“We ask that you honor her by having a raucous laugh at absolutely anything today (and every day forward),” said her daughters.
Pat Carroll, best known for playing Ursula in Disney’s The Little Mermaid, has died at 95, her family said
She had been recovering from pneumonia at her Cape Cod, Massachusetts, home when she died Saturday.
“It is with a heavy heart that I write that my mother, Pat Carroll, has passed away at the grand old age of 95,” Tara Karsian wrote in a statement on Instagram on Sunday, posting a photo of their mother’s smiling face.
“We ask that you honor her by having a raucous laugh at absolutely anything today (and every day forward) because, besides her brilliant talent and love, she leaves my sister Kerry and me with the greatest gift of all, imbuing us with humor and the ability to laugh…even in the saddest of times,” Karsian said.
During her career, Carroll was best known for her role as Ursula, a villain with a laugh that could not be missed in 1989’s The Little Mermaid. The actress has said in interviews that it has been a “lifelong ambition” of hers to star in a Disney movie.
“She is physically bigger than life, but she’s bigger than life in her head, in her voice, in her laughter, and in her meanness,” an interview with Disney Parks quoted her as saying. “She’s a mean old thing. I think people are fascinated by mean characters. I’m even intrigued by her when I look at it.”
Before that, she had a long and successful career in television, especially in the early years. Carroll was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, in 1927 and moved to Los Angeles when she was five. After graduating college, she appeared in comedy clubs and theater shows. A Tony Award nomination was given to her in 1956 for Catch A Star, her Broadway debut.
Carroll appeared on Make Room For Daddy and The Danny Thomas Show as a recurring character. She won Best Supporting Performance in Caesar’s Hour in 1957. She also often appeared as a guest on games and variety shows.
After performing in New York for 14 months, she toured the country with her one-woman show Stein, Stein, Stein. In 1980, she won the Drama Desk Award for Best Actress and the Outer Circle Drama Critics’ Award for Best Production Off-Broadway.
During the time, she told the Washington Post that her children noticed how fully involved she was in the role.
“I knew something was happening when my children told me, ‘Mom, you’re repeating everything three times,'” she said. “Then I noticed that I was not using contractions very much when I talked — there are no contractions in the first act of Gertrude Stein, Gertrude Stein, Gertrude Stein.”
A Grammy was also awarded to Carroll for Best Spoken Word, Documentary, or Drama Recording in 1981 for a recording of the play.
As the 1980s ended, she began doing voice work for TV and film, including The Little Mermaid, Yogi’s Treasure Hunt, and The Goofy Movie.
Carroll was married to Lee Karsian until 1976 when they divorced. Together, they had three children: Tara, Kerry, and son Sean. Unfortunately, their son died on July 30, 2009.
Her daughters and a grandchild survive her.
”The Little Mermaid” voice actress Pat Carroll has passed away.