Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Billie Dove

Billie Dove

From Wikipedia:

Billie Dove

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Billie Dove

Billie Dove, early 1920s
BornBertha Bohny
May 14, 1903(1903-05-14)[1]
New York City, New York, U.S.
DiedDecember 31, 1997(1997-12-31) (aged 94)
Woodland Hills, California, U.S.
Other namesLillian Bohny
Years active1918–1932 (brief reappearance in 1962)
SpouseIrvin Willat (1923–1929; divorced)
Robert Kenaston (1933–1970; his death); 2 children
John Miller (1973–19??)
Billie Dove (May 14, 1903[2][3] – December 31, 1997) was an American actress.

Early life and career

She was born as Bertha Bohny in New York City to Charles and Bertha (née Kagl) Bohny, Swiss immigrants. As a teen, she worked as a model to help support her family and was hired as a teenager by Florenz Ziegfeld to appear in his Ziegfeld Follies Revue. She legally changed her name to Lillian Bohny in the early 1920s. and migrated to Hollywood, where she began appearing in silent films. She soon became one of the most popular actresses of the 1920s, appearing in Douglas Fairbanks' smash hit Technicolor film The Black Pirate (1926), as Rodeo West in The Painted Angel (1929), and was dubbed The American Beauty (1927), the title of one of her films.
She married the director of her seventh film, Irvin Willat, in 1923. The two divorced in 1929. Dove had a huge legion of male fans, one of her most persistent being Howard Hughes. She shared a three-year romance with Hughes and was engaged to marry him, but she ended the relationship without ever giving cause. Hughes cast her as a comedian in his film Cock of the Air (1932). She also appeared in his movie The Age for Love (1931).


She was also a pilot, poet, and painter.[4]

Early retirement

Following her last film, Blondie of the Follies (1932), Dove retired from the screen to be with her family, although she was at the time still popular. She next married oil executive Robert Kenaston in 1933, a marriage that lasted for 37 years until his death in 1973; they had a son and an adopted daughter. She later had a brief third marriage to an architect, John Miller, which ended in divorce in the 1970s.

Last years/death

Aside from a brief cameo in Diamond Head (1962), Dove never returned to the movies. She spent her retirement years in Rancho Mirage before moving into the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California where she died of pneumonia in 1997.


Dove has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located at 6351 Hollywood Blvd.


  1. ^ Other sources including the California registry of births and deaths cite 1900 or 1901 as her year of birth, although the 1910 census supports 1903 as her year of birth.
  2. ^ Drew, William M. "Billie Dove - Silent Star of May 1997." The Lady in the Main Title: On the Twenties and Thirties. Vestal Press. 1997.
  3. ^ Wagner, Bruce. "Annals of Hollywood". "Moving Pictures", The New Yorker. July 20, 1998, p. 54
  4. ^ Obituary, New York Times, January 6, 1998.


