Little Mermaid ‘Sebastian the Crab’ star and Disney actor Samuel E Wright dies

Little Mermaid star Samuel E Wright has tragically died aged 74.

He was best known for lending his voice to Sebastian the Crab in the classic Disney cartoon.

The death was confirmed by the Facebook page of his hometown of Montgomery, New York, which posted: "Today, the Town of Montgomery mourns the loss of Sam Wright.

"Sam was an inspiration to us all and along with his family established the Hudson Valley Conservatory.

"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," the statement continued.

"He loved to entertain, he loved to make people smile and laugh and he loved to love.

"The greater Town of Montgomery Community mourns together today.

"As we say goodbye to a pillar in our community and ask everyone to share a memory and help us celebrate the life of this great man," it concluded.

His official cause of death has not yet been released to the public.

The post also included a photograph of Sam alongside the Montgomery Town Supervisor and his brother as children.

As part of his iconic role in The Little Mermaid, Samuel performed the lead vocals to Under The Sea, which was later awarded the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

He also played Kron the Iguanodon in the 2000 Disney live-action film Dinosaur.

And outside of his voice acting career, Samuel was also a keen stage performer and played Mufasa in the original run of The Lion King on Broadway.

In his lustrous career, the actor was nominated for two Tony Awards – and even starred alongside pop legend Whitney Houston in The Wiz in 1995.

His last role came in 2008 when he appeared in the direct to video Disney special entitled The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning, reprising his role of Sebastian.

Tributes poured in from fans who responded to the original post, with one writing: "Much love and prayers for his family. It’s especially sad when a great mentor is lost."

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Another added: "Very sad. Sam was a great man who loved his community."

While a third said: "Rest well, Sam. You have touched the lives of so many people."

And someone else posted: "I know he was much more than this but I will always remember him as Sebastian. My condolences to his family and friends. May he rest In peace."

  • Disney

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