Jack Mercer (January 13, 1910 – December 4, 1984) was an American animator, storyman and voice actor. He is best known as the voice of Popeye.

Mercer began his work in cartoons as an "inbetweener", an apprentice animator at Fleischer Studios. As noted in an interviewer from ca. 1975, captured in the specials for Popeye the Sailor: 1938-1940, Volume 2, Mercer liked to imitate voices, including one close call where he mimicked the high-pitched and loud voice of one of the Fleischer's wives after he mistakenly thought she had left the studio.
When Billy Costello, the original cartoon voice of Popeye, became difficult to work with, he was dismissed. Mercer had begun imitating Costello's interpretation of Popeye, and practiced it until his voiced "cracked" just right and he had it down. Searching for a replacement for Costello, Lou Fleischer heard Mercer singing the Popeye song and gave him the job of doing the Popeye voice. Mercer's first cartoon was "King of the Mardi Gras".
Mercer continued to voice the one-eyed sailor for the Fleischers, for Paramount's Famous Studios cartoons, for the series of television cartoons produced by King Features Syndicate, and for the Saturday morning cartoon show (1978), produced by Hanna-Barbera. Mercer also did other cartoon voices on popeye, Including of Wimpy, Poopdeck Pappy and Popeye's nephews.
Mercer's first wife was Margie Hines, who provided the voice of Olive Oyl from 1939 to 1944.[1]


  1. IMDB entry for Margie Hines. Last accessed 03/12/2007.

External linksEdit

  • Biography--"He Am What He Am!--Jack Mercer, the Voice of Popeye" by Fred M. Grandinetti