Pat Carroll, stage star who performed Disney’s ‘Ursula’, dies at 95

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“When Mrs. Carroll makes her first entrance,” wrote Frank Rich in The Times, “a nervous silence descends on the audience of the Shakespeare Theater at the Folger here, as hundreds of eyes search for a trace of the woman whom they’ve seen in a thousand TV reruns. What they find instead is a Falstaff who might have come out of a formal painted portrait: a balding, elderly knight with tufts of silver hair and mustaches. sparse, a huge belly, rosy cheeks and squinting frog eyes peering through boozy mists.The sight is so eerie that you cling to your seat.

“You realize,” Mr. Rich continued, “that it is the character of Shakespeare, and not a parody of camp, that is being served.”

Patricia Ann Carroll was born May 5, 1927 in Shreveport, Louisiana and grew up in Los Angeles. Her father, Maurice, worked for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Electricity; his mother, Kathryn (Meagher) Carroll, worked in real estate and office management.

Ms Carroll attended university on an English language scholarship but left before she graduated. “I realized what I was learning wasn’t going to advance what I wanted to do,” she said in 2011. “I always thought experience was the best preparation.”

In 1947, Ms. Carroll left Los Angeles for Plymouth, Mass., where she worked at the Priscilla Beach Theater and, she said, ate, drank and breathed the theater. She made her professional stage debut there that year in “A Goose for the Gander”, with Gloria Swanson. (At that time, she studied acting at the Catholic University of America in Washington.) She eventually made her way to New York City, where, among other odd jobs, she shined shoes while pursuing theater work. .

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