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“The Little Mermaid” actress dies at 95 –


Pat Carroll was an Emmy Award-winning actress who provided the voice of villain Ursula in the Disney classic, “The Little Mermaid.”

Acting career

Carroll’s acting career began in the 1940s, with roles in movies and TV shows as well as on Broadway. She was also a stand-up comedian in the 1950s. In 1955, she was nominated for a Tony Award for her Broadway debut in “Catch a Star!” For many, Carroll’s best-known role was also one she said was among her favorites: Ursula the Sea Witch. Deepening her voice to portray the drag queen-inspired “Little Mermaid” baddie, Carroll sang the memorable “Poor Unfortunate Souls” for the movie. She reprised the role of Ursula in the movie’s direct-to-video sequel as well as in the animated TV series “The Little Mermaid” and “House of Mouse” and, in her final role, for the Disney+ series “The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse” in 2020.

Carroll’s other voice acting credits include “A Pup Named Scooby Doo,” “A Goofy Movie,” and “Pound Puppies,” as well as the 2005 re-release of “My Neighbor Totoro.” She had a memorable guest role on “Laverne & Shirley” as Shirley’s mother, as well as making appearances on TV shows including “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “Trapper John, M.D.,” “Designing Women,” and “ER.” She played wicked stepsister Prunella in the popular 1965 TV adaptation of “Cinderella.” Carroll’s movies included “With Six You Get Eggroll,” “Racing with the Moon,” and “Nancy Drew.”

Notable quote

“She is physically bigger than life, but she’s bigger than life in her head, in her voice, in her laughter, and in her meanness. She’s a mean old thing! I think people are fascinated by mean characters. There’s a fatal kind of distraction about the horrible mean characters of the world because we don’t meet too many of them in real life. So when we have a chance, theatrically, to see one and this one, she’s a biggie, it’s kind of fascinating for us.” —from a 2014 interview for Disney Parks Blog

Tributes to Pat Carroll

Full obituary: The New York Times

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