This is very sad and i am copy a quote from Rick Goldschmidt, if your not familer with him he is the Rankin/Bass Historian and has written a few books on the history of Rankin and Bass
It is a very sad day in THE ENCHANTED WORLD OF RANKIN/BASS...actress Billie Mae Richards passed away today at age 88 (She would have been 89 in November). I just got off the phone with her daughter, Cyndi Richards-Jamieson, and she said she passed this morning quietly in her sleep. It was peaceful and at home. I did many radio show appearances with my friend Billie Mae over the years and she sounded as youthful as when she did the voice of RUDOLPH in 1964. She always sang a few bars of "We're a couple of misfits." Our last show together was in 2009 and we were planning a possible appearance at a Canadian film festival this Christmas. She was a wonderful person and will always be remembered for the life she breathed into RUDOLPH! Besides doing the voice of RUDOLPH, she did many other RANKIN/BASS voices including Bobby Bond (THE KING KONG SHOW), Willy McBean (RANKIN/BASS' WILLY McBEAN & HIS MAGIC MACHINE), many voices in RANKIN/BASS' FESTIVAL OF FAMILY CLASSICS and so much more. She was one of a kind!