Fact Check

Did Samuel E. Wright, Voice of Sebastian from ‘The Little Mermaid,’ Die?

The actor appeared on Broadway, in movies, and on television shows.

Published May 26, 2021

 (Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)
Image Via Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images
Samuel E. Wright, an actor who was also the voice of Sebastian the crab in the 1989 animated film “The Little Mermaid,” died on May 24, 2021.

The man behind Sebastian the crab from Disney’s 1989 animated film “The Little Mermaid” has died. Samuel E. Wright, an actor who graced the Broadway stage and appeared in a number of films and television shows, was 74 years old, and died in his home in Walden, New York, after a three-year battle with prostate cancer.

Most people know him as the voice of the crab who was also Ariel’s sidekick in “The Little Mermaid.” The crab offered the Disney princess advice and support and sang the song “Under the Sea.”

The news of Wright’s death was confirmed by his daughter to The Hollywood Reporter. “He was the brightest light,” she said.

The official page of the town of Montgomery, New York, also shared the news of his death, highlighting his contributions to the community. Wright helped set up the Hudson Valley Conservatory, a performing arts school in 1994.

Wright’s career went beyond his role as Sebastian. He was nominated twice for a Tony award, for his roles in the musicals “The Tap Dance Kid” and “The Lion King.” He also played jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie in Clint Eastwood’s film “Bird.”

Given that the news was confirmed by both his daughter and the town of Montgomery, we rate this claim as “True.”

Nur Nasreen Ibrahim is a reporter with experience working in television, international news coverage, fact checking, and creative writing.

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