Pat Carroll, Emmy winner and voice of Ursula in The Little Mermaid, dies at 95

Pat Carroll, a comedic television mainstay for decades, Emmy-winner for Caesar’s Hour and the voice Ursula in The Little Mermaid has died at the age of 95.

Her daughter Kerry Karsian, a casting agent, said Carroll died at her home in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, on Saturday, while EW reported she passed away while recovering from pneumonia.

Her other daughter Tara Karsian wrote on Instagram that they want everyone to ‘honor her by having a raucous laugh at absolutely anything today (and everyday forward) because besides her brilliant talent and love, she leaves my sister Kerry and I with the greatest gift of all, imbuing us with humor and the ability to laugh…even in the saddest of times.’

Painful loss: Pat Carroll, a comedic television mainstay for decades, Emmy-winner for Caesar's Hour and the voice Ursula in The Little Mermaid has died at the age of 95;  Pictured 2013

Painful loss: Pat Carroll, a comedic television mainstay for decades, Emmy-winner for Caesar’s Hour and the voice Ursula in The Little Mermaid has died at the age of 95; Pictured 2013

Carroll was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, in 1927. Her family relocated to Los Angeles when she was 5 years old.

Her first film role came in 1948 in Hometown Girl but she found her stride in television. She won an Emmy for her work on the sketch comedy series Caesar’s Hour in 1956, was a regular on Make Room for Daddy with Danny Thomas, a guest star on The DuPont Show with June Allyson and a regular variety show stopping by The Danny Kaye Show , The Red Skelton Show and The Carol Burnett Show.

She also played one of the wicked stepsisters in the 1965 television production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella with Lesley Ann Warren.

Difficult: Her daughter Kerry Karsian, a casting agent, said Carroll died at her home in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, on Saturday, while EW reported she passed away while recovering from pneumonia;  Pictured 2008

Difficult: Her daughter Kerry Karsian, a casting agent, said Carroll died at her home in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, on Saturday, while EW reported she passed away while recovering from pneumonia; Pictured 2008

Memorable villain: One of her most famous roles is being the voice of Ursula in Disney's The Little Mermaid, which came out in 1989

Memorable villain: One of her most famous roles is being the voice of Ursula in Disney’s The Little Mermaid, which came out in 1989

And she won a Grammy in 1980 for the recording of her one woman show Gertrude Stein, Gertrude Stein, Gertrude Stein.

A new generation would come to know and love her voice thanks to Disney’s The Little Mermaid, which came out in 1989.

She was not the first choice of directors Ron Clements and John Musker or the musical team of Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, who reportedly wanted Joan Collins or Bea Arthur to voice the sea witch.

Fascinating: Carroll would often say that Ursula was one of her favorite roles: 'She's a mean old thing!  I think people are fascinated by mean characters';  Pictured with actress Jodi Benson - who voiced Ariel - at Disney's California Adventure park in 2011

Fascinating: Carroll would often say that Ursula was one of her favorite roles: ‘She’s a mean old thing! I think people are fascinated by mean characters’; Pictured with actress Jodi Benson – who voiced Ariel – at Disney’s California Adventure park in 2011

Colorful roles: She also played one of the wicked stepsisters in the 1965 television production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella with Lesley Ann Warren;  (LR) Carroll (as Prunella), Jo Van Fleet (as Stepmother) and Barbara Ruick (as Esmerelda)

Colorful roles: She also played one of the wicked stepsisters in the 1965 television production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella with Lesley Ann Warren; (LR) Carroll (as Prunella), Jo Van Fleet (as Stepmother) and Barbara Ruick (as Esmerelda)

Elaine Stritch was even cast originally before Carroll got to audition. And her throaty rendition of Poor Unfortunate Souls would make her one of Disney’s most memorable villains.

Carroll would often say that Ursula was one of her favorite roles. She said she saw her as an ‘Ex-Shakespearean actress who now sold cars.’

‘She’s a mean old thing! I think people are fascinated by mean characters,’ Carroll said in an interview.

A remarkable career: She won an Emmy for her work on the sketch comedy series Caesar's Hour in 1956;  Pictured with co-star Carl Reiner at the 9th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards on March 16, 1957 in New York

A remarkable career: She won an Emmy for her work on the sketch comedy series Caesar’s Hour in 1956; Pictured with co-star Carl Reiner at the 9th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards on March 16, 1957 in New York

‘There’s a fatal kind of distraction about the horrible mean characters of the world because we don’t meet too many of them in real life. So when we have a chance, theatrically, to see one and this one, she’s a biggie, it’s kind of fascinating for us.’

She got the chance to reprise the role in several Little Mermaid sequels, spinoffs and even theme park rides.

Carroll was also the voice of Granny in the English-language dub of Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro.

Touching: Her daughter Tara Karsian wrote on Instagram that they want everyone to 'honor her by having a raucous laugh at absolutely anything today (and everyday forward) because besides her brilliant talent and love, she leaves my sister Kerry and I with the greatest gift of all, imbuing us with humor and the ability to laugh...even in the saddest of times'

Touching: Her daughter Tara Karsian wrote on Instagram that they want everyone to ‘honor her by having a raucous laugh at absolutely anything today (and everyday forward) because besides her brilliant talent and love, she leaves my sister Kerry and I with the greatest gift of all, imbuing us with humor and the ability to laugh…even in the saddest of times’

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