Patricia Ann “Pat” Carroll (born May 5, 1927) is an American actress. She performed in numerous stage productions, and portrayed the roles of "Bunny Halper" on The Danny Thomas Show, Shirley Feeney's mother on Laverne and Shirley and was the voice of the villainess Ursula in The Little Mermaid Film Series.

She was also well-known for participating on TV game shows. Recent acting appearances were in three episodes of ER in which she played a bag lady and as Miep Gies in the film Freedom Writers. Hanna-Barbera fans may remember her as the voice of Katrina Stoneheart in the company's Pound Puppies TV series.

Early life

Carroll was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, to Kathryn Angela (née Meagher) and Maurice Clifton Carroll.[1] Her family moved to Los Angeles when Pat was five years old. She graduated from Immaculate Heart High School, an all-girls Catholic school, in Hollywood. For college she attended Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles (the college closed in 1981) and Catholic University of America.


In 1956, Carroll won an Emmy Award for her work on Caesar's Hour and was a regular on the sitcom Make Room for Daddy. She guest starred in the drama anthology series, The DuPont Show with June Allyson. Carroll also appeared on many variety shows of the 1950s and 1960s, such as The Red Buttons Show, The Danny Kaye Show, The Red Skelton Show, and The Carol Burnett Show. In 1965, she co-starred as "Prunella", one of the wicked stepsisters in a TV production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical version of Cinderella, which starred Lesley Ann Warren in the title role.

Carroll scored a personal and artistic success in the late 1970s with her one woman show on Gertrude Stein, Gertrude Stein, Gertrude Stein, Gertrude Stein (by playwright Marty Martin), winning several major theater awards, and even a Grammy in 1981 for her recorded version of the performance.

In early 1976, Carroll was cast as Lily, the mother of Shirley Feeney (played by Cindy Williams) in the episode, "Mother Knows Worst" on the hit ABC sitcom, Laverne & Shirley. Despite Carroll's success in that role, she never returned to the series as an annual guest star or as a semi-regular.

Her frequent television roles in the 1980s included newspaper owner Hope Stinson on the syndicated Ted Knight Show (the former Too Close for Comfort) during its final season in 1986; and that of Gussie Holt, the mother of Suzanne Somers' lead character in the syndicated sitcom She's the Sheriff (1987–1989).

Since the late 1980s she has done a great deal of voice-over work on animated programs such as A Pup Named Scooby Doo, Galaxy High, and A Goofy Movie. On TV's Pound Puppies she voiced Katrina Stoneheart. On two Garfield television specials (A Garfield Christmas and Garfield's Thanksgiving), she voiced Jon's feisty Grandma.

She portrayed the sea witch Ursula in many forms of media, such as the Kingdom Hearts series of video games, the Fantasmic! show at two Disney theme parks, the spin-off TV series as well as for the puppet version of Ursula in Walt Disney's Parade of Dreams at Disneyland and in the HalloWishes Halloween-themed fireworks spectacular at Walt Disney World's "Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party" event in the Magic Kingdom. She also voiced Ursula's sister Morgana in The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea.

Carroll has also appeared on a variety of game shows, including Celebrity Sweepstakes, You Don't Say, To Tell the Truth, Password, I've Got a Secret, and Hollywood Connection. Taking a break from various villains she's played, her most recent voice over role was the kind and compassionate character of Granny in the re-release of Hayao Miyazaki's warm hearted story My Neighbor Totoro.

She has also had a successful career in the theater, particularly in numerous off-Broadway productions. In 1990 she stunned the theater world with an acclaimed performance in The Merry Wives of Windsor at the Shakespeare Theater at the Folger playing a male role, Sir John Falstaff, a balding knight with whiskers.

Drama critic Frank Rich of The New York Times wrote: "Her performance is a triumph from start to finish, and, I think, a particularly brave and moving one, with implications that go beyond this one production. Ms. Carroll and Mr. Kahn help revivify the argument that the right actresses can perform some of the great classic roles traditionally denied to women and make them their own. It's not a new argument, to be sure; female Hamlets stretch back into history. But what separates Ms. Carroll's Falstaff from some other similar casting experiments of late is that her performance exists to investigate a character rather than merely as ideological window dressing for a gimmicky production."

As a member of The Actors Studio Carroll is currently working in stage productions. Her past work includes not only off-Broadway productions but the Kennedy Center and national tours. In 2005, she played a homeless woman in three episodes of the television series ER. In 2007, she became a first lady headmaster of Intercontinental Television in Houston, Texas.

Personal life

She is the mother of two daughters, Kerry and Tara Karsian. Her only son, Sean Karsian, died on July 30, 2009. Carroll also is grandmother to Evan Patricia Karsian.

She has received honorary degrees from Barry College in Miami, Florida and Siena College in Albany, New York.




Video games


  • Young, Jordan R. (1989). Acting Solo: The Art of One-Person Shows. Beverly Hills: Past Times Publishing Co.

External links

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  1. REDIRECT Template:DramaDesk PlayActress 1975–2000
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