Hide HideActress (50 titles)
1963Diamond Head
Bit Part (uncredited)
1932Cock of the Air
Lilli de Rosseau
1931The Age for Love
Jean Hurd
1931The Lady Who Dared
Margaret Townsend
1930Sweethearts and Wives
Femme de Chambre
1930A Notorious Affair
Lady Patricia Hanley Gherardi
1930The Other Tomorrow
Edith Larrison
1929Her Private Life
Lady Helen Haden
Hélène Gromaire
1928Night Watch
Yvonne Corlaix
1928Yellow Lily
Judith Peredy
1928The Heart of a Follies Girl
Teddy O'Day
1927The Love Mart
Antoinette Frobelle
1927The Stolen Bride
Sari, Countess Thurzo
1927The Tender Hour
Marcia Kane
1927Sensation Seekers
'Egypt' Hagen
1926Kid Boots
Eleanore Belmore
1926The Marriage Clause
Sylvia Jordan
1926The Lone Wolf Returns
Marcia Mayfair
1925The Ancient Highway
Antoinette St. Ives
1925The Fighting Heart
Doris Anderson
1925The Lucky Horseshoe
Eleanor Hunt
1925Wild Horse Mesa
Sue Melberne
1925The Air Mail
Alice Rendon
1924Folly of Vanity
Alice (modern sequence)
1924The Roughneck
Felicity Arden
1924Wanderer of the Wasteland
Ruth Virey
1924Yankee Madness
1924Try and Get It
Rhoda Perrin
1924On Time
Helen Hendon
1923The Thrill Chaser
Olala Ussan
1923Soft Boiled
The Girl
1923Madness of Youth
Nanette Banning
1922One Week of Love
Bathing Party Guest (uncredited)
1922Youth to Youth
Eve Allinson
1922Beyond the Rainbow
Marion Taylor (as Lillian 'Billie' Dove)
1922Polly of the Follies
Alysia Potter
1921At the Stage Door
Mary Mathews
1921Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford
Dorothy Wells
Show ShowSelf (6 titles)
1985Night of 100 Stars II (TV movie)
1932Hollywood on Parade No. A-3 (documentary short)
1932/IScreen Snapshots (documentary short)
1930Screen Snapshots Series 9, No. 22 (short)
1926Screen Snapshots (documentary short)
1922Screen Snapshots, Series 3, No. 11 (documentary short)
Show ShowArchive Footage (3 titles)
2000Howard Hughes: His Women and His Movies (TV documentary)
1998The 70th Annual Academy Awards (TV special)
Herself (Memorial Tribute)
1961The DuPont Show of the Week (TV series)

Personal Details

Other Works:

(1921) Stage: Appeared (as "Chorus Girl") in "Sally" on Broadway. Produced by Florenz Ziegfeld Jr..

Publicity Listings:

2 Magazine Cover Photos |See more »

Alternate Names:

Lillian Bohny | Lillian 'Billie' Dove


5' 6" (1.68 m)   

Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

When you're up there on that film, you are that person completely all the time. You think the way that person thinks, you do what that person does and you're not acting. You're actually living it.See more »


Silent film actress.


The American Beauty


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Billie Dove was in THE BLACK PIRATE, a famous movie which is still considered a classic today. That's mostly what I remember her from.

Billie Dove had her own fan club, Lee Heidorn was president and published a fanzine called 'Dove Tales"

Letters from Billie Dove and Lee Heidorn appeared in each issue.

Read more about Lee and her adventures at:

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Lawrence Eagle Tribune Article On Donati's Book

The Lawrence Eagle Tribune article about William Donati's new book.

LAWRENCE — Thelma Todd was a drop-dead gorgeous blonde who was born and raised in Lawrence and went off to Hollywood to become a star at a time when the motion picture industry was moving from the silent era to the talkies.

By the time of her death at the age of 29 on Dec. 16, 1935, she was a sassy starlet nicknamed "Hot Toddy" who had appeared in about 100 films — silents and talkies — including "Horse Feathers" and "Monkey Business" opposite the Marx Brothers.

Her death would unleash a media frenzy and spawn endless theories worthy of movie scripts about what led to her demise.

As evidenced by this weekend's Academy Awards, Hollywood in the past year or so has been looking back to its roots in silent films. Two movies — "The Artist" and "Hugo" — are nominated for best motion picture.

Coincidentally, feeding into this nostalgia is a new book "The Life and Death of Thelma Todd" by University of Las Vegas English professor William Donati.

"The purpose of my book is to set the record straight about Thelma Todd. She deserves an honest biography," Donati said during a telephone interview from Nevada.

"She died too young and was not able to fulfil her potential either as an actress or a business woman. Hers is the classic story of the American dream. She would go see movies in Lawrence and like many dreamed of being in them and she was able to achieve that," said Donati, whose book was published last month by McFarland & Co., Inc. Publishers of North Carolina.

Todd was found dead slumped over the front seat of her car in a garage at a restaurant on the Pacific Coast Highway in Hollywood.

Rumors swirled about it being a mob hit, the act of a jealous lover or suicide. Her death was ruled an accident due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Donati first learned about Todd while talking to Ida Lupino, the English-born actress and director who knew Todd. Donati has also written biographies about Lupino and gangster Lucky Luciano.

