Voice actor Samuel E. Wright, best known to Disney fans for bringing Sebastian the crab to life in 1989’s The Little Mermaid, has passed away at the age of 74. He died peacefully at his home in Walden, New York, after a three-year battle with prostate cancer.
Wright’s portrayal of Sebastian was an instant favorite after the film’s initial release and he would continue to voice the character for much of his career including reprising the role for several other Disney projects including The Little Mermaid TV series, the direct-to-video Little Mermaid 2, the House of Mouse short collection, and many more. He would also lend his voice to 2000 animated film Dinosaur as well.
Wright’s two major songs in The Little Mermaid, the fan-favorites “Under the Sea” and “Kiss the Girl” were both nominated for Academy Awards after the film’s release, for composers Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, with the former of the two winning the prize. As of 2007, the RIAA had certified sales for the soundtrack to The Little Mermaid as selling 6x Multi-Platinum meaning at least 6 million copies had been sold in that time.