Lucille Bliss, 96, Was Cartoon Voice of Crusader Rabbit, Smurfette

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Lucille Bliss

Lucille Bliss

Voice actress Lucille Bliss, who por­trayed the title char­ac­ter of the first made-for-TV car­toon series, Cru­sader Rab­bit (1949–51), died Thurs­day night, ani­ma­tor Dave Nimitz said. She was 96.

She had been liv­ing in Mesa Verde Res­i­den­tial Care Cen­ter in Costa Mesa, California.

Bliss voiced Smur­fette, the only female Smurf, from 1981 to 1989 in the Hanna-Barbera series Smurfs, as well as the 1987 TV spe­cial ‘Tis the Sea­son to Be Smurfy. Other Smur­fette appear­ances were in the TV-movies The Smurfs Christ­mas Spe­cial and The Smurfs Spring­time Spe­cial (both 1982), My Smurfy Valen­tine (1983), and The Smurfic Games (1984).

For Dis­ney, she por­trayed step­sis­ter Anas­ta­sia in Cin­derella (1950), Sun­flower and Turnip in Alice in Won­der­land (1951), and the Kanine Krunchie Com­mer­cial Singer in 101 Dal­ma­tians (1961). Other roles in car­toon films were Mrs. Fitzgib­bons in Don Bluth Pro­duc­tions’ The Secret of NIMH (1982) and the Pigeon Lady in Blue Sky’s Robots (2005).

Also at Dis­ney, she nar­rated “Story of Thumper,” “Story of the White Rab­bit” and “Story of Grandpa Bunny,” three sto­ries on the Dis­ney album Peter Cot­ton­tail and Other Funny Bun­nies.

Her other reg­u­lar TV series roles included Snoopy in H-B’s The Space Kidettes (1966), Queen Slugga in Ewoks (1986–87), and Ms. Bit­ters in Invader ZIM (2001).

Over the 1950s, Bliss was heard in sev­eral the­atri­cal Warner Bros. and MGM the­atri­cal car­toon shorts. Though uncred­ited, she was Suzanne in Friz Freleng’s A Kid­dies Kitty (1955), the Lit­tle Girl and Mama in A Wag­gily Tale (1958), Jerry’s lit­tle mouse friend Tuffy in 1958’s MGM car­toon Robin Hood­winked, and the Lep­rechaun in another 1958 MGM release, Droopy Lep­rechaun.

On TV, she guested as Hugo and Scout in the 1961 The Flint­stones episode “The Good Scout,” The Librar­ian in the 2005 Duck Dodgers episode “All in the Crime Fam­ily,” and Yagoda (aka Yugoda) in the 2005 Avatar: The Last Air­ben­der episodes “The Water­bend­ing Mas­ter” and “The Siege of the North Pt. 1.”

Bliss por­trayed Bamm Bamm Rub­ble in the 1977 TV-movie A Flint­stone Christ­mas and Dusty in the 1978 TV-movie The Flint­stones Lit­tle Big League. Other TV-movie and TV spe­cial roles included Miss Witch in The Great Bear Scare (1983); and Lick­ety Page and other char­ac­ters in the ABC Week­end Spe­cials Cap’n O.G. Readmore’s Jack and the Beanstalk (1985), Cap’n O.G. Read­more Meets Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Cap’n O.G. Readmore’s Puss in Boots and Cap’n O.G. Read­more Meets Red Rid­ing Hood (both 1988).

She was in the voice casts of the two-part 1972 spe­cial Oliver and the Art­ful Dodger, released as an install­ment of The ABC Sat­ur­day Super­star Movie; the 1975 TV-movie The Tiny Tree. Bliss was also in the 1979 TV-movie Casper the Friendly Ghost: He Ain’t Scary, He’s Our Brother (aka Casper Saves Hal­loween).

Bliss por­trayed Quinby in the 2007 the­atri­cal car­toon short Up-In-Down Town, and also was heard in the the­atri­cal shorts Hug Me (1981) and Betty Boop’s Hol­ly­wood Mys­tery (1989)

In the 2005 video short Blue Har­vest Days (reti­tled Who Saves the Vil­lage?), she voiced Bear Brat.

Born in New York City on March 31, 1916, Bliss moved to San Fran­cisco in the 1950s. There, she hosted ABC affil­i­ate KRON-TV’s The Happy Birth­day To You Show, a live local kids’ pro­gram, from 1950 to 1957.

For her work in Cin­derella, Bliss received the For­mer Child Star Life­time Achieve­ment Award at the 1999 Young Artist Awards. At the Annie Awards, she won the Win­sor McCay award for life­time achieve­ment in 2000.

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