Pat Carroll
Pat Carroll 1972.JPG
Carroll in 1972
Patricia Ann Carroll

(1927-05-05) May 5, 1927 (age 95)
Other names
  • Pat Ann Carroll
  • Patricia Carroll
OccupationActress, comedian
Years active1947–present
Lee Karsian
(m. 1955; div. 1976)
Children3, including Tara Karsian

Patricia Ann Carroll (born May 5, 1927)[1] is an American actress and comedian.[2] She is known for voicing Ursula in The Little Mermaid as well as having a long acting career, including appearances in CBS's The Danny Thomas Show, ABC's Laverne & Shirley, NBC's ER, other guest-starring and series-regular roles on American television as well as voice-acting in several cartoon series. Carroll is an Emmy, Drama Desk and Grammy Award winner and a Tony Award nominee.

Early life

Carroll was born in Shreveport, Louisiana in May 5, 1927, to Maurice Clifton Carroll and Kathryn Angela (née Meagher)[1] Her family moved to Los Angeles when Pat was five years old and she soon began acting in local productions. She graduated from Immaculate Heart High School and attended Catholic University of America after enlisting in the United States Army as a civilian actress technician.[3]


Caroll began her acting career in 1947, she got her first acting credit as Lorelei Crawford in the 1948 film, Hometown Girl. In 1956, Carroll won an Emmy Award for her work on Caesar's Hour and was a regular on the sitcom Make Room for Daddy from 1961 to 1964. She guest starred in the drama anthology series The DuPont Show with June Allyson. Carroll also appeared on many variety shows of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, such as The Red Buttons Show, The Danny Kaye Show, The Red Skelton Show, and The Carol Burnett Show. In 1965 she co-starred as "Prunella", one of the wicked stepsisters in the 1965 production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical version of Cinderella.

In the late 1970s Carroll's successful one woman show on Gertrude Stein, Gertrude Stein, Gertrude Stein, Gertrude Stein (by playwright Marty Martin), won several major theater awards;[4] her recorded version won a 1980 Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word, Documentary or Drama.[5]

In early 1976, Carroll was cast as Lily, the mother of Shirley Feeney (played by Cindy Williams) in the episode "Mother Knows Worst" on the hit ABC situation comedy, Laverne & Shirley.[6] She portrayed Pearl Markowitz, the mother of Adam Arkin's character Lenny Markowitz, in the 1977 CBS situation comedy Busting Loose. Her frequent television roles in the 1980s included newspaper owner Hope Stinson on the syndicated The Ted Knight Show (the former Too Close for Comfort) during its final season in 1986; and that of Gussie Holt, the mother of Suzanne Somers' lead character in the syndicated sitcom She's the Sheriff (1987–1989).

Since the late 1980s, Carroll has had a great deal of voice-over work on animated programs[6] such as A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, Galaxy High, Foofur and A Goofy Movie. On TV's Pound Puppies, she voiced Katrina Stoneheart. On two Garfield television specials (A Garfield Christmas and Garfield's Thanksgiving), she portrayed Jon's feisty Grandmother. She also voiced the character of Granny in the 2005 re-release of Hayao Miyazaki's My Neighbor Totoro.

In 1989, Carroll portrayed the sea witch Ursula in Disney's The Little Mermaid and sang "Poor Unfortunate Souls".[6] In interviews, Carroll has referred to the role as one of the favorites of her career.[7] She has since reprised the role in other forms of media, including the Kingdom Hearts series of video games, the spinoff television series, the Disney+ series The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse,[8] and various Disney theme parks attractions and shows.

Carroll also appeared on a variety of game shows including Celebrity Sweepstakes, You Don't Say, To Tell the Truth, Match Game 73, Password and I've Got a Secret.

A member of the Actors Studio, she has also had a successful career in the theater, appearing in numerous plays including productions of Our Town and Sophocles' Electra.[9][10] In 1990, she starred in The Merry Wives of Windsor at the Shakespeare Theatre at the Folger in the role of Sir John Falstaff, a balding knight with whiskers.[11]

When drama critic Frank Rich of The New York Times reviewed her performance he wrote, "Her performance is a triumph from start to finish, and, I think, a particularly brave and moving one, with implications that go beyond this one production. Ms. Carroll and Mr. Kahn help revivify the argument that the right actresses can perform some of the great classic roles traditionally denied to women and make them their own. It's not a new argument, to be sure; female Hamlets stretch back into history. But what separates Ms. Carroll's Falstaff from some other similar casting experiments of late is that her performance exists to investigate a character rather than merely as ideological window dressing for a gimmicky production."[11]

