Write is best known for his portrayal of grumpy crustacean, Sebastian in Disney’s The Little Mermaid and King Mufassa in The Lion King.
Acclaimed voice artist and Broadway actor, Samuel E Wright has sadly passed away on Monday, it has been reported. Write is best known for his portrayal of grumpy crustacean, Sebastian in Disney’s The Little Mermaid and King Mufassa in The Lion King.
News broke of the actor’s death when it was announced by a Facebook page for the New York town of Montgomery, where the actor lived. The post said 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. He loved to entertain, he loved to make people smile and laugh and he loved to love.”
The actor’s most notable role came in the form of uptight, red crab, Sebastian in the 1989 Disney classic. The actor had also performed two of the film’s best-known tracks, Under The Sea and Kiss The Girl. Write also appeared in the film's sequels, spin-offs, and video games, with other roles including jazz icon Dizzy Gillespie in Clint Eastwood's, Bird.
Wright also offered his skills to the original Broadway cast of The Lion King, where he portrayed ill-fated king of Pride Rock, Mufasa. Disney paid tribute to the actor with a billboard tribute at The Lion King musical's original home in New York.
Write’s image was depicted on the digital screens on the marquee of Disney's New Amsterdam Theatre on Broadway. The classy tweet read: “Look at the stars. The great kings of the past look down on us from those stars”, a homage to his role as Mufassa.
The actor earned a second Tony nomination in 1998 for his role as King Mufasa in The Lion King. However, he was best known for voicing the crab Sebastian, a role he later reprised in the Little Mermaid TV series.
“Sebastian has given me what I've always wanted as an actor, and that's immortality,” Write told Entertainment Weekly. “As far as I'm concerned, that's why I'm in the business. I want the whole world to love me, remember me forever.”
Wright died in his New York home in Walden, on May 24th, following a lengthy, three-year battle with prostate cancer. The actor is survived by his wife, Amanda and their children, Keely, Dee, and Sam.