‘Little Mermaid’ Voice Actor Samuel E. Wright Dead at 74
Samuel E. Wright, the voice actor behind Sebastian in “The Little Mermaid,” has died. He was 74.
The town of Montgomery, New York, announced his passing on Facebook, writing, “Today, the Town of Montgomery mourns the loss of Sam Wright… Sam was an inspiration to us all and along with his family established the Hudson Valley Conservatory.”
The post continued, “Sam and his family have impacted countless Hudson Valley youth always inspiring them to reach higher and dig deeper to become the best version of themselves. On top of his passion for the arts and his love for his family, Sam was most known for walking into a room and simply providing PURE JOY to those he interacted with. He loved to entertain, he loved to make people smile and laugh and he loved to love.”
The statement ended with “The greater Town of Montgomery Community mourns together today. As we say goodbye to a pillar in our community and ask everyone to share a memory and help us celebrate the life of this great man.”
Wright was famous for playing Sebastian, and his song “Under the Sea” won the Oscar for Best Original Song in 1990. His song “Kiss the Girl” was also a contender that year.
The star earned two Tony nominations during his career. The first was for playing William in “The Tap Dance Kid” in 1984 and the second was for portraying Mufasa in the Broadway show “The Lion King” in 1998.
Wright also starred in the Broadway shows “Jesus Christ Superstar” in 1971 and “Pippin” in 1972, as well as the Apollo Theater’s 1995 revival of “The Wiz.”