Lucille Bliss, who voiced the groundbreaking TV characters CRUSADER RABBIT and SMURFETTE has died at 96.
She passed November 8th, The New York Times reported.
“Crusader Rabbit” was the first cartoon series produced specifically for television created by Jay Ward of "Rocky and Bullwinkle" fame which was soon followed by Hanna- Barbera’s “Ruff and Reddy” and “Huckleberry Hound”.
Bliss’s voicing off Crusader— the adventure seeking rabbit alongside his dumb buddy, Rags the Tiger — “made her one of the very first television stars,” TV journo Mark Evanier, told the NYT.
Bliss played Crusader in the very first season which first aired September 1949, but not in later seasons.
Bliss was all over the animation landscape of thje 1970s and 1960s, providing the voice thesping for Anastaia — one of Cinderella’s step-sisters in the Disney flick in 1950
She also appeared on “The Flintstones”, created the voice of Elroy on "The Jetsons" and in commercials for Froot Loops and Ovaltine.
But it was on “The Smufs” Bliss may have attained her greatest fame as the voice of Smurfette – the lone female in the world of Smurfs which ran on TV from 1981 to 1989.
“Smurfette felt so real to me because I created her voice, so I could feel her emotions,” Ms. Bliss told Animation magazine.
“It may sound strange, but it’s true. We have to think like the character and it takes over.”