Remembering Samuel E. Wright: Voice of Sebastian Died at 74

Losing someone that was such an inspiration to so many isn’t an easy thing to do, but the realization as one grows older that it’s bound to happen to everyone in due time begins to hit as the stars that we’ve enjoyed since childhood begin to pass away. Samuel E. Wright, a truly talented and gifted man when it came to show business, passed away recently, though no cause of death has been given just yet. Well into his 70s, Wright managed to do quite a few things with his career over the years that many people found enjoyable and absolutely iconic. But one performance among them all is what people are bound to remember him for since Sebastian, the crab from The Little Mermaid, managed to capture the imagination of many individuals when a lot of us were still kids, and the voice and character have stuck with us today. Looking at his entire career it’s very fair to say that he was a skilled and very well-respected individual in the business, and rightfully so since from his theater to movie to TV to video game contributions, Wright managed to take on several different characters and roles and as a result is more than worthy of the respect that he enjoyed in life, and will be remembered fondly now that he’s gone. Often when someone is known primarily for one role despite having completed several that person will try to avoid that role as much as possible, but Wright leaned into the character of Sebastian more than a few times in his career and it was greatly appreciated since his time playing the musical crab from The Little Mermaid was undoubtedly one of his greatest and most loved achievements. But looking at the rest of his career it’s easy to appreciate this man even further since what he contributed to the world through acting and his music is bound to last for a very long time.

It’s fair to state that as children we had no real concept of who the man behind the character was since to a lot of us, Sebastian was kind of an uptight, stuffy character who could sing and, thankfully, had Ariel’s back when things got rough. But as a lot of us grew up and started realizing that there was someone very real behind the characters we saw on the screen it became easier to appreciate the talents of such individuals, and learning more about them became quite enjoyable. Finding out more about Wright made him even more interesting to a lot of people since he started in theater in the early 70s and didn’t make his way to show business until around 1976, well before he ever took on the role of Sebastian. But as anyone can imagine, once he voiced the small crab it became his career highlight since much of what he did before and after kind of went by the way when it came to many fans. Those that were all about Wright’s work though were those that celebrated his entire career and knew that he’d been at it for a while, which meant he had more to offer and was far more talented than people might have believed. But being known for a single role isn’t the worst part of a career really, since not only is Sebastian a well-liked character, he’s been one of the most prominent characters in Wright’s career for years, and it’s likely that his legacy will be carried for a while to come, even as the character is set to be taken on by Daveed Diggs, who many feel is a worthy replacement for Wright.

In time it does feel that Wright will be relegated to memory and eventually seen as another name in the long list of celebrities that have come and gone and left an indelible mark upon the world that many will gladly hold up high as a shining example of what can be achieved. But as of now, his passing has put his career in stark relief as people have come together to remember him for the man he was and what he did for the business. There’s no doubt that he will be remembered fondly by many people since what he did for a lot of kids, in the voice of a musical crab, was to enlighten them in ways that are hard to fully describe in words. Like it or not, Sebastian is a character that many people happen to like since he’s a great blend of authority and fun that comes together in a way that pleases a great many people and brings back fond memories of the long-suffering character that had the unenviable position of pleasing a king and somehow looking after his willful young daughter while teaching us how to appreciate a fine piece of music at the same time.

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