For the book, Donati spent several days in Lawrence speaking with Todd's cousins, who showed him scrapbooks and other memorabilia. He also visited Saunders School and South Congregational Church on South Broadway which Todd attended. He strolled through Campagnone Common, something Todd often did.

"I did my best to walk in her footsteps. I really got a sense of her presence there," he said. "She was always so happy to come back to Lawrence because she felt at home."

It was in Lawrence that Todd got the acting bug. Todd entered beauty pageants first becoming Miss Lawrence, then winning Miss Massachusetts in 1925. She went on to compete for Miss America. Todd appeared in two silent films in Lawrence before entering the Paramount School in New York.

Donati did much research at the Lawrence History Center and Lawrence Public Library looking through city directories, photographs, and reading newspaper clippings about Todd.

Donati said his goal was to debunk the myths about her death. "She was slowly climbing the ladder in Hollywood; she had no reason to commit suicide because she was really happy," he said.

This is the first biography written about Todd since "Hot Toddy", published in 1989, followed by a TV movie based on that book, "White Hot" with Loni Anderson.

Hal Roach Studios publicity photo of Thelma Todd

You can preview this book at Google Books:

Y can buuy this book online from Amazon Books:

Monday, February 27, 2012

Lee Heidorn

Lee Heidorn was the president of the Billie Dove Fan Club. She was able to communicate with Billie Dove and eventually went to visit her in Hollywood. She also met Thelma Todd while in Hollywood. Here is a little about Lee Heidorn and Thelma Todd that turned up on another blog.

Reposted from :

 Lee Heidorn’s adventures in Hollywood continue. In this installment, she lunches with Thelma Todd and Madge Evans, and visits Jean Harlow on the set of Riffraff.
Lee picks up the story from here:
A few days later, I spent an afternoon at the Hal Roach Studios with beautiful Thelma Todd.

The ever-smiling Thelma Todd
We had lunch in her dressing room and were gaily getting acquainted when Mae Busch, who was once a famous star, came in. She had a featured role in the picture. She is very sweet and friendly. We chatted there for awhile and then went down on the set. Thelma was wearing a dark wig as she plays the Queen of Gypsies in The Bohemian Girl, which they were were making with Laurel and Hardy as the stars. When we got to the set, Thelma asked me if I’d like to have my picture taken with her and Laurel and Hardy, and of course I wasn’t averse, so she got the boys and the still cameraman and the picture was taken, and it certainly turned out swell. I saw Hal Roach and Tony Moreno, just as handsome as ever, sitting in a corner, and a lot of gypsy extras in gay costumes lolling around. Between scenes, both Thelma and Mae would come over and visit with me, so I had a very gay afternoon.

Lee (center) with Inez Courtney (L) and Thelma Todd

Several days later, we were to meet Thelma Todd at the Russian Eagle for lunch, but when we got there, we found they had closed prior to moving to a new location on Sunset Blvd. So we lunched at Al Levy’s* instead. Just as we were ready to start eating, Thelma asked us if we had ever met Inez Courtney, and when we replied in the negative, she asked the waiter for a phone and called Inez and asked her to lunch with us. Inez had just had her tonsils out and so couldn’t eat much. She joined us just as we were having dessert. She’s a card and we had lots of laughs between her and Thelma. Leo Carrillo occupied the next booth so as he was leaving, he stopped and chatted for a few minutes. He’s very nice and we enjoyed meeting him. We stayed there chatting for awhile and then went outside and took some pictures of them and then bade them goodbye.

Thelma and Inez standing in front of Thelma's car. Less than three months later, Thelma was dead.

Later, Lee Heidorn met up with Thelma Todd again:

Late one afternoon, we met Evelyn Venable at Sardis for tea. With her was her friend, Edna Sollee, who is her stand-in and who is a very charming girl. Evelyn is very pretty and very sweet and is very much like her screen personality. We chatted there for some time. Saw Thelma Todd there and introduced her to the others.

Evalyn Venable and Edna Sollee

*Adam Tunney posted photo of Al Levy's on facebook:

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It happens I just put a picture of Billie Dove on my blog yesterday, she was mentioned in the magazine article "Is it Tragic to be Beautiful?".

