Pat Carroll, a veteran actress known for her voice role as Ursula in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” and whose career as an entertainer spanned seven decades, died Saturday in Cape Cod, Mass. while recovering from pneumonia. She was 95 years old.
Carroll’s death was confirmed by her representative, Derek Maki, to TODAY. Maki stated that Carroll died with her best friend by her side.
Born on May 5, 1927 in Shreveport, La., Patricia Ann Carroll’s family relocated to Los Angeles when she was five years old. There she began acting in local productions at a young age, before attending Catholic University of America and later enlisting in the U.S. Army during World War II.
Carroll’s first role came in 1947 in the film “Hometown Girl.” She became a regular presence on variety shows over the next three decades. Carroll earned an Emmy Award in 1956 for her work on “Sid Caesar’s House.” Additionally, the actress showed comedy chops playing regular roles on “Make Room for Daddy,” “The Jimmy Durante Show,” “The Danny Thomas Show,” “Too Close for Comfort” and “She’s the Sheriff.”
Other major appearances came on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “Laverne & Shirley,” “The Love Boat,” “Designing Women” and “ER.” Carroll also ran the gauntlet of game shows in 20th century television, with bows on “To Tell the Truth,” “The Match Game,” “I’ve Got a Secret,” “Password All-Stars,” “You Don’t Say” and “The $10,000 Pyramid.”
Carroll drew critical acclaim for her performance as Gertrude Stein in her one-woman theater show. The recorded version of the production netted the actress a Grammy in 1980 for best spoken word (documentary or drama).
In 1989, Carroll lent her talents to the voice performance of Ursula in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” singing the film’s showstopper number “Poor Unfortunate Souls.” Carroll deemed Ursula a career-favorite role, reprising the character across various forms of media.
Carroll is survived by her daughters, Kerry Karsian and Tara Karsian; and her granddaughter, Evan Karsian-McCormick.