Saturday, February 4, 2012


 Publicity photo of Thelma Todd:

" Thelma Todd reads a book on the set of the film "The Travelling Salesman" but is afraid of snakes so she has surrounded her chair with a rope so they will not enter."

( The idea was that a snake can't cross a horsehair rope, therefore she was supposed to be safe from snakes. This was an old superstition, one of many about snakes that may still be circulating today. )

Unfortunately, Thelma Todd was never to make this film, due to snakes of a different kind who had no concern for either horsehair ropes nor Thelma Todd, as Donati recounts in his book. Thelma recieved a call from the studio, asking her to come to what turned out to be a drunken party of the type for which Hollywood was notorious. She walked away, and suffered a career setback as a result of not cooperating with the studio executives responsible.

 Gertrude Olmsted was chosen to replace Thelma Todd:

"In New Dix Film
Gertrude Olmsted, who had leading roles in a number of pictures, has just been given the leading role opposite Richard Dix in that star's latest Paramount Picture, "The Traveling Salesman". Thelma Todd originally was cast for that part."
- The Pittsburgh Press Dec. 4, 1927

Although called "The Traveling Salesman" during production, the film was eventually released as "Sporting Goods", with this tagline:

"Guaranteed all-wool comedy! Laughs a yard wide!"

And this one:

"Have you ever been financially embarrassed? Dix was---to the tune of $16.000! This salesman starts off in the Mojave Desert in a horrible hole and ends up a rich man! How does he do it? See---RICHARD DIX in 'SPORTING GOODS' "

Richard Dix was very popular in his day. He made many westerns and a series of movies based on the radio show "The Whistler", a mystery program hosted by the titular character, a man with a haunting whistle.

Richard Dix filmography from the imdb:

Actor|Soundtrack|Producer|Self|Archive Footage
 HideActor (100 titles)
1947The Thirteenth Hour
Steve Reynolds
1946The Secret of the Whistler
Ralph Harrison
1946Mysterious Intruder
Don Gale
1945Voice of the Whistler
John Sinclair/John Carter
1945The Power of the Whistler
William Everest
1944The Mark of the Whistler
Lee Selfridge Nugent
1944The Whistler
Earl C. Conrad
1943The Ghost Ship
Capt. Will Stone
1943Top Man
Tom Warren
1943The Kansan
John Bonniwell
1943Buckskin Frontier
Stephen Brent
1942American Empire
Dan Taylor
1942Eyes of the Underworld
Police Chief Richard Bryan
1941The Roundup
Steve Payson
1940Cherokee Strip
Marshal Dave Lovell
1940Men Against the Sky
Phil Mercedes
1940The Marines Fly High
Lt. Danny Darrick
Bill Shear, aka William 'Bill' Shayne
1939Here I Am a Stranger
Duke Allen
1939Twelve Crowded Hours
Nick Green
1938Blind Alibi
Paul Dover
1937The Devil Is Driving
Paul Driscoll
1937The Devil's Playground
Jack Dorgan
1936Devil's Squadron
Paul Redmond
1936Special Investigator
William 'Bill' Fenwick, aka Richard 'Dick' Galt
1936Yellow Dust
Bob Culpepper
1935Transatlantic Tunnel
Richard 'Mack' McAllan
1934West of the Pecos
Pecos Smith
1934His Greatest Gamble
Phillip Eden
1933Day of Reckoning
John Day
1933Ace of Aces
2nd Lt. Rex 'Rocky' Thorne
1933No Marriage Ties
Bruce Foster
1933The Great Jasper
Jasper Horn
1932The Conquerors
Roger Standish/Roger Lennox
1932Hell's Highway
Frank 'Duke' Ellis
1932The Lost Squadron
Capt. 'Gibby' Gibson
1931/ISecret Service
Captain Lewis Dumont
1931The Public Defender
Pike Winslow
1931Young Donovan's Kid
Jim Donovan
1930Shooting Straight
Larry Sheldon/Ted Walters
1930Lovin' the Ladies
Peter Darby
1930/IIThe Voice of Hollywood No. 3 (short)
Master of Ceremonies
1929The Wheel of Life
Captain Leslie Yeullet
1929Nothing But the Truth
Robert Bennett
Wing Foot
1929The Love Doctor
Dr. Gerald Summer
1928Moran of the Marines
Michael Moran
1928Warming Up
Bert Tulliver
1928Easy Come, Easy Go
Robert Parker
1928Sporting Goods
Richard Shelby
1927Shanghai Bound
Jim Bucklin
1927Man Power
Tom Roberts
1927Knockout Reilly
Dundee 'Knockout' Reilly
1927Paradise for Two
Steve Porter
1926The Quarterback
Jack Stone
1926Say It Again
Bob Howard
1926Let's Get Married
Billy Dexter
Bill Dana
1925The Lucky Devil
Randy Farnum
1925Men and Women
Will Prescott
1925A Man Must Live
Geoffrey Farnell
1925Too Many Kisses
Richard Gaylord, Jr
Peter Minuit
1924Sinners in Heaven
Alan Croft
1924Unguarded Women
Douglas Albright
1923The Call of the Canyon
Glenn Kilbourne
1923The Ten Commandments
John McTavish, her son
1923To the Last Man
Jean Isbel
1923Racing Hearts
Robby Smith
1923The Woman with Four Faces
Richard Templar
1923Souls for Sale
Frank Claymore
Lt. Bill
1922The Sin Flood
Bill Bear
1922The Bonded Woman
Lee Marvin
1922The Wall Flower
Walt Breen
1922Fools First
Tommy Frazer
1922Yellow Men and Gold
1922The Glorious Fool
Billy Grant
1921The Poverty of Riches
John Colby
1921Dangerous Curve Ahead
Harley Jones
1921All's Fair in Love
Bobby Cameron
1921Not Guilty
Paul/Arthur Ellison (twins)
1917One of Many
James Lowery (butler)
1958Tread Softly Stranger(writer: "Tread Softly Stranger")
1958The Inbetween Age("The Golden Age")
1936Yellow Dust("I Live Just for Today" - uncredited)
1935The Arizonian("Love's Old Sweet Song Just a Song at Twilight" 1884)
1934Stingaree(performer: "Tonight Is Mine" 1934 - uncredited)
1932The Lost Squadron("Auld Lang Syne")
1930Lovin' the Ladies("Silver Threads Among the Gold" 1873 - uncredited)
1921Not Guilty(producer)
Richard Dix Web Site:
1934Hollywood on Parade No. B-8 (short)
1931The Stolen Jools (short)
Himself - in search of Lowell Sherman
1929A Ziegfeld Midnight Frolic (short)
1926Fascinating Youth
Himself - Richard Dix
1922Screen Snapshots, Series 3, No. 15 (documentary short)

Silent Hollywood Thelma Todd Page:

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