Sweeney Todd is the main antagonist of the 1846-47 story The String of Pearls written by unknown authors.


Sweeney Todd was a London barber who killed his customers by throwing them down a trapdoor and breaking their necks. If they survived, he would 'polish them off' by slitting their throats with a razor. He and his partner-in-crime Mrs. Lovett made them into meat pies and sold them for money.

Film portrayals

The original version of the character (prior to Stephen Sondheim's musical) was most famously portrayed by Tod Slaughter in a series of films in the 1930s. He has also been portrayed by Ben Kingsley.


  • This version of Sweeney Todd is regarded as Pure Evil whereas the other versions of Sweeney Todd are given more sympathetic qualities in later retellings of the story.