“There is nothing better or more cleansing in this world than laughter.” – Pat Carroll
“Hahaha!” Laughter filled the room. Pat was with her daughters and granddaughter. Tears were rolling down their cheeks like a shower, washing and refreshing with each powerful laugh. It was glorious. The smiles, the sounds, and the senses radiated and adorned Pat’s gregarious and welcoming face.
Pat began acting in local productions when she was just five years old. She was funny. Her wit and humor had gained the attention of brilliant stars like Lucille Ball, Mary Tyler Moore, Carol Burnett and Danny Thomas. She loved performing live shows, stand-up comedy and doing character acting. She picked up roles on television shows like ABC’s Laverne & Shirley. She started doing voice-over work in the 1980’s for animation programs like Scooby-Doo, Galaxy High, A Goofy Movie, Pound Puppies, Garfield and even voiced the character of Granny in Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro. But her most beloved role would come in 1989.
“I’ve been a Disney fan since I was 5 years old,” Pat would explain. She had joined the Mickey Mouse Club and even had the ears. Her greatest dream was to perform in a Disney film. That day finally came. Disney was working on a new animated film and the directors and musical team were looking for the perfect talent. Pat auditioned six times. Her determination paid off! A year later, she got the call to be the voice of Ursula in Disney’s The Little Mermaid. She laughed! It was a dream come true and she said, “I’ve never enjoyed anything so much in my life.” Her memorable and throaty rendition of Poor Unfortunate Souls would make her one of Disney’s most beloved villains. Can you hear her singing? Can you hear her laughing? That was Pat.
Pat Carroll passed away this past weekend, July 30, 2020, at 95 years old. In a recent interview, she said, “I’ve had the most wonderful life. I’ve done everything I wanted to do and I’ve had a ball doing it.” Indeed she did. To Pat, the greatest thing in the world is laughter. The ability to laugh and make other people laugh is a superpower that is a remedy for so much that ails us. It provides cleansing. It washes our worries, treats our bruises and breathes oxygen into our journey.
Laugh! Make sure you take time to sample some humor today, and every day.