Sam Lufkin
born: 08 May 1891
Salt Lake City, Utah,
United States of America
died: 19 February 1952
Hollywood, Los Angeles, California,
United States of America
(uremia, age 60)
American actor who was often seen as a police officer in several of the Laurel & Hardy shorts.
On the night of 2 April 1909, 17-year old Lufkin was caught tampering with the air brakes on a Saltair train, delaying the return of "several hundred passengers" to Salt Lake City from a dance at the Saltair resort. According to one article, "Lufkin 'cut the air' and started to jump, but the conductor happened to be near and nabbed him. The train came to a sudden stop and all the passengers were rudely jostled in their seats, while several came near being thrown off and possibly ground to pieces underneath the wheels." Two sections of the train were affected, with the second being the immediate victim, and the first stalled. Another article says Lufkin also cut the lights, and that the train broke in two (presumably the two sections), "causing a near-panic among the passengers." As a result, the passengers had to walk "some miles" the rest of the way back.
"Smart alecks" meddling with the air on Saltair trains had been proving a frequent headache for the railway company, who were looking to "[prosecute] offenders to the limit." The company wanted Lufkin locked up in the state prison for committing a felony, but since he was underage, he instead wound up in the juvenile court. Lufkin pled guilty, confessing to Judge E. G. Gowans that he "just wanted to have a little fun." After Judge Gowans rightfully reprimanded him, noting that his act of "fun" could have been at the cost of several innocent lives, he sentenced Lufkin to serve time in the Utah State Industrial School, a juvenile reform school in nearby Ogden, "to meditate over the seriousness of his little joke." One article concluded, "Unless he shows remarkable progress in good behavior, Lufkin will remain there until he is of age—four years."
Fast-forward three years and eight months, and 21-year old Lufkin is out of reform school and working as a bellboy at the Wilson hotel in his hometown of Salt Lake City. In December 1912, Lufkin was arrested yet again by a pair of detectives under suspicion of stealing a diamond pin from a hotel guest, traveling salesman L. H. Cooper. The article concluded, "No complaint was secured against Lufkin yesterday, though he was held pending investigation." Beyond this one article, I have not found anything further on this later incident.

Sam's Dad, Samuel Henry Lufkin (1863-1920) was variously a laborer, teamster and piano mover. He married Sam's Mom, Martha Alice Yates (1866-1944) in 1887. They had Sam's older sister in 1888 and his younger brother in 1894. The sister died at the age of 3 from a form of malnutrition (marasmus) the year Sam was born and the brother died from drowning at the age of 5 when Sam was 8. His Dad didn't work most of that year and no telling how these incidents affected the family's psyche. The Mom may have become overly protective as Sam lived with her most of his adult life until she died in 1944.
Some time between 1903 and January 1907, Martha divorced Sam's Father but for some reason she listed herself as "widow of Samuel H." in the 1907 SLC City Directory even though he was very much alive for another 13 years. Sixteen year-old Sam listed himself as "student" at his Mom's address.
In January 1908, Martha married Clarence A. Hendershot (1871-1933). He was a title abstract researcher for a title insurance company. In April 1909, Sam was sent to reform school (juvenile prison) as documented above but served a year or less of the possible 4 year sentence. His behavior must have been good enough to satisfy the authorities that he had "turned around" and learned his lesson because in the 1910 Census (SLC), he is living with his Mom and step-father with the name of "Hendershot" and working as a "building engineer". I found no further evidence of Sam having "trouble with the law".
As noted above, Sam was being investigated for the theft of a diamond stick pen while working as a hotel bellhop (1912 Dec.12th newspaper article). It may be coincidence, but on Dec.13th, he married Gladys E. Slater (1894-1925) and they "beat a path" to Los Angeles where his natural Father was already living and working.
In 1916 Sam is living with wife Gladys (1916 LA Voter Registration).
In June 1917, Sam is still in LA, working as a salesman for the Wilshire Oil Co. and claiming an exemption for his dependent wife.
In Jan.1920, his Mom and Step-father are living in LA and Sam lives with them as "married" but without his wife. He is working as a laborer for a city surveying crew. His natural Father died this year and his wife, Gladys died in 1925 and we don't know if they were in the process of getting a divorce or her death ended the marriage. (undocumented Family Tree).
In the April 1930 LA Census, Sam is listed as "married"; living with his Mom and step-father; working as a movie actor.
In 1931 he marries Libby Drahos (1904/1911-1973 undocumented Family Tree) and their son Samuel William Lufkin Jr. is born on 26 Sep.1931 (documented). Nothing further is found of the son in records or Family Trees.
In the 1940 LA Census, Sam is living with his Mom as "married" and no wife or children present. Libby Drahos, (undocumented wife) is living in Iowa as "divorced" with her parents and no children present.
In 1942 (WWII Draft Card), Sam is living with his Mom and lists her as the contact person who will always know where he lives. (She died in 1944).
In Oct.1951, Sam marries Maude L. Anderson (1903-1974) in Los Angeles, 4 months before he died (documented).
In Sam's Feb.1952 "LA Times" obituary, his wife Maude and her children are noted but no mention is made of a son or previous wives. Since 1947 he claimed to have been a member of the original "Keystone Kops".

