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Pat Carroll as Viney Butler in Songcatcher (2000) {image via Lions Gate Films}

Emmy-winning actress Pat Carroll, who voiced Ursula in Disney’s The Little Mermaid, has passed away at the age of 95.

Patricia Ann Carroll was born May 5, 1927 in Shreveport, Louisiana. She passed away July 30, 2022 in Cape Cod, Massachusetts of pneumonia.

In the 21st century, Pat Carroll is remembered best for her cartoon voice work, especially Ursula, the evil Sea Witch in The Little Mermaid. However, in the 20th century she was known and lauded for her work on stage and screen.

She earned an Emmy in 1956 for her work on Caesar’s Hour. She was a regular on the sitcom, Make Room for Daddy. In the 60s and 70s, she was a frequent guest on television variety shows, sitcoms, and game shows. On Laverne & Shirley, she guest starred as Lily Feeney, Shirley’s mother, and she had recurring roles on She’s the Sheriff and Busting Loose.

She was granted an honorary doctorate by Siena College in Albany, New York.

On Stage

Pat Carroll made her Broadway debut in 1955 in Catch a Star!, for which she received a Tony nomination. In 1979, she won the coveted Drama Desk Award for her one-woman show Gertrude, Stein, Gertrude Stein, Gertrude Stein. She won a Grammy for Best Spoken Word, Documentary or Drama for the recorded version of the play.

Her stage career ranged from Sophocles to Shakespeare: she was part of Chorus of Mycenae in the 1998 production of Electra; she played the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet and the bewhiskered Sir John Falstaff in The Merry Wives of Windsor; in Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, she played the Stage Manager, one of the richest, most challenging roles in American drama: she was 75 at the time. She starred in Ben Jonson’s Volpone in 1996.

The Cinderella Connection

Pat Carroll performed the role of played Prunella, one of Cinderella’s stepsisters in the Rodgers & Hammerstein Cinderella in 1965 (Barbara Ruick played Esmeralda, the other stepsister). Years later, on stage, she would play the Fairy Godmother in the 1989 revival of the play.

Voice Work

Pat Carroll was an extremely busy voice artist. In addition to Ursula ( in The Little Mermaid ) and her sister Morgana (in (The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea), Dr. Carroll voiced Paula P. Casso in A Pup Named Scooby-Doo. She was Katrina Stoneheart in Pound Puppies. She voiced Ms. McBrain in Galaxy High School. In the English Dub of My Neighbor Totoro, she was Granny. She voiced Queen Hippolyta in the 1988 Superman cartoon. She was the evil queen in Yogi’s Treasure Hunt and Jon’s Grandma in two Garfield specials. She voiced Quincy Magoo’s mother in Meet Mother Magoo and Hawkman’s mother in Legends of the Superheroes. She was almost Jane Jetson in The Jetsons, but the role went to Penny Singleton instead.

Movies

Pat Carroll’s list of movie roles was extensive as well, and she wored with the best. She appeared in her first film in 1948, as Lorelei Crawford in Hometown Girl. She co-starred in the western comedy The Brothers O’Toole. She co-starred in two Doris Day movies, The Ballad of Josie (1967) and With Six You Get Egg Roll (1968). Her final film was BFFs (2014), which was produced and co-written by her daughter Tara Karsian.

Family

Dr. Carroll married Lee Karsian in 1955; they divorced in 1976. Their three children, son Sean, and daughters Kerry and Tara, survive her. Our condolences to them.

Pat Carroll lived a long, full life, brought joy to millions of people, and she has earned her place in cinema history. And oh, that voice.

That marvelous voice.

Rest in Peace.

-30-

Susan Macdonald
Susan Macdonald

Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as short stories in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, “Supernatural Colorado”, “Barbarian Crowns”, “Cat Tails””Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions,  Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.

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