5 Legendary Actors Who Starred in the Legendary ‘Sweeney Todd’ Broadway Show, Before Netflix Star Joe Locke

Published 12/08/2023, 1:04 PM EST

via Imago

In the enchanted realm of Tinseltown, there is something about old classics that never seems to fade away. Whether it be an old movie or a Broadway show, the geniuses behind the scenes have always managed to put out a great show for the audience. One such show was the musical classic Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, which premiered in 1979. Now taking inspiration from the classic, its upcoming adaptation is in the works, also starring Joe Locke of the series Heartstopper.

While this would be Locke’s Broadway debut, the old classic included some renowned actors that the audience should be familiar with.

Len Cariou


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The actor had a big name in the Broadway genre. However, his big break came in the face of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. The actor’s interest in the musical aspects of plays began when his mother urged him to take piano lessons. Further, he showed his love for the same when he started directing as well as starring in plays for his school. After beginning his acting career at the Manitoba Theatre in Stratford, Ontario, he came across directors John Hirsch, Michael Langham, and Tyrone Guthrie.

Cariou became a fan favorite of several famous plays produced at the time after building a close connection with the directors. But his debut on the Broadway stage happened in 1968 in The House of Atreus. The following year, he and actor James Earl Jones starred in Othello at the prestigious Chicago Goodman Theatre. His debut appearance on musical Broadway was at the Palace Theatre, where he played Bill Sampson in Applause, starring Lauren Bacall. The actor was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for this.


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Surprisingly, the actor’s most recent role was in Harry Townsend’s Last Stand, which was released in 2019.

Angela Lansbury

Although the British-American actress died last year at the age of 96, her legendary work continues to live on. From stage to screen, the actress had an 80-year career. She began her career in minor roles until landing the main role in the 1966 Broadway musical Mame and winning her first Tony Award. She also appeared in other Broadway hits, such as Gypsy and Sweeney Todd. The latter earned her international renown and a large fan base.

The actress transitioned from the stage to the cinematic splendor of television as Jessica Fletcher in the American series Murder, She Wrote (1984). The series ran for twelve seasons and became one of the most sought-after detective show in history. Not only did she appear on stage and television, but she also did voice work for animated films such as Beauty and the Beast (1991) and Anastasia (1997). Further, she was an internationally acclaimed actress, as evidenced by her six Tony Awards and three Academy Award nominations.

George Hearn

Throughout his career, spanning several decades, the American singer and actor predominantly worked in the Broadway musical genre. Hearn began his career in 1963, when he played Sir Dinidan in the musical Camelot, alongside Biff McGuire. However, his breakthrough performance came in the famous 1969 musical 1776, as John Dickinson. Further, his popularity was such that he was offered the role of Sweeney Todd in 1980, replacing the iconic Len Cariou.

Later that year, he also began the first national US tour of Sweeney Todd, which he shared with Angela Lansbury. Both the actors shared a good connection after this, as evidenced by her invitation to guest star in her hit Murder, She Wrote. Following a brief hiatus of four years, the actor returned to the Broadway stage in 2004 for the show Wicked.


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Dorothy Loudon


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The American actress and singer passed away at the age of 78 in 2003. However, even after her passing, her Broadway career is imprinted in the hearts of the audience. She made her stage debut in 1962 in The World of Jules Feifer, with music from Stephen Sondheim. Further, she crossed paths with Sondheim again when, in 1980, she was cast as Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd. The actress remained in the industry for a few more years until she left the play Dinner at Eight in 2022 owing to illness.

Michael Cerveris

The American actor and vocalist has appeared in several Stephen Sondheim musical dramas. This includes Assassin’s, Sunday in the Park with George, Road Show, and Passion. However, his most notable performance came onstage in 2005, when he was cast as Sweeney Todd in the revival of the musical. Further, for this, he was also nominated for the Tony Award and several other awards as well.


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What are your thoughts on the above-mentioned legendary actors? Comment down below.



Sakshi Singh

165 articles

Sakshi Singh is a Hollywood News reporter at Netflix Junkie. Her love towards Hollywood and the entertainment industry began when she came across Mindhunter and the thrilling series opened her eyes to the power of storytelling. Her background in law saw her first foray into the world of writing through several published articles in law journals.