Tom London

Tom London (born Leonard T. Clapman;[1] August 24, 1889 – December 5, 1963) was an American actor who played frequently in B-Westerns. According to The Guinness Book of Movie Records, London is credited with appearing in the most films in the history of Hollywood, according to the 2001 book Film Facts, which says that the performer who played in the most films was "Tom London, who made his first of over 2,000 appearances in The Great Train Robbery, 1903.[2] He used his birth name in films until 1924.[1]

Tom London
Leonard T. Clapman

(1889-08-24)August 24, 1889
DiedDecember 5, 1963(1963-12-05) (aged 74)
Years active1915–1962
Spouse(s)Edith Stayart
Louvie Munal

Life and career

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, London got his start in movies as a props man in Chicago, Illinois. His debut was in 1915 in the Western Lone Larry, performing under his own name. The first film in which he was billed under his new name was Winds of Chance, a World War I film, in which he played "Sgt. Rock". London was a trick rider and roper, and used his trick skills in scores of Westerns. In the silent film era he often played villainous roles, while in later years he often appeared as the sidekick to Western stars like Sunset Carson in several films.

One of the busiest character actors, he appeared in over 600 films. London made many guest appearances in television shows through the 1950s, such as The Range Rider, with Jock Mahoney and Dick Jones. He also played Sam, the attendant of Helen Ramirez (Katy Jurado) in High Noon. His last movie was Underworld U.S.A. in 1961, and his final roles on TV were in Lawman and The Dakotas.

Personal life

London married actress Edith Stayart (1890 - August 7, 1970), born Edythe B. Stayart, who has several roles in films in the 1920s including Nan of the North. On July 5, 1952, he married Louvie Munal in Del Rio, Texas.[3]


London died at his home in North Hollywood at age 81[4] and was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.




  1. Katchmer, George A. (2015). A Biographical Dictionary of Silent Film Western Actors and Actresses. McFarland. p. 215. ISBN 9781476609058. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
  2. Patrick Robertson: Film Facts (2001), p. 97
  3. Brimer, Dorothy (July 20, 1952). "Tom London, Veteran Actor, Visits Kingsport With Bride". Kingsport Times-News. Tennessee, Kingsport. p. 24. Retrieved September 17, 2019 via
  4. "Veteran actor dies at 81". Redlands Daily Facts. California, Redlands. United Press International. December 6, 1963. p. 1. Retrieved April 24, 2017 via
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