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Jack Mercer
JackMercerVoiceOver Artist

Name

Jack Mercer

Jack Mercer(January 13, 1910 – December 4, 1984) was an American animator, storyman and voice actor. He is best known as the voice of cartoon characters Popeye the Sailorman and Felix the Cat. The child of vaudeville and Broadway, he also performed on the vaudeville and legitimate stage. When William Billy Costello, the original cartoon voice of Popeye (1933–1935), became difficult to work with, he was dismissed. Mercer had begun imitating Costello's interpretation of Popeye, and practiced it until his voice "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 1935's King of the Mardi Gras. Mercer continued to voice the one-eyed sailor for the Fleischers, for Paramount's Famous Studios cartoons (1942–1957), for a series of television cartoons for King Features Syndicate, and for a Saturday morning cartoon show (1978) produced by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. Mercer also did other cartoon voices, including all the voices for a series of Felix the Cat cartoons produced in 1959-1960. Mercer also did the voices of Wimpy, Poopdeck Pappy, Popeye's nephews, King Little, Twinkletoes the Carrier Pigeon, and the bumbling spies Sneak, Snoop, and Snitch in Fleischer's Gulliver's Travels, and a number of voices, including Mr. Bumble and Swat (the Fly) for Fleischer's Mister Bug Goes to Town. Mercer's natural voice was relatively high-pitched for a man, and he was able to do some of the female voices as well.

Characters voiced by Jack Mercer

Death

  • He died at the age of 74 at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan on December 4, 1984 after stomach cancer-related problems.

Trivia

  • Mercer was married to the voice of Betty Boop and Olive Oyl (Margie Hines) from 1939 to 1944, the two were later divorced.  Mercer went on to marry a woman by the name of Virginia. 
  • After his death, Maurice LaMarche and Billy West performed the voice of Popeye.
  • He was also regularly cast with Pinto Colvig.
  • Mercer also wrote hundreds of scripts for various cartoon series, including a number of Popeye episodes, animated cartoons produced for Paramount Pictures, Deputy Dawg and Milton the Monster.

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