Monday, April 29, 2013

First Screen Actors Guild Ball

What I remember about Thelma Todd and Ted Healy being together was that they both went to the first Screen Actors Guild Ball. Although Thelma Todd actually went with Pat DiCicco.

"Thelma Todd, well known film star, and her husband Peter ( sic ) De Cicco, are shown above at the Actor's Guild Ball in Los Angeles, Calif. recently. It was the guild's first annual affair and was attended by hundreds of the foremost figures of the film colony, all of whom voted it a big success."

An article from THE INDIANPOLIS STAR, January 15, 1934:


HOLLYWOOD, Cal. Jan. 14 - ( AP ) - Several hundred thousand dollars' worth of talent performed last night for the amusement of millions of dollars' worth - or in other words, the Screen Actors Guild held it's first ball.

The motion picture colony turned out en masse, and from it's guilded ranks produced a show that in ordinary theatrical bargining would command salaries in six or maybe seven figures.

The guild, founded last year as an organization of actors for actors, with many members resigning from the Academy of Motion Picuret Arts and Sciences to join, staged it's dinner dance and supper vaudeville show in the month when the academy had planned it's annual banquet for the awarding of it's yearly honors to members.

Fans Line Corridor

Star gazers lined corridors to watch the entrance of the celebrities, who had chosen the "gold room" of a Los Angeles hostelry as a scene of their festivities - with dinner at $25. a couple.

Those who watched and waited saw such stars as Ann Harding, Caludette Colbert, Joan Crawford, Thelma Todd, Pat O'Brien, Adolphe Menjou, Billie Burke, Robert Montgomery - in fact, practically the whole Hollywood "Hall of Fame".

And inside the "Gold Room" transformed into a bower of flowers and ferns for the occasion, the stars and other guests saw a program such as theatrical managers dream about.

First there were Ted Healy and his "stooges". Jeanette MacDonald sang a song, and then an encore. Johnny Boyle and his young son tap danced to the "Rhapsody in Blue" and Jimmy Durante convulsed the assemblage with his piano recitation of the fellow who wanted to bet with him.

Dick Powell is M. C.

Hal Le Roy, Cinicinnati's native son, danced and John Boles sang, headed by Miss Harding and Menjou and participated in by the stellar roster of Hollywood. A highlight of the program was Pert Kelton's imitation of Charlie Chaplin - achieved without the benefit of any Chaplin costume other than the trick msutache.

"There's something here that money couldn't buy," said a guild member, summing up the spirit of the occasion.

Rudy Vallee, billed as master of ceremonies, was not present. Dick Powell, another singer, took his place. Bing Crosby, Charlie Butterworth and Frank McHugh "panicked 'em" with an imitation of the Boswell sisters.

*                      *                          *

Thelma Todd would divorce Pat DiCicco the following Februrary and the Three Stooges broke up their act with Ted Healy during the same period*. The Forresters' book said Thelma Todd was involved with Ted Healy while she was still married to Pat DiCicco in 1934, but unless you count the period of one year it took for the divorce to become final there wasn't much time in 1934 that Thelma Todd and Pat DiCicco were still married.  

I don't know a lot about the Thelma Todd and Ted Healy story, but I have my doubts about it.

* Bonnie Bonnell likewise broke up with Ted Healy in this period.


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