William "Billy" Costello
(February 2, 1898 – October 9, 1971), a.k.a. "Red Pepper Sam", was an American actor and voice actor, and the original voice of Popeye the Sailor in animated cartoons. Costello had worked with Fleischer Studios as the voice of Gus Gorilla on their Betty Boop series and they found that the raspy voice he had used for that character would work for the Popeye character in their planned adaptation of E. C. Segar's Thimble Theatre comic. He went on to provide the voice for the first Popeye cartoon, 1933's Popeye the Sailor. Costello worked in the next 24 Popeye shorts until he was fired by the Fleischers, allegedly over bad behavior, and was replaced by Jack Mercer. Costello's final appearance was in You Gotta Be a Football Hero (1935).


Costello died in San Jose, California on October 9, 1971. He was buried in Mariposa, California.

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