Actor Samuel E. Wright, the recognizable voice behind Sebastian the Crab in “The Little Mermaid”, has passed away. He was 74 years old.
Wright’s hometown of Montgomery, New York, sent the actor on Tuesday, when the city announced the news of his passing in a tribute shared on his Facebook page.
“Today the town of Montgomery mourns the loss of Sam Wright,” the post read and features a photo of Wright with city supervisor Brian Maher and his brother Patrick in Walden in the early 1990s. Sam was an inspiration to all of us and together with his family founded the Hudson Valley Conservatory. “
Wright passed away peacefully Monday evening at his home in Walden, New York, after a three-year battle with prostate cancer, his daughter Dee told The Hollywood Reporter (THR). “He was the brightest light,” she said.
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The rounded performer also maintained theater work and other on-screen roles before Sebastian elevated him to stardom.
He appears in the musicals “Jesus Christ Superstar”, “Pippin” and was instrumental in creating the role of Mufasa for the Tony award winning musical “Lion King”.
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Other roles include “Enos”, “All My Children” and “The Cosby Show”. Wright also co-starred with Forest Whitaker in Clint Eastwood’s film, “Bird”.
“In addition to his passion for the arts and love for his family, Sam was best known for walking into a room and just providing PURE JOY to those he interacted with,” the tribute continued. “He loved to entertain, he loved to make people smile and laugh, and he loved to love.”
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Wright captured the hearts of millions of people in 1989 when the world heard his voice as Sebastian in the beloved Disney film.
Two of the show’s most popular jingles, “Under the Sea” and “Kiss the Girl” were Oscar nominees and “Under the Sea” won the Oscar for Best Original Song.
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In addition to his roles in the “Little Mermaid” sequels, Wright also lent his voice to the Disney film, “Dinosaur,” in 2000.
Wright is survived by his wife, Amanda – they were reportedly married for 49 years in June – and their children, Keely, Dee and Sam, THR said.
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