His remains are interred at Valhalla in North Hollywood, the same cemetery as where Oliver Hardy is buried.
Real name: Samuel William Lufkin
Height: 5'8¾"
Films listed on this page: complete Hal Roach filmography;
all films with Laurel & Hardy.

82
(1)


1922
Touch All The Bases
Ticket seller

1922
Blaze Away
[unidentified character]
 

1922
Jailed And Bailed
[unidentified character]
 

1923
A Pleasant Journey
Cab driver
 

1923
Safety Last!
Pawn shop owner
 

1923
Why Worry?
Soldier
 

1923
A Man About Town
Streetcar conductor [opening scene]

1923
Stage Fright
Audience member
 

1923
Mother's Joy
Houseguest
DVD screencapture - Lord Heath - Laurel & Hardy - Another Nice Mess - http://www.lordheath.com/

1924
At First Sight
Passerby

1924
Friend Husband
[?]
 

1924
April Fool
Office worker

1924
Stolen Goods
Store clerk

1924
High Society
Police detective
 

1924
The Battling Orioles
Jimmy
 

1924
The Mysterious Mystery!
Henchman
 

1925
Bad Boy
Iron worker
 

1926
Between Meals
Gang member

1926
Good Cheer
Inebriated Santa

1926
Thundering Fleas
Wedding guest
DVD screencapture - Lord Heath - Laurel & Hardy - Another Nice Mess - http://www.lordheath.com/

1926
The Fourth Alarm!
Crowd extra
 

1926
War Feathers
Sheriff
 

1926
The Nickel-Hopper
Dance hall extra

1926
There Ain't No Santa Claus
Man in car speared by tree

1927
The Sting Of Stings
Lion tamer

1927
Sugar Daddies
Fun house ticket taker

1927
Hats Off
Pedestrian #2

1927
Putting Pants On Philip
Ship's doctor

1927
The Battle Of The Century
Boxing referee

1928
Playin' Hookey
Keystone-ish cop
 

1928
Leave 'Em Laughing
Dental patient
 

1928
The Finishing Touch
House owner

1928
From Soup To Nuts
Dinner guest

1928
You're Darn Tootin'
Man in restaurant

1928
Fair And Muddy
Man who laughs at muddy woman
 

1928
Their Purple Moment
Waiter

1928
Should Married Men Go Home?
Shop manager

1928
Two Tars
Pedestrian/
Motorist

1929
Going Ga-Ga
Employer
DVD screencapture - Lord Heath - Laurel & Hardy - Another Nice Mess - http://www.lordheath.com/

1929
Liberty
Getaway car passenger

1929
Wrong Again
Sullivan

1929
That's My Wife
Waiter

1929
Movie Night
Movie patron
DVD screencapture - Lord Heath - Laurel & Hardy - Another Nice Mess - http://www.lordheath.com/

1929
Double Whoopee
Man poked eye

1929
They Go Boom!
Policeman
 

1929
Bacon Grabbers
Man in Sheriff's office

1929
The Hoose-Gow
Prison camp officer

1930
The Real McCoy
Mountain man

1930
The Big Kick
Bootlegger

1930
La estación de gasolina 
Second bootlegger
 

1931
Pardon Us
Prison guard

1931
Call A Cop!
Flannigan the cop
DVD screencapture - Lord Heath - Laurel & Hardy - Another Nice Mess - http://www.lordheath.com/

1931
Mama Loves Papa
Cop
 

1931
Beau Hunks
Ruffian
 

1932
The Tabasco Kid
Murietta henchman
 

1932
Any Old Port!
Referee

1932
The Music Box
Policeman

1932
County Hospital
Policeman

1932
Scram!
Policeman in courtroom

1932
Hot Spot
Blocker Cab Company cabbie
DVD screencapture - Lord Heath - Laurel & Hardy - Another Nice Mess - http://www.lordheath.com/

