Comic Strip / Comics

Was Annie Based Off a Comic Strip?

If you are a fan of the Broadway musical “Annie,” you might be wondering whether the story was based off a comic strip. The answer is yes, it was! Created by Harold Gray, “Little Orphan Annie” was a popular comic strip that ran from 1924 to 1968.

The Story of Little Orphan Annie

The comic strip followed the adventures of Annie, a young girl who is left orphaned after her parents pass away. She is taken under the wing of a millionaire named Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks, who becomes her adoptive father and provides her with a lavish lifestyle. Along with her dog Sandy, Annie goes on various adventures and gets into all sorts of trouble.

The Inspiration for Annie

Harold Gray based the character of Annie on a real-life person he had met while working as an Illustrator for the Chicago Tribune. The girl’s name was Marjorie Buell and she had red hair and an adventurous spirit that Gray found endearing.

The Creation of the Musical

After Gray’s death in 1968, “Little Orphan Annie” continued to be published until it ended in 2010. However, it wasn’t until 1977 that the story was adapted into a Broadway musical called “Annie.” The musical was a huge success and ran for six years, winning seven Tony Awards in the process.

Differences Between Comic Strip and Musical

While “Annie” was based off “Little Orphan Annie,” there are some key differences between the two. For one thing, Daddy Warbucks is portrayed as more benevolent in the musical than he is in the comic strip. Additionally, some characters from the original comic strip were omitted from the musical entirely.

The Legacy of Annie

Despite these differences, “Annie” has become a beloved musical that has been adapted into multiple films and stage productions. The character of Annie is often seen as a symbol of hope and resilience, as she overcomes the hardships of her past to find a new family and a better future.


In conclusion, “Annie” was indeed based off the popular comic strip “Little Orphan Annie.” While there are some differences between the two, both stories share a common theme of hope and perseverance in the face of adversity. Whether you are a fan of the comic strip or the musical, there is no denying the lasting impact that Annie has had on popular culture.