William "Billy" Costello (a.k.a. "Red Pepper Sam"),was an American live and voice actor, and the original voice of Popeye in animated cartoons.

Costello was working as the drummer for the Fred Waring Orchestra when he was cast to provide the voice for the first Popeye cartoon, 1933's Popeye the Sailor. He appeared in the next 26 Popeye shorts until he was fired by the Fleischers, allegedly over "bad behavior",[1] and was replaced with Jack Mercer. Costello appeared as Popeye for another 2 cartoons: The Spinach Overture and A Clean Shaven Man. Costello died from on October 9, 1971 age 73. He was buried in San Jose, California.


  1. accessdate =2009-02-06

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