Personal life

Carroll married Lee Karsian in 1955 and they had three children, including actress Tara Karsian.[3] The marriage ended in a divorce in 1976.[3] In 1991 Carroll received an honorary doctorate from Siena College in Albany, New York.[12] Carroll is a practicing Roman Catholic citing that her religious views help her to determine what projects to accept.[13]

Hanna-Barbera lawsuit

In 1963, Carroll filed a $12,000 lawsuit against Hanna-Barbera for breach of contract, claiming that she had been cast and signed on to the role of Jane Jetson on The Jetsons; Morey Amsterdam, who alleged that he had been cast as George, was also a plaintiff in the same suit.[14][15] Although her contracts stipulated she would be paid US$500 an episode with a guarantee of twenty-four episodes (i.e., a full season) of work, she recorded only one episode before being replaced.[14] Several sources claimed the change had occurred as a result of sponsor conflict between Carroll's Make Room for Daddy.[16][17] The case had been closed by early 1965.[18] Carroll stated in an interview in 2013 that the court had ruled in favor of Hanna-Barbera.[14]



Year Title Role Notes
1948 Hometown Girl Lorelei Crawford
1951 Up Front Italian Girl Uncredited
1967 The Ballad of Josie Elizabeth
1968 With Six You Get Eggroll Maxine Scott
1973 The Brothers O'Toole Callie Burdyne
1984 Racing with the Moon Mrs. Spangler
1988 My Neighbor Totoro Granny Voice, Disney English dub
1989 The Little Mermaid Ursula Voice
2000 Songcatcher Viney Butler
The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea Morgana Voice
2001 Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse Ursula Voice
2002 Mickey's House of Villains Ursula Voice
2007 Freedom Writers Miep Gies
Nancy Drew Landlady
2014 BFFs Joan



Year Title Role(s) Notes Ref.
1955 Catch a Star! performer Broadway debut

Tony Award nomination

1973 Anything Goes Reno Sweeney [21]
1975 Something's Afoot [22]
1979 Gertrude Stein Gertrude Stein Gertrude Stein Gertrude Stein Drama Desk Award [23][24]
1984 Dancing in the End Zone Madeleine Bernard [25][26]
1986 Romeo and Juliet Nurse [27]
1989 Cinderella Fairy Godmother [28]
1990 The Merry Wives of Windsor Falstaff [29]
1992 The Show-Off Mrs. Fisher [30][31]
1993 Mother Courage and Her Children Mother Courage [32]
1996 Volpone Volpone [33]
1998 Grace and Glorie Grace [34]
Electra Chorus of Mycenae [35][36]
2000 Thoroughly Modern Millie Mrs. Meers Pre-Broadway production [37][38]
2002 Our Town The Stage Manager [39]


