There is tragic news today for fans of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Samuel E. Wright, who provided the voice for Ariel’s Jamaican accented crab friend Sebastian, has passed away. According to Movie Web Wright was 74 years old at the time of his death. As of right now the cause of his death has not been disclosed.
Wright did not just voice Sebastian in the original movie, he played in many of the direct to video sequels, spinoff television shows, and video games. His performance as Sebastian the crab received critical acclaim. One of the song he sang in the original movie, Under the Sea, was awarded both a Grammy and an Oscar for best original song. Wright even did voice work in the 2000 movie Dinosaurs.
Besides voicing Sebastian the crab, Wright also had a very extensive theatrical career. He played the Scarecrow in a production of The Wiz. Wright was nominated for a Tony for his performance in The Tap Dance Kid. Also Wright played another Disney character when he was given the role of Mufasa in the broadway production of The Lion King.
In the upcoming remake of The Little Mermaid Daveed Diggs will be voicing Sebastian. And while Diggs is an accomplished actor in his own right, Wright will always be the only Sebastian for many Disney fans.
“Look at the stars. The great kings of the past look down on us from those stars.” Rest In Peace, Samuel E. Wright | 1946 – 2021
Original Broadway Cast, Mufasa. pic.twitter.com/MDuQAZJalZ
— The Lion King – Musical (@TheLionKing) May 25, 2021
We are saddened by the passing of Samuel E. Wright, who voiced Sebastian in The Little Mermaid. His iconic performance as Sebastian will always be remembered for the charm and heart Wright brought to every line and lyric. pic.twitter.com/cBFwbzlHpt
— Disney (@Disney) May 26, 2021