Here is a picture of Marion Davies and Billie Dove in BLONDIE OF THE FOLLIES.

This was a Marion Davies movie, so she got to be the star, and was supposed to be the one you rooted for when they had a fight. I like Billie Dove better, myself.

I haven't seen this movie, myself. It was somewhere around the same time as the movie CALL HER SAVAGE, the one where Thelma Todd and Clara Bow were supposed to have a "catfight". I don't really see why that business was supposed to be such a thrill, but they'd keep doing that in the movies. A lot of movies tend to be very similar.

Some of the older books would run down Marion Davies because William Randolph Hearst bought her career as a movie star. But it can be said that some of the other movie stars were in a similar situation in that they were in the movies because they were somebody's girlfriend, you just don't hear so much about it. Today, it seems that Marion Davies is being rediscovered and is not as poorly thought of as she frequently was in the past.

And finally, here's Leo Carrillo, he was mentioned, too.

Read more about Lee Heidorn's trip to Hollywood at:


Sunday, February 26, 2012


Here is another movie magazine article, IT'S TRAGIC TO BE BEAUTIFUL, by Gladys Hall. It was originally published in MOVIE MIRROR in March 1932.

Cover girl Constance Bennet

MOVIE MIRROR, March 1932

Is it tragic to be beautiful? Sounds like foolish question one million and one, doesn't it? Since each and every one of us ( excepting maybe Garbo! ) spends hours out of life cold-creaming and permanent-waving and starving to death and what have you.

I determined to ask that question. I made up my mind to find out. What it really feels like to be flawlessly beautiful; whether beauty makes the stuff of life easier to handle, or harder. Just what it means to be a human being cast in the mould of a goddess.

I asked Thelma Todd. Thelma and Billie Dove are accounted the most beautiful girls in all of Hollywood. Thelma's beauty is authentic. It does not come out of her make-up box. She is luscious. She is natural. She is golden and white and sky-blue-eyed. Venus goes into a huddle when she thinks of the Todd figure.

Men have laid their hearts galore at Thelma's feet. Reluctant men. Strange, proud, woman-shy men such as Ivan Lebedeff and it is reported by eye-witneses, Ronald Colman. Some go so far as to say that Ronald went abouad a divorcing- with Thelma in view.

And so I said to Thelma, "What does it feel like to be so beautiful? Come on, now, don't laugh and don't be falsely modest. You are too intelligent not to know that you are beautiful and I hope you are too honest not to admit it. Mirrors never lie. You needn't either. It's not any credit to you. You might have been born with Cyrano de Bergerac's nose and bow legs. You weren't. You are sensationally beautiful. You must know it. I want to know how it feels, what it means... come on..."

Thelma said, "I feel absurd. I never think about it. The truth is I sell beauty for what it is worth, as one sells any commodity from butter and eggs to an operatic voice. I suppose I was a pretty child and grew up without much consciousness of looks. I can remember my small brother, three years older than I, saying to my mother, 'Ma, dress Thelma up pretty so I can take her out and show her off to the boys'... I had long golden curls and things...

"But it is tragic to be beautiful - I do wish you would let me use the word 'attractive' instead of beautiful - I wouldn't feel quite such a fool. Anyway, what's in a word? It's hard to be beautiful, then. It makes life difficult. It must e like having much too much money. You see, I can't trust anyone. Especially, I can't trust men. Oh, I don't mean in the emotional sense. There's that, too, of course. Horrid business. But I mean it differently.

"I can best illustrate by giving you a concrete example: Not long ago an enormously wealthy man asked me to marry him. He would have surrounded me with Rolls-Royces and sables and trips to the Riviera and homes like Buckingham Palace and personal maids. Oh, you know... And he would have brought his friends home, instructed me to dress up like a plush horse, waved his hand possesively and said, 'Meet the wife!' AND if I had come down with smallpox or broken my nose he would have put me into the discard along with his other museum pieces, first editions and antiques. I would have been just that to him - another museum piece for his collection. Something to exhibit. Something he had bought and paid for because he believed me to be a good specimen and worthy of a swell show case. He didn't love me. I would not have had a home.

