Tony-nominated actor Samuel E. Wright, best known for playing the voice of beloved “The Little Mermaid” character Sebastian the crab, died at age 74, according to a Facebook post from his hometown. Hours after the news broke on May 25, Deadline reported the late star died one day earlier at his home in the village of Walden in Montgomery, New York, from prostate cancer.
“Today, the Town of Montgomery mourns the loss of Sam Wright,” read the Facebook post, which featured a throwback photo of Wright from the early 1990s. While many remember the Broadway alum for his incredible acting skills, the social media tribute noted he was also “an inspiration” to many through his work at the Hudson Valley Conservatory.
“[Wright] 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,” read the Facebook post. “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.”
Per Deadline, Wright is survived by his wife, Amanda Wright, and his children, Keely Wright, Dee Wright, and Sam Wright. At the time of this publication, funeral arrangements have yet to be announced.
Samuel E. Wright is remembered for 'The Little Mermaid,' 'The Lion King,' and more
Samuel E. Wright broke barriers in showbiz and entertained audiences around the world, and he’ll forever be remembered for voicing one of the most iconic Disney characters in film history. The late film star made his acting debut years before he voiced Sebastian the crab, though. Per IMDb, his first role was in the 1976 TV series “Ball Four.”
Wright’s portrayal of C.B. Travis led to guest appearances in hit sitcoms like “All My Children” in 1983, “The Cosby Show” and “Simon & Simon” in 1986, as well as “Spenser: For Hire” in 1998. It was the following year when he made his claim to fame in “The Little Mermaid.” He reprised his famous 1989 role countless times throughout the years, such as the TV series “Little Mermaid’s Island,” films “Marsupilami” and “Dinosaur,” and in a handful of video games (via IMDb).
Wright’s Hollywood résumé also includes 1988’s “Bird” with Clint Eastwood, 1993’s “Strapped,” 1997’s “New York Undercover,” plus multiple appearances in “Law & Order,” “House of Mouse,” and “Jonny Zero.” During his time on the big screen, Wright also juggled work on Broadway, appearing in projects like “Two Gentlemen of Verona,” “Over Here!” and several others, per Playbill. Most impressively, his roles in “The Tap Dance Kid” and “The Lion King” earned him Tony nominations.
We’re sending our thought to the Wright family during this tragic time.
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