Lucille Bliss

Birth: Friday 31 March 1929 New York City, New York, US Death: November 8, 2012 (age 96) in Costa Mesa, California, USA

Occupation/Title Actress, Voice Actress

Bio Summary
Getting into show business is hard especially for a woman in the 1950s, but Nevertheless Lucille Bliss found work and work right up until her death as a voice Actress. Lucille constantly auditioned at the Hanna-Barbera Company for nearly 20 years until her perseverance finally paid off paid of getting the role as the voice of Smurfette. She was up for earlier parts but at H&b lost them because Shull Bonsall threaten to destroy the fledgling company if they gave her a part. According to Fred Patton, Bonsall confirmed that she sued him over his attempts to destroy her career. He was mad at her because she would not revoice Crusader Rabbit for lest than union rates. She later had a part on Jetsons but lost it because of her agent. Despite these set backs she made her mark in countless cartoons and television series for over 50 years, her journey throughout the industry was never easy but always fulfilling.

Early Life/Family
She lived in Manhattan until she was about 4, then she moved to Springfield Massachusetts. Later in life they moved to Kansas City until finally arriving in San Francisco California when she was about 12 in 1928 if she was born in 29 how can she be 12 in 28?. Her mothers name was Frida Simans and was a magnificent pianist, her fathers name was James Francis Bliss who was a dental surgeon. While Lucille was young her dream was to be an actress, which her grandmother supported immensely while her mother on the other hand wanted her to be an opera singer. This was a constant debate even up until Lucille was in high school but finally her mother accepted Lucille’s desire for acting. After graduating High school Lucille attended UC San Francisco for 2 years studying advertising.

Education/Training
University of California at Berkeley

Career Outline
Her first big break was the voice actress for Disney’s Cinderella as Anastasia. She would later go on to be to voice of Crusader Rabbit and Smufette. Her most recent role was the voice of Ms. Bitters in Invader Zim and as Yugada in the anime series Avitar: The Last Air bender.

Comments On Style
Always imaginative with the characters she brought to life with her voice, many times she wouldn’t be shown the picture of her character but just the dialogue and would have to create the character from there.

Influences
The poem, The Sad Barbra Allen
The actress, Paulette Goddard

Personality
Lucille Bliss was always bubbly and ambitious. She always knew she wanted to be an actress and work in the Hollywood scene. She always paid back her debts and always remembered her promises. After too many disappointments in the voice acting business she became very depressed and sick, it wasn’t until she went talked to a priest who gave her an inspirational book that she read everyday. Within two months she was cured and she believes it was all because of that book.

Anecdotes
When she came down to Hollywood from San Francisco she heard of an audition at Disney, being very interested she got a cab. The man asked her how much money she had and she said 7.50. “Oh isn’t that coincidental” the cab driver said, “ that’s exactly how much it’ll cost ya to get to the Disney studio.” As they were driving Lucille noticed the buildings they passed by looked familiar and questioned the driver he replied, “well this is Hollywood, when we have something good in Hollywood we repeat it.” Being young and naive she believed the cab driver. When she finally got to Disney studios there was no one there and she realized the driver had took her in circles and she was 30 minutes late.

She considerers the Jetsons a heartbreakers because she worked for six weeks on the show when the director decided that she needed to be kept a secrets because Madison Avenue wanted an actual little boy to voice Elroy. So they gave her the pseudonym Little Lou Bliss. Her agent became very angry with them not using her real name. He was so upset that he went to Hana-Barbera and complained that she should get more money and that her real name be used, two weeks later she got the pink slip. Later on she would let her agent go.

In the late 90s at a Fox premiere I was talking to her at the buffet table when she opened her purse took out a plastic bag and started filling it with food. I completely loved her for it. The only time I ever saw her upset was when I asked her about Bonsall. (Loc)

Miscellaneous

Her first taste of acting came when the KSFO radio station were having auditions. Despite needing some technique she landed Radio Players on KLS, which was a true detective mysteries. This was the beginning of her voice work, during the radio series she would have to play a number of different characters with different voices. Lucille also knew many languages from her grandmother who was a linguist, which included French, German, and English. This knowledge helped her in her voice acting if a character needed to have an accent and she was very determined to study at the skill to perfect it.

Filmography
Cinderella (1950) (voice) Anastasia*
*"Crusader Rabbit" (1950) TV Series (voice) Crusader Rabbit (1949)
A Wigggily Tale (1958) (voice)
"The Flinstinstones" (1961) (voice) "Hugo"
One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961) (voice) TV Commercial singer
"The Space Kidettes" (1966) TV Series (voice) Snoopy
Funnyman (1967) Girl of 100 Voices
A Flintstones Christmas (1977) (TV) Bam Bam Rubble
"The Smurfs" (1981-1990) TV Series (voice) Smurfette, aka Surfs' Adventure
The Secret of NIMH (1982) (voice) Mrs. Fitzgibbons, aka. Mrs. Brisby and the Rats of NIMH
Rainbow bright: San Diego Zoo Adventure (1983) (voice) Narrator
Dragon's Lair (1983) (voice) Princess Daphne

Strong Kids, Safe Kids (1984) (voice) Smurfette
"Ewoks" (1985-1986) TV Series (additional voice)
Dragon's Lair2 (1986) (voice) Princess Daphne Assasination (1987) Crone
The Night Before (1988) Gal Baby
Miracle Mile (1988) Old woman in dinner
"Nurses" Patient#2 in episode "Coming To America" (1991)
Whaked (1997) Jane Katz
The 51st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (1999) (TV) (voice) (Uncredited) Herself
"Invader Zim" (2001) TV Series (voice) Miss Bitters
Star Wars: Bounty Hunter (2002) (voice) Rozatta 'Roz'
Battlestar Galactica (2003) (voice) Shaden
Blue Hrvest Days (2005) (voice) Bear Brat
Robots (2005) (voice) Pigeon Lady
"Avitar: The Last air bender" "Yugada" (voice) in episode "The siege of the North" Part 1, and Part 2 December 2005

Honors
Annie Award: Winsor McCay Award 2000

Related Links
http://www.tv.com/people/lucille-bliss/
http://www.odysseyscoop.com/actors/lucille_bliss.htm
http://www.cartoonhalloffame.org/2005/12/bliss-lucille.html
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0088520/

Bibliographic References
No books found dedicated to Lucille Bliss
Personal interviews - Larry Loc
Fred Patton Interviews with Shull Bonsall
Interview with Mrs. Bliss by Gary Rogowski

Contributors To This Listing
Gary Rogowski
Heather Collins
Fred Patton
Larry Loc

Animators Hall of Fame