1932
The Soilers
Courtoom policeman
 

1933
Rhapsody In Brew
Bartender
 

1933
Sons Of The Desert
First waiter

1934
Benny, From Panama
Party guest

1934
Going Bye-Bye!
Man with warning

1934
I'll Be Suing You
Truck driver

1934
Three Chumps Ahead
Man ejected from cafe

1934
Them Thar Hills
Moonshiner

1934
Babes In Toyland
Townsman

1934
The Live Ghost
Sailor
 

1935
Bonnie Scotland
Native henchman

1936
The Bohemian Girl
Shopkeeper/Victim

1936
The Lucky Corner
Crowd extra
 

1936
Our Relations
Waiter

1937
Way Out West
Stagecoach baggage handler

1937
Pick A Star
Mexican
 

1938
Swiss Miss
Astonished Swiss villager

1938
Block-Heads
Veteran

1939
Zenobia
Townsman
 

1940
A Chump At Oxford
Water wagon driver

1940
Saps At Sea
Workman in horn factory
 

1943
Nazty Nuisance
Shipmate
 
NON-HAL ROACH FILMS

1939
The Flying Deuces
Legionnaire

Acknowledgements:
https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-16371-119006-66?cc=1861144
https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-16371-119062-54?cc=1861144
https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/286792586/ (Salt Lake Herald-Republican, 03 Apr 1909)
https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/77992855/ (Salt Lake Herald, 03 Apr 1909)
https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/289772977/ (Salt Lake Telegram, 07 Apr 1909)
https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/76389853/ (Salt Lake Tribune, 08 Apr 1909)
https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/77993149/ (Salt Lake Herald, 08 Apr 1909)
https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/83490881/ (Ogden Standard, 09 Apr 1909)
https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/68136931/ (Spanish Fork Press, 15 Apr 1909)
https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/76022693/ (Salt Lake Tribune, 12 Dec 1912)
https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/19995769/person/1025826520/facts (1887 Parents' marriage)
https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?dbid=6967&h=240195&indiv=try&o_vc=Record:OtherRecord&rhSource=5232 (1891 Death of sister)
https://wiki2.org/en/Marasmus (Marasmus definition)
https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&dbid=6967&h=293846&ssrc=pt&tid=19995769&pid=20301527748&usePUB=true (1899 Brother drowns)
https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1900usfedcen&indiv=try&h=61718209 (1900 Census SLC)
https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1910USCenIndex&indiv=try&h=145692230 (1910 Census SLC)
https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1920usfedcen&indiv=try&h=720360 (1920 Census LA CA)
https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1930usfedcen&indiv=try&h=90184570 (1930 Census LA CA)
https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1940usfedcen&indiv=try&h=75416324 (1940 Census LA CA)
https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/2469/13601987/825745064 (1907 SLC City Dir: Mom is "widow")
https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&dbid=60198&h=1011175&ssrc=pt&tid=19995769&pid=20301527737 (1908 Mom marries Hendershot)
https://newspaperarchive.com/salt-lake-tribune-dec-17-1912-p-9/ (1912 Marries Gladys: moves to LA)
https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?dbid=60201&h=427187&indiv=try&o_vc=Record:OtherRecord&rhSource=5186 (1912 Marriage record SLC)
https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?dbid=61066&h=30263486&indiv=try&o_vc=Record:OtherRecord&rhSource=60201 (1916 with wife Gladys; LA Voter registration)
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QPW3-26SL?from=lynx1UIV8&treeref=K2Q5-PXD (1920 Jul Father's Death Cert)
https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/19995769/person/20302874194/facts 1931 (CADI birth of son to Mom Drahos)
https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/19995769/person/20301542878/facts 1940 (Census IA possible divorced Mom Drahos)
https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&dbid=1002&h=13652550&ssrc=pt&tid=19995769&pid=20301527747&usePUB=true (1942 Draft Card: with Mom)
https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&dbid=5186&h=151442&ssrc=pt&tid=19995769&pid=20301527747&usePUB=true (1951 Marriage to Maude)
https://www.newspapers.com/image/380935734/?terms=%22samuel%2Blufkin%22 (1952 Obit LA Times)
http://www.classicvideostreams.com/BCVS/docs/Lufkin-S_de.jpg (1952 Death Certificate)
http://www.classicvideostreams.com/BCVS/favs/Lufkin-S_idx.htm (1952 bio links)
Jim Jarvis (research)
Jesse Brisson (research; identification in Three Chumps Ahead)

This page was last updated on: 15 July 2019