Pioneering voice actress Lucille Bliss passes away at age 96.
Lucille Bliss, the voice of Smurfette on the cartoon series The Smurfs and of wicked step-sister Anastasia in Disney’s Cinderella, has passed away at age 96. According to a report by Behind the Voice Actors, the pioneering voice actress died of a staph infection and pneumonia last week on Thursday, November 8, 2012.
Bliss was born in New York City on March 31, 1916. Within her 70+ year long career, she made a name for herself as the voice of the title character in Crusader Rabbit, one of the first major cartoons for both the legendary Jay Ward and for television in general. Her voice graced several Disney features, including Cinderella and 101 Dalmatians, where she can be heard singing the "Kanine Krunchies" jingle. More recently, many would probably recognize her as the aptly named Ms. Bitters from Invader Zim or as Northern Water Tribe healer Yugoda from Avatar: The Last Airbender. However, Bliss will probably be best remembered as the voice of Smurfette, the much adored female character of The Smurfs.
Outside of the realm of animation, Bliss hosted The Happy Birthday To You Show on the local ABC/KRON-TV channel in San Francisco from 1950 to 1957. She narrated the stories of Thumper, the White Rabbit, and Grandpa Bunny on the Disney Album Peter Rabbit and Other Funny Bunnies. In 1999, she received a Former Child Star Lifetime Achievement Award for her work in Cinderella. About a year later, she was one of three recipients of the Windsor McCay Award at the 28th Annual Annie Awards, an honor no legend such as Bliss should be without.
One of the most venerable voice artists in the industry and unequivocally one of the most enduring, Lucille Bliss will be truly missed.
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.