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Cartoon Culture

Lucille Bliss (1916-2012)

Animator Dave Nimitz has informed me that Lucille Bliss passed away on Thursday night (November 8th). Bliss was a pioneering television voice actress who’s vocal career began by voicing TV’s first cartoon character, Crusader Rabbit (1949), and crowned her extensive experience as the memorable “Miss Bitters” on Nickelodeon’s popular Invader Zim.

Other notable roles Bliss voiced included step-sister “Anastasia” in Walt Disney’s Cinderella (1950) and playing “Smurfette” in nine seasons of Hanna Barbera’s The Smurfs.

A New York City native, she settled in San Francisco in the 1950s as the hostess of a live local children’s TV show, ABC/KRON-TV’s The Happy Birthday To You Show.

Her vocal career brought her roles in Disney features (Alice In Wonderland, 101 Dalmatians), Hanna Barbera cartoons (The Flintstones, Space Kidettes), Don Bluth’s The Secret of Nimh (1982) and Blue Sky’s Robots (2005). Bliss appeared in several Warner Bros. and MGM theatrical cartoons in the 1950s. She was Suzanne in Friz Freleng’s A Kiddie’s Kitty (1955) and voiced characters in A Waggily Tale (1958). She was Jerry’s companion “Tuffy” in the MGM cartoon Robin Hoodwinked (1958), and played the Leprechaun in MGM’s Droopy Leprechaun (1958).

Needless to say, her unique vocal stylings will be missed. Click here for an extensive interview with Bliss, conducted in 2005 by Television Academy. Below, a gallery of her most famous characters, followed by the first episode of Crusader Rabbit.