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Ursula’s Voice Actor Pat Carroll Has Died at the Age of 95

Daughter Kerry Karsian of Pat Carroll reported that her mother passed away on Saturday at her Cape Cod home.

Pat Carroll, an Emmy-winning actor and voice of Ursula in The Little Mermaid, died at the age of 89. She had just turned ninety-five years old.

Carroll died on Saturday, according to her daughter Kerry Karsian, a casting agent in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. We want everyone to “honor [her] by having a raucous laugh at absolutely anything today (and every day forward) because… she leaves my sister Kerry and me with the greatest gift of all, imbuing us with humor and the ability to laugh… even in the saddest of times,” her other daughter Tara Karsian wrote on Instagram on Sunday.

 

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The year was 1927, and Carroll’s place of birth was Shreveport, LA. At the age of 5, her family moved to Los Angeles. Her cinematic debut was in 1948’s Hometown Girl, but it was on television that she really gained her footing. With Danny Thomas, she was a regular on Make Room for Daddy and a guest on The DuPont Show with June Allyson, and a regular variety show guest appearance on The Danny Kaye Show. She also received an Emmy for her sketch comedy work on Caesar’s Hour in 1956.

Also in 1965, she played one of the wicked stepsisters in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella television show. The recording of her one-woman performance Gertrude Stein, Gertrude Stein, Gertrude Stein earned her a Grammy nomination in 1980.

Pat Carroll (1)

The 1989 release of Disney’s The Little Mermaid introduced her to a whole new audience. Director Ron Clements and John Musker and the musical team of Howard Ashman and Alan Menken wanted Joan Collins or Bea Arthur to voice the sea witch, according to reports. It wasn’t until Carroll had a chance to audition that Elaine Stritch was already cast. She’d be one of Disney’s most recognizable villains because of her throaty delivery of Poor Unfortunate Souls.

Carroll regularly gushed about how much she loved playing Ursula. A former Shakespearean actress who now sells automobiles was how she described her.

“She’s a mean old thing, that one!” Carroll, in an interview, remarked, “I think people are captivated by cruel characters. As a result of the rarity with which we come into contact with truly nasty and evil people, they serve as a kind of fatal distraction. As a result, when we get the opportunity to watch a big-name performer like this one in the theatre, it’s exciting for us.”