One of Annie’s longtime fans echoed the sentiments of her elderly fanbase: “Seeing her everyday was like seeing an old friend who…do you like pie? I like pie. What were we talking about?”

Born on August 5, 1924 and raised by Harold Gray, Annie had recently been under the care of Jay Maeder and Ted Slampyak. In addition to the newspaper, Annie’s adventures also appeared on radio, whatever that is. Late in her career, she was the star of a Broadway musical and a popular movie, which have thrilled high school drama teachers, pushy showbiz parents and troubled child actors for more than three decades.

Several of Annie’s catchphrases like “Leapin’ lizards!” and “Gee whiskers” were once popular with a large number of people who are now dead or spend their free time driving their cars through farmer’s markets. “This is a sad day for all of us,” said Dr. Rex Morgan, her longtime physician who has also been ailing.

Annie’s adopted father, Daddy Warbucks, died of a stroke on the day of Barack Obama’s inauguration. Of her close companions, Punjab is rumored to have gone into hiding in the “mysterious East,” while The Asp is believed to be running a CIA black site in Romania. Annie’s dog, Sandy XXIV, is the author of the children’s book, “Arf! The Eyeless Wonder Pup.”

Survivors include Dick Tracy, Popeye, Judge Parker, and Mary Worth, who are busy looking over their own shoulders.

UPDATE: Word as reached us that Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter author Seth Grahame-Smith is interested in keeping the Annie legacy alive. In a new book proposal currently circulating, Little Orphan Annie And Zombies And Conservatives, the orphan girl’s reanimated corpse is said to be taken in by a family of vampire smugglers and Werewolf Daddy Warbucks has just the night of the full moon to find her again.

[Artwork: Little Orphan Annie panel by Harold Gray, snagged from Illustration Art]

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