Pat Carroll, the Actor Who Voiced Ursula, Has Died at 95

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Pat Carroll, the Emmy-winning actor best known as the voice of the supervillain sea witch Ursula in Disney’s The Little Mermaid, has died at the age of 95 in her home in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Her daughter, Tara Karsian, shared the sad news on social media, writing in part: “It is with a heavy heart that I write that my mother, Pat Carroll, has passed away at the grand old age of 95,” alongside a picture of her mom laughing. “We ask that you honor her by having a raucous laugh at absolutely anything today (and everyday 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,” Karsian wrote.

Carroll was best known for her role voicing Ursula, and said over the years that the role was a “lifelong ambition” of hers to be in a Disney movie. “My desire before I kicked the bucket was to do a Disney film,” Carroll told The Complete Pioneers of Television Interview earlier this year.

She also said she was thrilled when she got a call from Disney after auditioning six times. In her typical manner, she prepared by pretending that Ursula was an ex-Shakespearean actress who sold used cars. “I’ve never enjoyed anything so much in my life and I’m still getting fan mail from children around the world.”

During her long career, she appeared on shows, including The Danny Thomas Show, The Red Skelton Show, Busting Loose, and ER. In 1956, she won an Emmy for her work on Sid Caesar’s sketch comedy series Caesar’s Hour and again in 1981 for Best Spoken Word, Documentary, or Drama for the recording of her one-woman show Gertrude Stein, Gertrude Stein, Gertrude Stein. She also took on voice roles in Yogi’s Treasure Hunt and A Goofy Movie.

“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 said about her role as Ursula in an interview with Disney Parks. “She’s a mean ol’ thing. I think people are fascinated by mean characters … I’m even intrigued by her when I look at it.”

Carroll is survived by her daughters and grandchild.

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