Wednesday, August 3, 2022

The Late Great Pat Carroll

Pat Carroll, who was a regular on both Caesar's Hour and The Danny Thomas Show, as well as a voice in numerous animated TV shows and movies, died July 30 2022 at the age of 95. The cause was pneumonia.

Pat Carroll was born on May 5 1927 in Shreveport, Louisiana. When she was five years old her family moved to Los Angeles. She began acting in local productions while she was still a child. When she was 20 she became a Civilian Actress Technician for the United States Army. Following her service she attended Catholic University in Washington, D.C. She graduated in 1949.

Pat Carroll made her film debut even before she graduated college, appearing in the movie Hometown Girl in 1948. She made her television debut in 1951 in an episode of Goodyear Television Playhouse. During the Fifties she was a regular on The Saturday Night Revue and Caesar's Hour. She also appeared on the variety shows, talk shows, and game shows The Red Buttons Show, The George Gobel Show, Max Liebman Presents, Who Said That?. The Jimmy Durante Show, The NBC Comedy Hour, The Steve Allen Show, Masquerade Party, The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show, The Pat Boone-Chevy Showroom, The Steve Lawrence-Eydie Gorme Show, The Dinah Shore Chevy Show, The Revlon Revue, The Arthur Murray Party, Keep Talking, The Jackie Gleason Show, and Tonight Starring Jack Paar. She guest starred on the shows The Pepsi-Cola Playhouse, The RCA Victor Show, Studio 57, The Mickey Rooney Show, Producer's Showcase, Kraft Television Theatre, General Electric Theatre, and The DuPont Show with June Allyson. She appeared in the movie Up Front (1951). Pat Carroll made her debut on Broadway in Catch a Star! in 1955.

From 1961 to 1964 Pat Carroll played Bunny Halper on The Danny Thomas Show. She guest starred on the shows The Ann Sothern Show, The Investigators, Please Don't Eat the Daisies, The Red Skelton Show, and Arnie. She did her first voice work in animation for the Saturday morning cartoon The Super 6. She played Prunella, one of the stepsisters, in the 1965 television production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella. She appeared on the talk shows, variety shows, and game shows Tonight Starring Jack Paar, The Ed Sullivan Show, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, Talent Scouts, Your First Impression, The Price is Right, Missing Links, Match Game, Fractured Flickers, The Object Is, Pantomime Quiz, Truth or Consequences, Get the Message, Password, I'll Bet, What's This Song, The Mike Douglas Show, Gypsy, Chain Letter, Girl Talk, The Danny Kaye Show, Pat Boone in Hollywood, Everybody's Talking, Personality, Liars Club, It Takes Two, You're Putting Me On, You Don't Say, To Tell the Truth, The Game Game, It's Your Bet, and The Carol Burnett Show. She appeared in the movie With Six You Get Eggroll (1968).

In the Seventies Pat Carroll was a regular on the short-lived sitcoms Getting Together and Busting Loose. She guest starred on the shows The Mary Tyler Moore Show; The Interns; My Three Sons; Love, American Style; Honeymoon Suite, Calucci's Department, Police Story, Nakia, Laverene & Shirley, Good Heavens, Police Woman, CPO Sharkey, The Love Boat, and Flying High. She appeared on such games shows as I've Got a Secret, Match Game, Celebrity Sweepstakes, Break the Bank, Shoot for he Stars, The $10,000 Pyramid, and Liar's Club. She appeared on the talk The Merv Griffin Show. She appeared in the movie The Brothers O'Toole.

In the Eighties Pat Carroll returned to Broadway in the production Dancing in the End Zone. She was a regular on the TV shows Too Close for Comfort and She's the Sheriff. She guest starred on the shows Trapper John, M.D. and Crazy Like a Fox. She was a regular voice on the television cartoons Galaxy High School, Yogi's Treasure Hunt, Foofur, and Pound Puppies. She was a guest voice on the animated shows Superman, A Pup Named Scooby-Do, and Chip 'n' Dale: Rescue Rangers. She appeared in the movie Butterflies in Heat (1986). She was the voice of Ursula in The Little Mermaid (1989) and provided voices for the English versions of the animated films My Neighbour Totoro (1988) and Asterix and the Big Fight (1989).

In the Nineties Pat Carroll guest starred on The New WKRP in Cincinnati, Evening Shade, and Designing Women. She reprised her role as the voice of Ursula on the animated TV series The Little Mermaid. She provided voices for the animated movie The Goofy Movie (1995). She appeared in the movie Songcatcher (2000). On Broadway she appeared in The Show Off and Electra.

In the Naughts Pat Carroll guest starred on ER. She reprised her role as the voice on Ursula on the Disney series House of Mouse. She appeared in the movies Outside Sales (2006), Freedom Writers (2007), and Nancy Drew (2007). She provided a voice for the English version of A Turtle's Tale: Sammy's Adventures (2010). In the Teens Pat Carroll appeared in the films Bridesmaids (2011) and BFFs (2014). She was the voice of Aunt Nela in the film Drawing Home (2016). On television she had a recurring role on the animated series Tangled: The Series. She reprised her role as the voice of Ursula in a guest appearance on the series The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse.

As a comedian and actress Pat Carroll was incredible. She won an Emmy for her work on Caesar's Hour with good reason. As Bunny Halper, the wife of Danny's manager Charlie Halper (Sid Melton) on The Danny Thomas Show, she was easily one of the funniest characters on a show filled with funny characters. Pat Carroll enriched any show she was on, which was why she was so much in demand, appearing with such legends as Red Buttons, Mickey Rooney, Steve Allen, Red Skelton, and Charley Weaver over the years. Able to extemporize funny lines on the spot, she was very much in demand in game shows from the Fifties to the Seventies. Even in her guest appearances Pat Carroll could easily steal the show. She was hilarious as a cranky patient sharing Mary's hospital room on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. On three episodes of The Red Skelton Show she played Clara Appleby, the domineering wife of Red Skelton's perpetually henpecked character George Appleby. Of course, Pat Carroll was also a gifted voice actor, providing voices for numerous animated TV shows and movies. In animation she played a wide variety of roles, from the sweet natured Granny in My Neighour Toturo to the villainous Ursula in The Little Mermaid. Pat Carroll was a gifted performer who always improved the quality of any show or movie she was in.

No comments: