The Little Mermaid's Sebastian actor Samuel E Wright has died, aged 74

26 May 2021, 17:24

The Little Mermaid's Sebastian actor Samuel E Wright has died, aged 74
The Little Mermaid's Sebastian actor Samuel E Wright has died, aged 74. Picture: Getty/Disney

By Tom Eames

Actor Samuel E Wright, best known for voicing Sebastian the crab in Disney's The Little Mermaid, has died at the age of 74.

Samuel E Wright sang the 1989 film's Oscar-winning song 'Under The Sea', and also played Mufasa in the original Broadway production of The Lion King.

His other roles included jazz icon Dizzy Gillespie in Clint Eastwood's Bird.

Disney paid tribute to the actor with a billboard tribute at The Lion King musical's original New York home.

The American actor was part of the original Broadway cast of Jesus Christ Superstar in 1971, and he later received a Tony nomination in 1984 for the musical The Tap Dance Kid.

He earned a second Tony nomination in 1998 for his role as King Mufasa in The Lion King.

However, he was best known for voicing the crab Sebastian, a role he later reprised in a Little Mermaid TV series.

"Sebastian has given me what I've always wanted as an actor, and that's immortality," he told Entertainment Weekly. "As far as I'm concerned, that's why I'm in the business. I want the whole world to love me, remember me forever."

Wright died on Monday (May 24) at his home in Walden, New York, after a three-year battle with prostate cancer.