RIP, Lucille Bliss: Voice of Smurfette and Crusader Rabbit
November 15, 2012 2:47 PM Subscribe
posted by zarq (18 comments total)
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'TV historians will tell you that “Felix the Cat” was one of the first images ever broadcast on television (when RCA broadcast a Felix doll in 1928 on experimental station W2XBS) — but it wasn’t until the late ’40s that the first animated character was created expressly for TV. Crusader Rabbit
appeared for the very first time on KNBH (Los Angeles) on August 1, 1950, and featured a Don Quixote-like title character aided by his friend Ragland T. “Rags” Tiger as they pursued adventures in serial (i.e. cliffhanger) installments.' On November 8th, the voice of Crusader Rabbit, Lucille Bliss, passed away
at the age of 96. Ms. Bliss may be more familiar to younger fans as the voice of Smurfette
, from The Smurfs
, or as Ms. Bitters
on Invader ZIM.
"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," said David Scheve, who owns TDA Animation and worked with Bliss. "She could do three or four characters in one [scene] and you'd never know they were all her. She was terrific."
"[After Crusader Rabbit,] Bliss went on to hundreds of voiceover jobs in both feature film and TV animation, with some of her best-known roles being the ugly stepsister Anastasia in Disney’s Cinderella.... She also had roles in Disney’s Alice in Wonderland and 101 Dalmatians; Hanna-Barbera’s The Flintstones and Space Kidettes; Don Bluth’s The Secret of NIMH; MGM’s “Robin Hoodwinked” and “Droopy Leprechaun”; and Fox/Blue Sky’s Robots.
Ms. Bliss spoke about being Smurfette
back in 2006 to the Archive of American Television
The Crusader Rabbit
show was broken into 10 "Crusades", each made up of a different number of serialized episodes that were about four minutes long. From 1949 - 1951, ten crusades totaling 195 episodes were produced. But unless you're in your 40's or older, there's a good chance you've never heard of the show
. The first 34 Crusader Rabbit episodes (two full "Crusades") can be seen in a YouTube playlist.