Voice actress Lucille Bliss, who voiced Smurfette from “The Smurfs” and one of the stepsisters in Disney’s “Cinderella,” died earlier this month in Costa Mesa, the Los Angeles Times reports, at 96 years old. Her funeral is scheduled to be held Tuesday at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in L.A., according to the Comic’s Comic.
Bliss made her name in the voiceover world by voicing the title character on “Crusader Rabbit,” TV’s first animated series. It first aired on L.A.’s KNBH, and the creative team behind it included Jay Ward, who went on to be the man behind the Rocky & Bullwinkle cartoons.
Bliss said she originally cast as Elroy on the Jetsons, but that after refusing to use a stage name to hide the fact that an adult woman was doing the voice of a small boy, she was replaced. However, this has been disputed by animation historian Mark Evanier.
Bliss likely had her largest impact as the voice of Smurfette on “The Smurfs,” providing the previously all-male Smurf village with a female influence. (It’s a voice provided in the more recent feature film by someone else known for her voice, but not necessarily her voice acting — Katy Perry.)
Bliss talks about creating the voice for the character in this 2005 interview:
She was working as recently as last month, according to the Times, and continued lending her voice to modern cartoons — including early 2000s cult hit “Invader Zim” as Zim adult nemesis Ms. Bitters.
Some of her film contributions included characters in “Alice in Wonderland” and “The Secret of NIMH,” as well as several Flintstones movies.
Outside of animation, Bliss got started early on with radio serials and doing USO shows in San Francisco during World War 2. She hosted a local San Francisco children’s show in the 1950s that Bliss said helped inspire “The Mickey Mouse Club.”
Her numerous projects included narrating several stories on a Disney children’s storytelling album:
Find out more about Bliss in this two-and-a-half hour 2005 interview: