Actor Samuel E Wright, who voiced Sebastian the crab in The Little Mermaid, has died aged 74.

His death was announced by the Facebook page of Montgomery, New York, the town where Wright lived.

A statement read: "Sam was an inspiration to us all and along with his family established the Hudson Valley Conservatory.

"Sam and his family have impacted countless Hudson Valley youth always inspiring them to reach higher and dig deeper to become the best version of themselves.

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"On top of his passion for the arts and his love for his family, Sam was most known for walking into a room and simply providing PURE JOY to those he interacted with.

"He loved to entertain, he loved to make people smile and laugh and he loved to love."

No cause of death was given for Wright, who was described as a "great man".

He was best known for lending his voice to Jamaican crab Sebastian in Disney's 1989 animated film The Little Mermaid.

Wright also played Mufasa in the original cast of The Lion King on Broadway and voiced an Iguanodon in Disney’s 2000 CGI/live-action film Dinosaur.

Following his death, The Lion King Musical’s official Twitter account paid tribute.

Alongside a picture of a tribute on the digital screens of the New Amsterdam Theatre on Broadway, it quoted Mufasa and said: "Look at the stars. The great kings of the past look down on us from those stars."

The tribute added: "Rest In Peace, Samuel E. Wright | 1946 – 2021 Original Broadway Cast, Mufasa."