Samuel Wright, Voice of Sebastian in The Little Mermaid, Dies at 74

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Samuel Wright, best-known for his role as Sebastian in The Little Mermaid, has died. He was 74.

The news was announced on the Facebook page of Montgomery, New York. The post called Wright “an inspiration to us all” and praised him for helping to establish the Hudson Valley Conservatory.

Image Credit: Craig Barritt / Getty Images

“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 post said.

Wright’s television career began in 1976, when he played C.B. Travis in Ball Four, a series based on a popular baseball book, but it was in 1989 that he got his break as the voice of Ariel’s nervous crab companion. Wright based Sebastian’s voice on an accent he picked up in college, where he roomed with a pair of men from Trinidad. His best moment came in singing Under the Sea, which would win an Oscar for Best Original Song.

In the years that followed, he appeared in The Little Mermaid TV series, various video games, and a pair of direct-to-video releases. He was better-known for his work in theater, where he appeared in productions like Jesus Chris Superstar. He also originated the role of Mufasa in the Broadway adaptation of The Lion King.

“The greater Town of Montgomery Community mourns together today,” the Town of Montgomery wrote. “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. ”

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Kat Bailey is a Senior News Editor at IGN

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