Samuel E. Wright Headshot

Samuel E. Wright

Birth Place: Camden, SC, USA

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Samuel E. Wright BIO

Wright was an American actor and singer. He was best known as the voice of Sebastian in Disney's The Little Mermaid, for which he provided the lead vocals to "Under the Sea",[1] which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. He played Dizzy Gillespie in Bird, the biographical film about Charlie Parker. Wright also played the part of Mufasa in the original cast of The Lion King on Broadway and voiced Kron the Iguanodon in Disney's 2000 CGI/live-action film Dinosaur.

Samuel E. Wright STAGE CREDITS

Original Broadway Production, 1997

Encores! Concert, 1997
Mr. Kirkeby

Original Broadway Production, 1991
Mayor Joe Clark

Original Broadway Production, 1989
Bruce Aiken

Original Broadway Production, 1983
William Sheridan


Original Broadway Production, 1974

[West End]
London Production, 1973

Original Broadway Production, 1972
Leading Player [Replacement]

Broadway Transfer, 1971
Valentine [Replacement]

Original Broadway Production, 1971



Samuel E. Wright Awards and Nominations

Tony Awards - 1998 - Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical

Samuel E. Wright, The Lion King

Tony Awards - 1984 - Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical

Samuel E. Wright, The Tap Dance Kid

Samuel E. Wright Videos

Samuel E. Wright News

Jodi Benson Will Lead HELLO, DOLLY! in Florida in Summer 2024

Jodi Benson will lead a production of Hello, Dolly! in Florida next year at Encore! Performing Arts. Learn more about the show and how to get tickets here!

THE LION KING on Broadway- A Complete Guide

Looking for all the latest info on one of Broadway's hottest shows? BroadwayWorld has the full scoop on everything that you need to know about The Lion King on Broadway. Check out all the details below!

Video: THE LION KING Pays Tribute to Original 'Mufasa' Samuel E. Wright on 24th Anniversary

This weekend, the Lion King celebrated its 24th anniversary on Broadway. As part of its celebration, the anniversary performance was dedicated to the memory of the creator of the role of Mufasa in the original 1997 production, Samuel E. Wright, who received a Tony nomination for his performance. 

BWW Review: DISNEY'S THE LION KING at The Orpheum Theatre Memphis

Disney's The Lion King roars its way back into Memphis and audiences are thrilled to welcome the popular show back to the Orpheum stage! Always a Memphis favorite, the show is pure magic for its audiences, adults and children alike. 

THE LION KING Will Celebrate its 24th Anniversary On Broadway This Weekend

The Lion King will celebrate its 24th anniversary on Broadway tomorrow, Saturday, November 13, 2021. The show opened on November 13, 1997 at the newly-renovated New Amsterdam Theatre and has played 9,387 performances as of today and entertained more than 15,870,000 guests on Broadway alone.

Wake Up With BWW 5/26: HADESTOWN Band Diversity Initiative, LES MISERABLES in Tokyo, and More!

Today's top stories: Hadestown band diversity initiative, Les Miserables opens in Tokyo, and more!

LITTLE MERMAID Actor Samuel E. Wright Dies at 74

Wright had an extensive career on Broadway, including appearances as Mufasa in 'The Lion King' and replacing Ben Vereen in the original Broadway production of 'Pippin.'

Theater Stories: THE LION KING, SUNSET BOULEVARD, the JOSEPH Revival & More About The Minskoff Theatre

This week's Theater Stories features The Minskoff Theatre! Learn about the stars to have graced the Minskoff stage, including Debbie Reynolds, Debbie Allen, Bette Midler, Glenn Close & more; the theater's longest-running show, The Lion King, and much more!

BWW Review: THE LITTLE MERMAID at Downtown Cabaret Children's Theatre

On Saturday, February 22, I had the pleasure of seeing the opening performance of THE LITTLE MERMAID at the Downtown Cabaret Children's Theatre, in Bridgeport, CT. This adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen story, made famous to younger generations by the animated Disney movie is written by Phill Hill.  Having never personally read the Hans Christian Andersen story, my character name references will be based on the Disney adaptation, which I do believe is likely to be the version most well known.  Ricky Altamirano directs, choreographs and stars as Hermit, the crab Disney calls a?oeSebastian.a??