"That's the way it is. I never believe a man really loves me - me - for whatever qualities I may posess in the old beano or for that quaint, old-fashioned thing, a soul, if any.

"When I am invited to parties and large functions I think, 'Why are they asking me? Because they really want me - or because I make a good showing?'

"I even dislike going to opening nights and the Mayfair and other public places because again I think, 'Why is he inviting me? Is it because I look spectacular and it's good publicity?'

"I always say to men who profess to love me, 'But why do you love me? I have annoying habits. I sometimes don't like to talk for hours at a time. I hate to be touched. I'd kill a man who started to 'neck' with me. I'm cold and not very exciting. What is it about me? Usually they are clever enough to dig up some improbable reason. Occasionally they commit the fatal blunder of exclaiming, 'Because you are so beautiful!' - and then I give the blunderers the horse-laugh - and try again.

"Women never trust women who are beautiful. Friendship with other women is all but impossible. They fear you. They believe that you will slink and swank into any room, accost the husband or the boyfriend and break up homes with a lily-white hand.

"Beauty makes a woman cold. There are so many unpleasent things - by which I mean unpleasent men - to avoid, that avoiding and distaste become habits.

"Advantadges? Sure. I'm getting them. You can sell your stock-in-trade to the chorus, the stage, the movies, or to a private museum. Eventually you fade and grow old... and then and not until then do you know what it is all about - "

The funny part of this is that Thelma Todd has lived with her beauty as her least consideration. She never planned to use it. She never intended to capitalize on it. She speaks the simple truth when she says that she never thought about it.

She was born in Lawrence, Mass. Her folks were moderately well off. She had one brother who, when he was seven and she was three, was killed before her eyes in a dairy machine. Her father used to remark, "Why did it have to be him?" Thelma knew what he meant. That the loss of the son, the male, was the severest blow of all.

Thelma adored her father. She tried to make it up to him. She acted like a boy. She played with boys. She talked like a boy. She thinks, today, like a man. She planned to be a lawyer or an engineer. Eventually she went to Teacher's College and became a public school teacher. She taught the sixth grade. All the little boys had crushes on her. She was offered more red apples than Eve ever saw. She intended to make teaching her career, to marry some local swain, to have four children and to grow comfortably fat and old.

But there was a movie exhibitor in Lawrence. He knew the beautiful school teacher. Jesse Lasky was looking for new faces. The exhibitor knew that there never was a face like Thelma's. He induced her to have a test made.

Thelma was inclined to be insulted. She said, "What, the movies - me! I should say not!" She finally consented to test because she was curious. It would be an interesting experiment. She could tell the Sixth Grade scientiffic facts about lenses and projection machines.

But Thelma never saw her Sixth Grade again. Mr. Lasky snaped the test up and Thelma followed it. The rest is screen history. The Hal Roach contract. The Charley Chase and Zasu Pitts teamings. Such pictures as THE HOT HEIRESS, BROADMINDED, and CORSAIR.

Thelma lives in Hollywood, in a small apartment, with her mother. Her father died about four years ago. They do their own work because Mrs. Todd abhors servants and wants to feel necessary.

Thelma has been in love just once in her life. Not with Ivan, or Roland, or Abe Lyman. She says, "It just didn't work out - but I know, now, what real love means - "

She was eighteen before she was kissed. She had the reputation, at lest at home, of being a girl a feller couldn't get near with a ten foot pole.

She has a few pet hates - the chief amoung them are chain letters. She would like to cut the senders of them up into 90,000 pieces and mail the pieces instead of the letters. She also loathes card tricks and first nights.

She loves violets and all garden flowers. She collects blown glass. She adores THE STORY OF SAN MICHELE. It is her favorite book. And Peter Arno. She has a placid temperment, not easily aroused, but when it is - SCRAM!

She doesn't like atheltics. They make her "lumpy".

It is tragic to be beautiful? You've heard from Thelma Todd. What do you think?

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What do I think?

Again there is a comparison to Venus.

And a mention of Billie Dove, who was also in the movies at the time. Her and Thelma Todd appeared together in the movies CAREERS and HER PRIVATE LIFE, both made in 1929.