  1. ^ a b Chase's Calendar of Events 2020: The Ultimate Go-to Guide for Special Days. September 24, 2019. ISBN 9780786486946.
  2. ^ "Pat Carroll". Dorothy Keenan. December 10, 1989. Retrieved March 2, 2022.
  3. ^ a b c "Pat Carroll". Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center Boston University. Archived from the original on June 16, 2013. Retrieved May 26, 2013.
  4. ^ Casselberry Manuel, Diane (January 8, 1981). "Pat Carroll; Gertrude Stein was never a bore". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved May 26, 2013.
  5. ^ "1980 Best Spoken Word, Documentary Or Drama". Grammy.Org/The Recording Academy. Retrieved May 26, 2013.
  6. ^ a b c Hill, Jim. "Why (For) Pat Carroll wasn't actually Disney's first choice to voice Ursula in "The Little Mermaid"". JimHillMedia. Retrieved May 26, 2013.
  7. ^ Video on YouTube
  8. ^ a b "EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Special cameos from historic characters appear in new Mickey Mouse shorts at Disney+". New York Daily News.
  9. ^ Simonson, Robert; David Lefkowitz (September 4, 1998). "Stephen Spinella Joins Claire Bloom & Pat Carroll in NJ Electra Sept. 15". Playbill. Archived from the original on June 30, 2013. Retrieved May 26, 2013.
  10. ^ "A Conversation With Pat Carroll at the High Falls Film Festival, May 14, 2009". The Film Panel Notetaker. May 21, 2009. Archived from the original on May 13, 2014. Retrieved May 26, 2013.
  11. ^ a b Rich, Frank (May 30, 1990). "Review/Theater; Pat Carroll as Falstaff in 'Merry Wives' at Folger". The New York Times. Retrieved January 20, 2011.
  12. ^ "Honorary Degrees – Past Recipients". Siena College. Archived from the original on June 4, 2012. Retrieved May 26, 2013.
  13. ^ "Pat Carroll". Behind the Voice Actors. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
  14. ^ a b c Kliph Nesteroff (October 26, 2013). "Classic Television Showbiz: An Interview with Pat Carroll – Part Two". Archived from the original on August 21, 2014. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
  15. ^ Yowp (January 27, 2010). "Yowp: Meet George Jetson — The Other One". Archived from the original on May 8, 2014. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
  16. ^ The Evening Sentinel, June 1, 1962, Morey Amsterdam and Pat Carroll have been forced off as "voice" stars of ABC's new animated "The Jetsons" cartoon series. Too many sponsor conflicts, what with Morey being a regular on the Dick Van Dyke Show and Pat likewise on the Danny Thomas Show.
  17. ^ "Toledo Blade - Google News Archive Search".
  18. ^ TV Firm Sued By Two, Oxnard Press-Courier, January 25, 1965
  19. ^ "SEASON'S STARTER IS 'CATCH A STAR!'; Revue With Pat Carroll and David Burns Will Open Tonight at Plymouth". Retrieved May 31, 2021.
  20. ^ "Catch a Star! – Broadway Musical – Original | IBDB". Retrieved May 31, 2021.
  21. ^ Klein, Alvin (May 22, 1983). "AN INVITING 'BRIGADOON'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 31, 2021.
  22. ^ Berkvist, Robert (July 13, 1975). "Theater Notes: Some Straws in the Wind". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 31, 2021.
  23. ^ "Pat Carroll – Broadway Cast & Staff | IBDB". Retrieved May 31, 2021.
  24. ^ Kerr, Walter (October 31, 1979). "Stage: Pat Carroll as Gertrude Stein". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 31, 2021.
  25. ^ Rich, Frank (January 4, 1985). "THEATER: 'DANCING IN THE END ZONE'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 31, 2021.
  26. ^ "Dancing in the End Zone – Broadway Play – Original | IBDB". Retrieved May 31, 2021.
  27. ^ Richards, David (October 5, 1986). "Carroll's Classics". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved May 31, 2021.
  28. ^ Slate, Libby (August 2, 1989). "Greg Louganis Plunges Into Light Opera : Olympic Diver Plays Prince in 'Cinderella'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 31, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  29. ^ Rich, Frank; Times, Special To the New York (May 30, 1990). "Review/Theater; Pat Carroll as Falstaff in 'Merry Wives' at Folger". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 31, 2021.
  30. ^ "The Show Off – Broadway Play – 1992 Revival | IBDB". Retrieved May 31, 2021.
  31. ^ Gerard, Jeremy (November 13, 1992). "The Show-Off". Variety. Retrieved May 31, 2021.
  32. ^ Sommers, Pamela (May 1, 1993). "'MOTHER COURAGE' HER MUSIC". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved May 31, 2021.
  33. ^ Rose, Lloyd (April 23, 1996). "VOLPONE': SOMETHING TO CROW ABOUT". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved May 31, 2021.
  34. ^ Klein, Alvin (March 22, 1998). "THEATER; 'Grace and Glorie' in Nyack". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 31, 2021.
  35. ^ Marks, Peter (September 23, 1998). "THEATER REVIEW; Settling the Score With Dragon Lady". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 31, 2021.
  36. ^ "Electra – Broadway Play – 1998 Revival | IBDB". Retrieved May 31, 2021.
  37. ^ Phillips, Michael (October 24, 2000). "'Millie,' Thoroughly Close". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 31, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  38. ^ Ehren, Christine (November 28, 2000). "Harriet Harris Joins Millie for Final Week in La Jolla". Playbill. Retrieved May 31, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  39. ^ Horwitz, Jane (May 21, 2002). "Pat Carroll: At 75, She's Back in 'Town'". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved May 31, 2021.

Further reading

Lucas, Eddie (2011) Livingroom Legends: Chats with TV's Famous Faces : Interview With Pat Carroll.