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Pat Carroll, Emmy-Winning Actress and Voice of Ursula in THE TINY Mermaid, Dies at 95

Pat Carroll, the gregarious Emmy-winning comedienne who was simply a television mainstay for many years before segueing to a voiceover career that included portraying the villainous sea witch Ursula in THE TINY Mermaid, has died. She was 95.

Carroll died Saturday of pneumonia at her home in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, her daughter Kerry Karsian told The Hollywood Reporter.

Carrolls perky personality, screwball wit and impeccable timing made her an excellent second banana, and Red Buttons, Jimmy Durante, Mickey Rooney, Steve Allen and Charley Weaver were the type of who asked her to create their programs funnier. Her antics on Caesars Hour earned her an Emmy in 1957, and she was nominated on her behalf focus on the classic variety show the next year.

In a 2013 interview with Kliph Nesteroff, Carroll compared Howard Morris, Carl Reiner and Sid Caesar on Caesars Hour to the Chicago Cubs legendary double-play mix of Tinkers to Evers to Chance.

I learned so much about comedy from watching those three interact. It had been unfailing, Carroll said. They worked together for such a long time they had that innate sense of every others timing. It had been impossible to allow them to fumble. We did two shows every Saturday night because one was for the West Coast and something was for the East Coast. Should they totally abhorred a sketch they did, those three would sit in Sids dressing room with the writers and write a fresh sketch. Yes, amazing.

For another 2 decades, the bubbly blonde always appeared to pop-up on TV.

Carroll played Bunny Halper, the high-spirited wife of nightclub owner Charley Halper (Sid Melton), on three seasons of The Danny Thomas Show in the first 60s; was Hope Stinson, who shared ownership of a newspaper with Ted Knights character, on the final season (1986-87) of Too Close for Comfort; and appeared opposite Suzanne Somers on the 1987-89 series Shes the Sheriff.

Carroll stood out as a cranky patient who shared a hospital room with Mary Richards (the latter was there to possess her tonsils applied for) on The Mary Tyler Moore Show in 1971, and she portrayed Lily Feeney, mom of Cindy Williams character, on a 1976 installment of Laverne & Shirley.

Her TV credits also included Cinderella, Please Dont Eat the Daisies, Love, American Style, My Three Sons, Police Woman, Busting Loose, The Love Boat, Trapper John, M.D., Evening Shade, Designing Women and ER.

Carroll also was a casino game show favorite. To be honest, The Match Game, Ive Got a Secret, Password All-Stars, You Dont Say and The $10,000 Pyramid you name it, she played it.

And she played Doris Days matchmaking sister inWith Six YOU OBTAINEggroll(1968).

Carrolls throaty laugh and spirited intonations made her an all natural for animation work.

She first slipped in to the recording booth in 1966 for the animated series The Super 6. Nonetheless it was through the 80s that her voiceover career skyrocketed; she could possibly be heard on the cartoons Yogis Treasure Hunt, Galaxy SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL, Foofur, Pound Puppies and Superman.

Undoubtedly, her most remarkable character was Ursula for the 1989 Disney feature THE TINY Mermaid. It could end up being among her favorite roles. It had been a lifelong ambition of mine to accomplish a Disney film, she told author Allan Neuwirth in Makin Toons: In the HOTTEST Animated TELEVISION SHOWS and Movies. So, I was theirs hook, line and sinker.

Carrolls enthusiasm made the octopus-like character uniquely her very own and Ursula would become among Disneys most remarkable villains. However, she landed the part only after a difficult search by the studio.

Little Mermaidproducer and lyricist Howard Ashman was a large fan of TVs Dynasty and envisioned Ursula as a Joan Collins-type. And who easier to play her than Collins herself? Alas, her agent quickly nixed the theory.

Writer-directors Ron Clements and John Musker saw Ursula similar to a bellowing aquatic version of Bea Arthur, but her agent took offense once the script likened the actress to a witch and passed. Roseanne, Hearts Nancy Wilson and Nancy Marchand of The Sopranos fame then reportedly read for the role, but none was quite right.

Charlotte Rae and Elaine Stritch auditioned, but Rae didnt have the vocal range for Ursulas signature tune, Poor Unfortunate Souls, and Stritch couldnt deliver the song just how Ashman wanted.

Carroll, though, immediately understood Ashmans approach. The main element was a recording he had manufactured from him singing the song. Once Carroll heard and saw that, the others was easy.

He gave me that performance! Seriously, Im honest enough to state that, she said in Makin Toons. I acquired the complete attitude from him his shoulders would twitch in a particular way, and his eyes would go a particular way I acquired more about this character from Howard singing that song than from other things.

Carroll won the part and continued to voice the type in several video gaming and a 1993 Little Mermaid CBS series. (She also provided the voice for Morgana in the 2000 direct-to-video release THE TINY Mermaid 2: Go back to the ocean.)

Patricia Ann Carroll was created on, may 5, 1927, in Shreveport, Louisiana. When she was 5, she and her family moved to LA. At age 20, she served as a Civilian Actress Technician for the army, writing, producing and directing all-soldier productions. She graduated from Catholic University in Washington, D.C. in 1949.

Carrolls first professional appearance had can be found in 1947 alongside Gloria Swanson in a regional stock production of A Goose for a Gander. This resulted in more stock company roles, and she also sharpened her comic chops by performing in nightclubs and resorts.

Carrolls off-Broadway debut came in 1950 in Come What May. Soon after, she began landing television focus on Goodyear Television Playhouse, The Red Buttons Show and The Saturday Night Revue.

Carroll first starred on Broadway in 1955 in the musical revue Catch a Star! compiled by Danny and Neil Simon. The performance earned her a Tony nomination. Decades later, Carroll received rave reviews on her behalf off-Broadway, one-woman show Gertrude Stein Gertrude Stein Gertrude Stein: A One-Character Play.

In his 1979 review for THE BRAND NEW York Times, Walter Kerr wrote: Miss Carroll, working from the text made by Marty Martin, gives us the bizarre, close-cropped, richly robed woman who could possibly be as soon as was recognised incorrectly as a bishop with a zest that’s awesome I dont understand specifically how Miss Carroll will be able to take action, but she manages without the effort at all to create us share Gertrude Steins attitude toward herself.

The actress received a Drama Desk Award on her behalf portrayal of the writer; she beat out fellow nominees Moore, Susan Sarandon, Phyllis Frelich and Blythe Danner for the honor.

Carroll was married to Lee Karsian from 1955 until their divorce in 1976, plus they had three children: Tara, an actress; daughter Kerry, a casting director; and son Sean (he died on a single date as his mom 13 years back).

Survivors likewise incorporate a granddaughter, Evan.

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