Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Daily Record Dec. 16, 1935

This issue announced the death of Thelma Todd.



    Los Angeles, Dec. 16 (INS) -- Missing since Saturday night, beautiful blonde Thelma Todd, famous screen actress, was found dead today behind the wheel of an automobile at her beach home near Santa Monica.

    Although death, according to preliminary investigation by Detective Lieut. A. S. Roselli, appeared to have been due to natural causes, an investigation of a possible murder was begun, Roselli said.

    Police ordered her body taken to the morgue for examination to determine the exact cause of death.

    The first theory advanced was that death was due to monoxide gas fumes, but police said they were uncertain as to this.

    Friends were reported to have found the body and summoned police.

    Police said they were informed that Miss Todd had been last seen early Saturday morning, shortly after she left a party given by Ida Lupino at the Trocadero Cafe on Sunset boulevard.

    According to Roland West, business partner and manager of Miss Todd's cafe, she left the party around 3 o'clock Saturday morning.

    At that time, Sid Grauman, the theatre man, called West at his home on Potesano Drive, near the Seaside Cafe, and informed West Miss Todd was on her way home.

    Not more than six months ago Miss Todd received extortion and death threats, which were mailed either in San Francisco or New York.


    One of the notes demanded payment of $10,000. The note ordered her to pay the $10,000 to Abe Lyman, noted orchestra leader.

    Federal agents said the would-be extortionists were trying to get Lyman as an involuntary go-between. Lyman was amazed that his name was used.

    Threats to "blow up" her cafe on the Roosevelt Highway were contained in one of the notes.

    Two arrests were made by G-men in New York as the result of the notes and threats.

    Thelma Todd was a pretty blonde Lawrence school teacher who started to fame by way of an Elks beauty contest in which she was chosen "Miss Massachusetts." That was in 1925, when she was 18 years old. With the beauty award went a scholarship to the Paramount School of Acting and a screen test.

    Many other pretty girls throughout the United States had a similar chance but Miss Todd was one of the few who clicked in the studios. One of her most attractive appeals as a comedienne was that despite her beauty she was not loath to appear awkward or grotesque if it would bring a laugh.


    The scores of friends and relatives and admirers who watched with pride as beauteous Thelma Todd strode upwards along the ladder of screen fame learned with a shock today that the little girl they knew had died suddenly.

    Her aunt, Mrs. Alex Raymond, was nearly prostrated when she received the news. The school department, where Thelma was once listed as a prospective school teacher, was thrown into sadness.


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