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Tom Sawyer

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Tom Sawyer
In-universe information
FamilyAunt Polly (aunt)
Sally Phelps (aunt)
Mary (cousin)
Sid (younger half-brother)

Thomas "Tom" Sawyer (/ˈsɔːjər/) is the title character of the Mark Twain novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876). He appears in three other novels by Twain: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), Tom Sawyer Abroad (1894), and Tom Sawyer, Detective (1896).

Sawyer also appears in at least three unfinished Twain works, Huck and Tom Among the Indians, Schoolhouse Hill, and Tom Sawyer's Conspiracy. While all three uncompleted works were posthumously published, only Tom Sawyer's Conspiracy has a complete plot, as Twain abandoned the other two works after finishing only a few chapters. It is set in the 1840s in the Mississippi.


The fictional character's name may have been derived from a jolly and flamboyant chief named Tom Sawyer, with whom Twain was acquainted in San Francisco, California, while Twain was employed as a reporter at The San Francisco Call.[1][2] Twain used to listen to Sawyer tell stories of his youth, "Sam, he would listen to these pranks of mine with great interest and he'd occasionally take 'em down in his notebook. One day he says to me: 'I am going to put you between the covers of a book some of these days, Tom.' 'Go ahead, Sam,' I said, 'but don't disgrace my name.'"[2] Twain himself said the character sprang from three people, later identified as: John B. Briggs (who died in 1907), William Bowen (who died in 1893) and Twain;[2] however Twain later changed his story saying Sawyer was fully formed solely from his imagination, but as Robert Graysmith says, "The great appropriator liked to pretend his characters sprang fully grown from his fertile mind."[2]


Actors who have portrayed Tom Sawyer in films and TV:

Name Date Notes
Jack Pickford 1917 Film, Tom Sawyer
Gordon Griffith 1920 Film, Huckleberry Finn
Jackie Coogan 1930, 1931 Films, Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn
Tommy Kelly 1938 Film, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Billy Cook 1938 Film, Tom Sawyer, Detective
Michael Miller 1944 Film, The Adventures of Mark Twain
Robert Hyatt 1955 Film, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
John Sharpe 1956 TV musical, Tom Sawyer
Kevin Schultz 1968 TV series, The New Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Roland Demongeot 1968 Romanian/French/German TV series Les Aventures de Tom Sawyer/Tom Sawyers und Huckleberry Finns Abenteuer
Johnny Whitaker 1973 Film, Tom Sawyer
Don Most 1975 Film, Huckleberry Finn
Sam Snyders 1979 TV series, Huckleberry Finn and His Friends
Patrick Creadon 1981 TV film, Rascals and Robbers: The Secret Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn
Fyodor Stukov 1981 Soviet three-episode TV miniseries, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn
Chris Ritchie 1985 Film, The Adventures of Mark Twain
Eugene Oakes 1986 TV series, American Playhouse Series 5: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn parts I, II, III and IV
Raphael Sbarge 1990 TV film, Back to Hannibal: The Return of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn
Jonathan Taylor Thomas 1995 Film, Tom and Huck
Rhett Akins 2000 Voice, animated musical film, Tom Sawyer
Grey Griffin 2003 Voice, animated TV series, The Fairly OddParents
Shane West 2003 Film, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Louis Hofmann 2011, 2012 Film, Tom Sawyer (de), Die Abenteuer des Huck Finn (de}
Joel Courtney 2014 Film, Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn
Adam Nee 2015 Film, Band of Robbers
Jeremy Shada 2015 3DS game Code Name: S.T.E.A.M.
Reilly Jacob 2016 TV series Once Upon a Time


  1. ^ "Biography of Tom Sawyer - 1900". Sfmuseum.net. 1996-09-01. Retrieved 2012-07-24.
  2. ^ a b c d Robert Graysmith (October 2012). "The Adventures of the Real Tommy". Smithsonian. Retrieved October 1, 2012.

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