Samuel E. Wright, voice of 'Little Mermaid's' Sebastian, dead at 74

May 25 (UPI) -- Samuel E. Wright -- who lent his voice to Sebastian the scene-stealing crab in the 1989 animated movie The Little Mermaid -- has died at the age of 74, his family announced.

"He was the brightest light," his daughter Dee told The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday.

Advertisement reported the two-time Tony nominee died Monday of prostate cancer at his home in Walden, N.Y.

Wright appeared in the original 1971 production of the Broadway musical Jesus Christ Superstar and, three years later, replaced Ben Vereen as the Leading Player in Pippin.

His other New York stage credits include Over Here!, The Tap Dance Kid, Welcome to the Club and Mule Bone.

He originated the role of Mufasa in the Broadway adaptation of another Disney classic, The Lion King.

On television, he acted in Ball Four, Enos, All My Children, The Cosby Show, Spencer For Hire and Jonny Zero, and played jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie in the 1988 Charlie Parker biopic, Bird.


The actor gained additional fame for portraying a bunch of grapes in a series of Fruit of the Loom underwear commercials.

Wright is survived by his wife, Amanda, and Dee's siblings Keely and Sam.

Notable deaths of 2021

Betty White
Betty White attends the media preview for the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association's Beastly Ball fundraiser at the Los Angeles Zoo in Los Angeles on June 11, 2015. The actress died December 31. She was 99 years old. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

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