Voice of Smurfette and Elroy Jetson, Lucille Bliss, Dies At 96
The woman who was the voice of Smurfette for television's "The Smurfs"—among a host of other recognizable cartoon characters—died this month at the age of 96 in Costa Mesa.
Lucille Bliss' mother was a classically trained pianist who wanted to see her daughter use her vocal talents to go into opera, but Bliss was interested in acting. She got her start on local radio dramas in San Francisco, but she got her big Hollywood break when she tried out for the role of Cinderella's stepsister Anastasia in the 1950 cartoon, according to the Los Angeles Times.
"Six months later I got a phone call," she recalled. "I almost dropped the phone. I was delirious. That is the way it all began."
Bliss went on to become the voice in many memorable cartoons, including the title character of the pioneering "Crusader Rabbit" in the 1950's and the original Elroy of "The Jetsons." She continued to work as a voice actor for film, TV and even videos games for 60 years—right up until last month. Those who worked with her said she was a consummate pro.
David Scheve, who owns TDA Animation, told the Times: "Actors from her generation who came up in live radio, you'd do one or two takes with Lucille and she'd just nail it. She could do three or four characters in one [scene] and you'd never know they were all her. She was terrific."
Bliss died from natural causes on November 8 at an assisted living center in Orange County. She left no survivors and funeral arrangements are pending.