The voice of Ursula in The Little Mermaid, Pat Carroll, has died at the age of 89. She was 95 years old.
She was found dead at her Cape Cod home on Saturday, her daughter Kerry Karsian, a casting agent, tells the New York Daily News. A post on Instagram by another of the singer’s daughters Tara Karsian reads, in part: “Honor her by having a raucous laugh at absolutely anything today (and every day forward) because besides her brilliant talent and love, she leaves my sister Kerry and I with the greatest gift of all, imbuing us with humor and the ability to laugh…even in the saddest of times.”
Shreveport, Louisiana, is where Carroll was born and raised in 1927. As a young girl of five, she and her family moved to the Los Angeles area. While she appeared in Hometown Girl on the big screen in 1948, she really gained her stride on television. She was a regular on Make Room for Daddy with Danny Thomas, a guest star on The DuPont Show with June Allyson, and a frequent guest on variety shows like The Danny Kaye Show, The Red Skelton Show, and The Carol Burnett Show before winning an Emmy for her work on the sketch comedy series Caesar’s Hour in 1956.
She also appeared in a 1965 television rendition of Cinderella alongside Lesley Ann Warren as one of the wicked stepsisters. Gertrude Stein, Gertrude Stein, Gertrude Stein won a Grammy in 1980 for the recording of her one-woman act.
The 1989 release of Disney’s The Little Mermaid introduced her to a whole new audience. In fact, neither Ron Clements and John Musker, nor Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, the film’s composers and lyricists, had chosen her to play the sea witch. Even before Carroll had a chance to audition, Elaine Stritch had already been cast. As a result, she’d become one of the most recognizable villains in Disney history.
Ursula was one of Carroll’s favorite roles, and she would often mention it. A former Shakespearean actress who now sells automobiles was how she described her.
“Her age hasn’t dulled her viciousness. People, I believe, are fascinated by villains “In an interview, Carroll stated. “In part, this is due to the fact that we don’t come across many truly evil people in our daily lives. This is why, when we get the opportunity to attend one in the theater and this one is a major, it’s interesting for us.”
Many Little Mermaid sequels, spin-offs, and theme park rides gave her the opportunity to repeat her role.
Carroll also portrayed Granny in Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro’s English dub.