Pat Carroll, who played Ursula in The Little Mermaid and was a longtime staple of comic television who won an Emmy for Caesar’s Hour, has passed away. She was 95. Carroll passed away on Saturday at her home in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, according to her daughter, casting agent Kerry Karsian. She leaves behind my sister Kerry and I with the greatest gift of all, endowing us with humour and the ability to laugh…even in the saddest of times, her other daughter Tara Karsian wrote on Instagram.
They want everyone to “honour her by having a raucous laugh at absolutely anything today (and everyday forward) because besides her brilliant talent and love, she leaves us with the greatest gift, imbuing us with humour and the ability to laugh…even in the saddest of times.” Carroll was born in 1927 in Shreveport, Louisiana. At the age of 5, her family moved to Los Angeles. Hometown Girl, her first film appearance, came in 1948, but she really hit her stride in television.
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In 1956, she earned an Emmy for her work on the sketch comedy series Caesar’s Hour. She also appeared regularly on Danny Thomas’ Make Room for Daddy, June Allyson’s The DuPont Show, and The Danny Kaye Show, The Red Skelton Show, and The Carol Burnett Show. In the 1965 television adaptation of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella starring Lesley Ann Warren, she also had a role as one of the evil stepsisters. Her 1980 recording of the one-woman performance Gertrude Stein, Gertrude Stein, Gertrude Stein earned her a Grammy.
Thanks to Disney’s The Little Mermaid, which was released in 1989, a whole new generation would get to know and appreciate her voice. She wasn’t the musical duo of Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, Ron Clements and John Musker, or the filmmaking team of Ron Clements and John Musker, who supposedly preferred Joan Collins or Bea Arthur to voice the sea witch. Even before Carroll had the opportunity to audition, Elaine Stritch was cast. She would go down in history as one of Disney’s most iconic villains because to her throaty performance of Poor Unfortunate Souls.
Carroll frequently cited Ursula as one of her most beloved characters. She described herself as a “ex-Shakespeare actor who now sold cars,” according to her. She is a nasty old creature! Carroll stated in an interview that “I think people are captivated with unpleasant characters. Because we don’t see many of these nasty, cruel people in real life, they serve as a fatal form of diversion. So it’s sort of intriguing for us when we get the chance to see one in a theatre, especially one like this one since she’s a behemoth.