Samuel E. Wright, voice of Sebastian in ‘The Little Mermaid,’ dies at 74

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NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 21: Actor Samuel Wright attends Disney’s The Little Mermaid special screening at Walter Reade Theater on September 21, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

(NEXSTAR) — Samuel E. Wright, the Tony Award-nominated actor best known for voicing the role of Sebastian in “The Little Mermaid,” has died. He was 74.

The Town of Montgomery, New York, where Wright lived with his family, confirmed the death on Tuesday via Facebook.

The post said “Sam was an inspiration to us all,” and cited his deep impact on Hudson Valley youth.

“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,” the Facebook post said. “He loved to entertain, he loved to make people smile and laugh and he loved to love.”

A cause of death was not given.

Wright, who sang the Academy Award-winning song “Under the Sea” in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” was a seasoned Broadway actor, in addition to his work in film and television.

He originated the role of Mufasa in Broadway’s “The Lion King,” which scored him his second Tony Award nomination in 1998. His first nomination was for playing William in The Tap Dance Kid in 1984.

Wright also appeared in the original Broadway casts of “Pippin” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

He is survived by his wife, Amanda Wright, and their three children.

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