Lucille Bliss, Voice of Smurfette, Gets the World's Most Depressing Obituary
Lucille Bliss, a voice actor best known for voicing Smurfette on the 1980s cartoon The Smurfs, died earlier this month at the age of 96. And that's sad for a whole generation of former Reagan-era brats who ate their Cheerios in front of the Saturday morning cartoon lineup each week.
But not as sad as her obituary in The Hollywood Reporter. Sure, it's written as your standard obit for an industry pro. Maybe you wouldn't even notice the crushingly depressing details if you weren't paying attention.
But life did Smurfette wrong, y'all, and it's all right there in black and white:
Bliss was born March 31, 1916, in New York to Frieda Siemens, a classically trained pianist who wanted Bliss to train as an opera singer, and James Francis Bliss. After her father died in 1928, she and her mother moved to San Francisco, where Bliss took acting lessons.
So her father died when she was 12, leaving Bliss with a single mother and a new home to adjust to -- all right before the Great Depression. Tragic childhood? Check.
She later borrowed $50 to move to Los Angeles for the Cinderella audition.
She was just a plucky young girl with dreams of fame, moving to the big city with stars in her eyes! And she got the part, too, voicing the character of Cinderella's sister, Anastasia.
But the world kept conspiring against her:
Bliss later voiced the original Elroy in the 1960s TV series The Jetsons (she reportedly lost that job when she refused to work under a stage name to cover up the fact the she was a woman voicing a little boy)
Damn you, anti-feminist Don Draper types of the '60s.
Still Bliss persevered, and had quite a career, as far as voice actors go.
But she will perhaps be best remembered as the voice of Smurfette in the beloved '80s series. The character, as voiced by Bliss, also appeared in several TV movies and specials throughout the decade. (Katy Perry voiced the character in the 2011 big-screen version along with its upcoming sequel.)
Those Hollywood bastards outsourced her job to Katy Perry. Katy Perry, people.
Bliss died Nov. 8 of natural causes at an assisted living center in Costa Mesa, Calif., the Orange County coroner told the Los Angeles Times.
That's right, Bliss died over a week ago, and it's just now making the news. Sure, she wasn't exactly a household name. But in this age of the Internet, in which nostalgic former '80s kids are pretty much running the world, you'd think we could do better. Also, why are we finding this out from the Orange County coroner, rather than a family member?
Bliss never married and has no immediate survivors.
So this woman who overcame early tragedy, unpromising circumstance, and sexist douchebaggery in order to delight generations of children with her voice, receiving little recognition along the way, dies alone with no loved ones to mourn her? Not okay, world. Not okay.
Let's all take a little time to relive our lost youths and thank Lucille Bliss for her work, shall we?
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go call my grandma and tell her I love her.
Get the Arts & Culture Newsletter
Find out about arts and culture events in Miami and offers you won't hear about anywhere else.