Lucille Bliss, the personality-filled voice behind the iconic little blue lady marshmallow of Smurfiness, died at age 96 on Nov. 8 in Costa Mesa, Calif.
The show business legend also "provided the cute, husky voice for the title character in the groundbreaking television cartoon series 'Crusader Rabbit' in 1949." Since the Smurfs weren't around until the 80s, Bliss kept busy between those two major gigs:
She performed a panoply of parts over the next five decades. In 1950 she was the voice of Anastasia, the daughter of the wicked stepmother, in the Disney movie "Cinderella." She had parts on "The Flintstones" and in several theatrical cartoons, as well as in commercials for products like Froot Loops and Ovaltine.
Anastasia! Fruit Loops! As for The Smurfs:
As Smurfette, she gave voice to the flirtatious character that many of the other blue, bulby-nosed little creatures had crushes on as they sang, danced and confronted menaces to their world. "The Smurfs" ran 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 in 2005. "It may sound strange, but it's true. We have to think like the character and it takes over."
Who's gonna bring sunshine and happiness to Smurfdom now? I'm sad.
Bliss never married and has no immediate family members surviving her. I don't know much but I do know that tomorrow I'll be wearing a daisy in my hair in her memory.
Lucille Bliss, Voice of Crusader Rabbit and Smurfette, Dies at 96 [New York Times]