was the quintessential villain; the longest lasting Disney character of
all time, and there was not a single major Disney character (in the shorts,
at least) that didn't have a run-in with him at one time or another.
He may also hold the record for going by the greatest number of names
at various times in his career. He began as Bootleg Pete, and has at various
times been known as Black Pete, Pete the Bear, Pegleg Pete, Putrid Pete,
Bad Pete, PeeWee Pete, Pegleg Pedro, Pierre the Trapper and Mr. Sylvester
Macaroni among others.
The pegleg was always a difficulty, though. The animators somehow could
never decide which leg it was supposed to be on, and it mysteriously disappeared
and reappeared from short to short. In one short, "Mickey's Service Station",
it even changes from leg to leg within the same short! Eventually Disney
decided it was just too much to deal with and the peg disappeared altogether.
For the most part, Pete was merely a threatening figure, although especially
in the early shorts he does have moments of true evil. He joined the Army
with Donald Duck and became his sergeant and in these shorts it was difficult
to see him as anything but comic and not truly evil. In the later shorts
such as "The New Neighbor", he had even settled down to domesticity; an
attitude which would serve him well as Goofy's next door neighbor in the
"Goof Troop" television series.
Pete's voice was provided by Billy Bletcher through the 1950's and then
by Will Ryan for his resurrection in "Mickey's Christmas Carol."