And there is a reference to a famous book.

The Story of San Michele

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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The Story of San Michele is a book of memoirs by Swedish physician Axel Munthe (October 31, 1857–February 11, 1949) first published in 1929 by British publisher John Murray. Written in English, it was a best-seller in numerous languages and has been republished constantly in the over seven decades since its original release.



[edit] Munthe

Munthe grew up in Sweden. At the age of seventeen, he was on a sailing trip which included a brief visit to the Italian island of Capri. Hiking up the Phoenician steps to the village of Anacapri, Munthe came across a ruined chapel owned by a nearby resident, Maestro Vincenzo, and fantasized of owning and restoring the property. The chapel, dedicated to San Michele, had been built on some of the ruins of Roman Emperor Tiberius' villa.
Munthe went to medical school in France and then opened a medical practice in Paris. He later assisted in the 1884 cholera epidemic in Naples. In 1887, he managed to buy the ruined chapel, and subsequently spent much of his life on Capri building Villa San Michele. Munthe also had a medical practice in Rome in order to help pay for construction.

[edit] The book

The Story of San Michele has 32 chapters, approximately 368 pages. It is a series of overlapping vignettes, roughly but not entirely in chronological order. It contains reminiscences of many periods of his life. He associated with a number of celebrities of his times, including Jean-Martin Charcot, Louis Pasteur, Henry James, and Guy de Maupassant, all of whom figure in the book. He also associated with the very poorest of people, including Italian immigrants in Paris and plague victims in Naples, as well as rural people such as the residents of Capri, and the Nordic Lapplanders. He was an unabashed animal lover, and animals figure prominently in several stories, perhaps most notably his alcoholic pet baboon, Billy.
The stories cover a wide range in terms of both how serious they are and how literal. Several discussions with animals and various supernatural beings take place, and the final chapter actually takes place after Munthe has died and includes his discussions with Saint Peter at the gates of Heaven. At no point does Munthe seem to take himself particularly seriously, but some of the things he discusses are very serious, such as his descriptions of rabies research in Paris, including euthanasia of human patients, and a suicide attempt by a man convinced he had been exposed to the disease.
Several of the most prominent figures in Munthe's life are not mentioned in Story of San Michele. His wife and children do not figure in the narrative; very little of his time in England is mentioned, even though he married a British woman, his children were largely raised in England, and he himself became a British citizen during the First World War. His decades-long service as personal physician and confidante to the Queen of Sweden is mentioned only in the most oblique terms; at one point, while naming her only as "she who must be mother to a whole nation", he mentions that she regularly brings flowers for the grave of one of her dogs buried at Villa San Michele, at another point, one of his servants is out walking his dogs, and encounters the Queen, who mentions having given the dog to Munthe.
Munthe published a few other reminiscences and essays during the course of his life, and some of them were incorporated into The Story of San Michele, which vastly overshadows all his other writing both in length and popularity. Notably, his accounts of working with a French ambulance corps during the First World War are not included.
World wide, the book was immensely successful; by 1930, there had been twelve editions of the English version alone, and Munthe added a second preface. A third preface was written in 1936 for an illustrated edition.

[edit] Criticism

As with any work, not everyone liked it; publisher Kurt Wolff wrote
I was the first German publisher to be offered The Story of San Michele. I read it in the German translation and found it so unbelievably trite, vain, and embarrassing that I did not hesitate for a moment in rejecting it.
Wolff noted that the fact that the German edition later sold over a million copies did not affect his opinion.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

[edit] External links

I haven't read this book. It sounds strange. The talking animals are like something out of an animated cartoon.

Eventually the author finds himself in the hereafter.

Well, maybe not THAT hereafter. That guy must have taken a wrong turn at Albuquerque.

There is also a reference to Peter Arno, who was a popular cartoonist at the time. It could be because I have some of his cartoons in books, but I have the idea that his work is better known today than that of Axel Monthe.

