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|Samuel E. Wright|
November 20, 1946
Camden, South Carolina
1971 - 2008
Samuel E. Wright (born November 20, 1946) is a Tony Award-nominated American film and theater actor, voice actor, and singer, who is best known as the voice of Sebastian in Disney's The Little Mermaid. He also originated the role of Mufasa in the stage musical of The Lion King.
Wright began his Broadway career in the musical, Jesus Christ, Superstar, whose songs were composed by Tim Rice, in 1971.  Later on, Wright was nominated for a Tony Award in 1984 for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his performance in The Tap Dance Kid, and again in 1998 for Best Featured Actor in a Musical as Mufasa in The Lion King, the Broadway adaptation of Disney's animated classic. In 1989, Wright was chosen to voice Sebastian the crab in The Little Mermaid, in which he provided vocals for the songs, "Under the Sea" and "Kiss the Girl", both were nominated an Oscar for Best Original Song. In 2000, Wright provided voice work for Kron in the Disney CGI film, Dinosaur.
He also ran his own drama school in Walden, New York called the Hudson Valley Conservatory and wrote a short play Radio Days about the era when people listened to radio like they watch TV today. The play features different bits of music and excerpts from various musicals. But this play was mainly written as a didactic play for child actors. He also wrote a Shakespearian style play called Love's Labor, a historical fiction play about Shakespeare's own life and how he began down his path of tragic works after losing his son Hamnet which was performed at the Hudson Valley Conservatory to rave reviews. His major projects involved teaching, directing and inspiring young performers in his Master Company, an audition only class at his Conservatory.