Lucille Bliss, 96, who provided the voice of the cartoon character Crusader Rabbit in the early days of TV and gained recognition a generation later as the voice of Smurfette in the 1980s television hit "The Smurfs," died Nov. 8 from natural causes in Costa Mesa, Calif.

Bliss parlayed a childhood love of radio theater into a career as an animation voice actress that stretched more than 60 years. She was working as recently as last month.

She gave voice to the stepsister Anastasia in Disney's 1950 film "Cinderella" and was the original Elroy in the 1960s TV hit "The Jetsons."

Through the decades, her elastic voice fleshed out characters in a wide range of projects -- from "The Flintstones" to animated "Star Wars" spinoffs and video games.

But her groundbreaking role was in the original "Crusader Rabbit," the first animated series produced specifically for TV. Its first incarnation ran on NBC from 1950 to 1952.