Peter Arno cartoon

Wikipedia Biography for Peter Arnold:

Born Curtis Arnoux Peters, Jr. in New York, New York, and educated at the Hotchkiss School and Yale University, his cartoons were published in The New Yorker from 1925–1968. They often depicted a cross-section of New York society from the 1920s through the 1960s. He married The New Yorker magazine columnist and fashion editor Lois Long and together they had one daughter, Patricia Arno, born September 18, 1928. Their marriage ended in 1930. He is interred at Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York.

And there is a reference to Thelma's unfortunate brother, who died in an accident when she was only three and he was only seven. There's also a reference to "Roland", who is presumably Roland West, and to Abe Lyman, Ronald Coleman, and Ivan Lebedeff, all of whom were at one time involved with Thelma Todd.

As for the question it it's tragic to be beautiful, I wouldn't consider being beautiful to be a tragedy at all, but beauty and tragedy can go hand in hand and sometimes do.

Saturday, February 25, 2012



My brother Dale has a blog called "Cedar and Willow",  some of which has to do with a fictional character he says is like Thelma Todd.

Here is an idea I had for a comic book version of Thelma Todd.

That was actually a detail from this line-up of  "The Laurel And Hardy Gang". Jimmy Finlayson was supposed to be "Hamko the Detective" ( something from one of his films ), Thelma Todd was supposed to be his niece ( something from SEAL SKINS ), and Laurel and Hardy were some sort of stupid sidekicks.

Later on, I drew a funnier-looking version of Laurel and Hardy. And instead of  Thelma Todd, I said they were around the blonde who I was already drawing in comics, who happened to have a mean old Scottish father.*

Copied right by Benny Drinnon 

The funny-looking versions were drawn off  this picture, which was reprinted in Randy Skretvedt's LAUREL AND HARDY: THE MAGIC BEHIND THE MOVIES.

Charley Brown is not a character that I own, of course. The little dog is my character I draw in comics, I sometimes draw him with Charley Brown because he looks something like Snoopy. I sent one story I did with these characters to Hal Roach for a birthday present.

The above drawing was done because of this one that someone did with Laurel and Hardy.

A detail from "Walter Long's muscle course". According to the ad, this course would teach you how to twist guys heads around so they'd be looking south while walking north, and do other fine tricks such as Walter Long frequently threatened to do to Laurel and Hardy in the films ( and sometimes did ). The girl with him in the ad is supposed to be Mae Busch, who appeared with Walter Long and Laurel and Hardy in GOING BYE-BYE.

I have some problems with the Wold Newton fantasy, because it's proponents are deliberately misrepresenting other people's characters and insisting that their pirate version is correct. Here is a parody I did with my blonde character:


A non-family album on account of it ain't my family, wit useful comments by da Blonde herself.

Farmer Da Farmer Man
Brunged togedder a lotta books and didn't pay no attention to any of dem afterwoids. His main reason for havin' dem around was da idea dat dey was doity books and dat a farmer needs plenty of doit.

IN DA BEGINNING ( Farmer voision )

Grisley Adams and Daddy
Da foist man is supposed to has a "Daddy", who presumably is "God" in dis setup. Da total lack of da debbil in dis story is because Farmer didn't t'ink he needed help to t'ink up all da debbiltry.

Da story goes dat da foist man could shoot craps all he wanted, but he was missin' a mate at foist

Appleless Family Tree
Eadie Addams ate da family out of house and home, not to mention Pairadice.


Sherlock Holmes
ain't got no kids in dose stories, Farmer to da contrary. He always is.

can'tcha spell "goil" ?

Mickey Rathbone
can'tcha spell "Mickey Ratbone"?


I t'ought da idea in dis setup was dat Shoilock was my ancestor? Here he is wit me now!!!


Tarzan Family Tree
Farmer claims to be from a long line of heroes, but "Boy" ain't even da son of Tarzan in dat movie. Shows how much dat Farmer knows.

Da Farmer takes a wife

Now he's got it dat my best friend's my mummy!

Farmer Family - Farmer, wife, and son
He forgot da story is supposed to be about "Da Farmer's Daughter"!

Farmer's Daughter
Many stories has been told of da Farmer's daughter, alla which Farmer was ignorat of. Along wit everyting else.

* This refers to my notes. Laurel and Hardy haven't appeared in the actual comics with the blonde yet as of this writing.