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Samuel E. Wright, Voice of The Little Mermaid's Sebastian, dies aged 74

American actor and singer, Samuel E. Wright, has passed away aged 74 in his sleep at his Walden home in New York.

Wright's most notable role was playing the supportive crustacean Sebastian in Disney's The Little Mermaid of 1989, singing the lead vocals for Under The Sea which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

The two-time Tony nominee also played the part of Mufasa in the original cast of The Lion King on Broadway, and voiced Kron in Disney's Dinosaur out of 2000.

Samuel E. Wright worked in many theatre productions including Pippin (1972), Over Here! (1974) and The Wiz (1995) in which he played the Scarecrow alongside Whitney Houston.

Wright's passing was announced on the Montgomery town Facebook page.

“Sam and his family have impacted countless Hudson Valley youth always inspiring them to reach higher and dig deeper to become the best version of themselves. On top of his passion for the arts and his love for his family, Sam was most known for walking into a room and simply providing PURE JOY to those he interacted with. He loved to entertain, he loved to make people smile and laugh and he loved to love.”