Speed Reads


Samuel E. Wright, voice of Sebastian in The Little Mermaid, dies at 74

Samuel E. Wright, the actor who brought Sebastian the crab to life in Disney's The Little Mermaidhas died at 74.

News of Wright's death was confirmed by a Facebook page for his hometown of Montgomery, New York, TMZ reported. "Sam was an inspiration to us all and along with his family established the Hudson Valley Conservatory," the post said. A cause of death was not disclosed.

Wright was best known for voicing Sebastian in The Little Mermaid, performing the iconic songs "Under the Sea" and "Kiss the Girl." "Under the Sea" won the Oscar for Best Original Song, and "Kiss the Girl" was also nominated. Wright returned to voice Sebastian numerous other times, including in the direct-to-video sequels The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea and The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning and the animated Little Mermaid TV series. He also had a voice role in Disney's Dinosaur.

Outside of film and television, Wright earned a Tony nomination for playing Mufasa in Broadway's The Lion King, and his other theater credits include Jesus Christ SuperstarThe Tap Dance Kid, and Pippin.

"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," the Town of Montgomery said. "He loved to entertain, he loved to make people smile and laugh and he loved to love."