Pat Carroll, Voice of Ursula in 'The Little Mermaid,' Dies at 95
Pat Carroll, a pioneer of early TV and the voice of Ursula in Disney's "The Little Mermaid," died Sunday at her Cape Cod home while battling pneumonia, Variety reports. She was 95.
Born May 5, 1927, in Shreveport, Louisiana, she began her acting as a child once her family relocated to L.A.
She made her film debut in 1948's "Hometown Girl" and soon began appearing on the relatively new medium of television. Among her early TV appearances: "Goodyear Playhouse" (1951), "The Pepsi-Cola Playhouse" (1954), "The Dennis Day Show" (1954), "Max Leibman Spectaculars" (1954), "Studio 57" (1954), and "The Mickey Rooney Show" (1954).
In 1957, at what was then only the 9th Annual Emmys, Carroll won a statuette for Best Supporting Performance by an Actress for her work on "Caesar's Hour," which was chosen Best Series, One Hour or More.
She also made an impression as stepsister Prunella in the musical version of "Cinderella" (1965), which starred Lesley Ann Warren in the title role and became a ratings blockbuster.
Carroll worked prolifically on TV, including 40 episodes of "The Danny Thomas Show" (1961-1964) as Bunny Halper, various appearances on "The Red Skelton Hour" (1962-1968), as Shirley Feeney's mom on "Laverne & Shirley" (1976), a recurring role on "Too Close for Comfort" (1986-1987), and as a series regular for 45 episodes of the Suzanne Somers-starring "She's the Sheriff" (1987-1989).
Already a veteran of voice work — she had, unhappily, been replaced as Jane Jetson during the creation of "The Jetsons" in 1962 — her career changed dramatically when she voiced the evil sea witch Ursula in the Disney feature "The Little Mermaid" (1989), singing "Poor Unfortunate Souls."
After that, she worked extensively for the House of Mouse, voicing Ursula and other characters for series, shorts, and video games.
Carroll is survived by her daughters Kerry and Tara, and by her granddaughter Evan.