Olive was originally one of the stars of the Thimble Theater comic strip by E.C. Segar. Her brother's name was Castor Oyl and she had a short, stout, amiable boyfriend named Ham Gravy. When Ham and Castor hatched a money-making scheme that involved a long sea voyage, they hired a scruffy, disreputable sailor named Popeye. Popeye and Olive didn't get along well at all in the beginning, but as the spinach-eating roughhouser rose in popularity, Segar had Olive ditch her old flame and hook up with Popeye the sailor man.