Everything to Know About Disney on Broadway!

Disney has officially been making magic on Broadway for 25 years! As BroadwayWorld previously reported, Disney on Broadway is partnering with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS to put on a special benefit to celebrate the momentous occasion. We're getting in on the celebration by looking back at Disney's show-stopping productions, from classics like Beauty and the Beast and Newsies to current favorites like Aladdin and Frozen. Check it all out!

THE LITTLE MERMAID Dives Into the Walt Disney Signature Collection in Honor of 30th Anniversary

In honor of its 30th anniversary, two-time Academy Award®-winner (Best Original Score and Best Original Song “Under the Sea,” 1989) “The Little Mermaid,” dives into the highly celebrated Walt Disney Signature Collection with all-new bonus features and a sing-along mode. The magical, musical tale of mermaid princess Ariel — along with loveable sidekicks Sebastian and Flounder, and the love-to-hate sea witch Ursula — is shore to make a splash with all generations when it comes home for the first time Digitally in HD, 4K Ultra HD  and Movies Anywhere on Feb. 12, and on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray on Feb. 26.

Photo Flash: TCG Fetes WAR PAINT Creative Team at 2017 Gala

Theatre Communications Group's (TCG) 2017 Gala celebrated the War Paint creative team, and featured special performances by actor Samuel E. Wright accompanied by Michael Forman. Wright played the part of Mufasa in the original cast of The Lion King on Broadway. Original Broadway cast members John Dossett and Chris Hoch performed 'Dinosaurs' from War Paint accompanied by Paul Staroba. Scroll down for photos from the evening!

BWW Review: THE LION KING at Hobby Center

In 1994 Disney's animated feature The Lion King was the cartoon movie that broke barriers and was popular with adults and children. With its textual references to William Shakespeare's HAMLET, this age old tale is one that no one needs to go in depth about. In July of 1997, Julie Taymor along with original cartoon creatives Elton John and Tim Rice debuted a Broadway bound music that was sure to revolutionize storytelling. Now 20 years on the boards this lavish musical continues to inspire, empower and entertain. With authentic and visceral musical arrangements by Lebo M, THE LION KING is a theatrical jewel that gleams brightly representing the essence of the Motherland- Africa.

VIDEO: THE LITTLE MERMAID's 'Kiss the Girl' Inspires Real-Life Romance!

The Little Mermen, NYC's favorite Disney cover band, serenaded couples in Washington Square Park to try and get them to kiss.

ABC Family Hosts FUNDAY Programming Event This Weekend

Gather your Princess posse, pop a bottle of champagne and raise your glass to some nostalgic girl power with a side of romance.

ABC Family Announces FUNDAY Programming Event, 3/21

Gather your Princess posse, pop a bottle of champagne and raise your glass to some nostalgic girl power with a side of romance.

Sunday Special: From the Pride Lands to Notre Dame - Disney's Animated Musicals on Stage

To celebrate HUNCHBACK's run, we've gone in-depth on Disney's animated films that have brought their music, magic, comedy and romance to the stage. Scroll down to learn more, and be sure to tell us which Disney film you'd like to see adapted next!

ABC Family Announces 'Funday' Monthly Programming Experience

Weekends just aren't weekends anymore as ABC Family introduces “Funday,” a monthly programming experience that allows viewers to embrace their inner child.

Hollywood's El Capitan Is Only Theatre in the World to Screen THE LITTLE MERMAID 3D, Now thru 10/13

Hollywood's legendary El Capitan Theatre is delighted to present Disney's Academy Award winning film 'The Little Mermaid' for the first time ever in thrilling Disney Digital 3D from today, September 13 through October 13, 2013.


How many Broadway shows has Samuel E. Wright been in?

Samuel E. Wright has appeared on Broadway in 8 shows.

How many West End shows has Samuel E. Wright been in?

Samuel E. Wright has appeared on London's West End in 1 shows.

What was Samuel E. Wright's first West End show?

Samuel E. Wright's first West End show was Two Gentlemen of Verona which opened in 1973

What awards has Samuel E. Wright been nominated for?

Samuel E. Wright has been nominated for the following awards: Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical (Tony Awards) for The Lion King and The Tap Dance Kid.

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