Friday, March 15, 2013

The Thelma Todd Series At The Roach Studio

The series that began with Zasu Pitts and Thelma Todd as a team would change over the years and the tail end of the series had a story that focused on Rosina Lawrence, who by that time had become a regular.

Pitts and Todd
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Pitts and Todd were a comedy duo from the 1930s, put together by Hal Roach as the female counterpart to Laurel and Hardy.[1] The duo consisted of actresses Zasu Pitts and Thelma Todd.


Roach had previously paired Anita Garvin and Marion Byron together in 1928 and 1929 but only three films resulted.[2] Both Pitts and Todd had been working with Roach in various short films and feature films previously. The duo worked together for 17 short films. Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy made a guest appearance in Pitts and Todd's 1931 short On the Loose. The 1930 Leroy Shield song "Beautiful Lady" was used as the theme song for the Pitts and Todd films.[3] The team's 1932 short film Show Business was directed by Jules White and was later re-worked as a Three Stooges Columbia short A Pain in the Pullman from 1936.[4][5]
In mid-1933, ZaSu Pitts left the Hal Roach studios and Patsy Kelly was brought in as Thelma Todd's new partner. This team filmed 21 more short films together until Todd's death in 1935. The next pairing was Patsy Kelly and Pert Kelton for one short, and then Kelly and Lyda Roberti for two shorts and one feature film, Nobody's Baby. Roberti died in 1938 at age 31.
In 1941, ZaSu Pitts and Patsy Kelly made their only appearance together in the feature film Broadway Limited. The duo echo Laurel and Hardy in one sequence when sharing a bed with a baby and a leaking hot water bottle.[6]


ZaSu Pitts and Thelma Todd

  • Let’s Do Things (MGM, 1931)
  • Catch As Catch Can (MGM, 1931)
  • The Pajama Party (MGM, 1931)
  • War Mamas (MGM, 1931)
  • Seal Skins (MGM, 1932)
  • On the Loose (MGM, 1932)
  • Red Noses (MGM, 1932)
  • Strictly Unreliable (MGM, 1932)
  • The Old Bull (MGM, 1932)
  • Show Business (MGM) (1932)
  • Alum and Eve (MGM, 1932)
  • The Soilers (MGM, 1932)
  • Sneak Easily (MGM, 1933)
  • Asleep In the Feet (MGM, 1933)
  • Maids à la Mode (MGM, 1933)
  • Bargain of the Century (MGM, 1933)
  • One Track Minds (MGM, 1933, with Spanky McFarland)

Thelma Todd and Patsy Kelly

  • Beauty and the Bus (MGM, 1933)
  • Backs To Nature (MGM, 1933)
  • Air Fright (MGM, 1933)
  • Babes In the Goods (MGM, 1934)
  • Soup and Fish (MGM, 1934)
  • Maid In Hollywood (MGM, 1934)
  • I’ll Be Suing You (MGM, 1934)
  • Three Chumps Ahead (MGM, 1934)
  • One Horse Farmers (MGM, 1934)
  • Opened By Mistake (MGM, 1934)
  • Done In Oil (MGM, 1934)
  • Bum Voyage (MGM, 1934)
  • Treasure Blues (MGM, 1935)
  • Sing, Sister, Sing (MGM, 1935)
  • The Tin Man (MGM, 1935)
  • The Misses Stooge (MGM, 1935)
  • Slightly Static (MGM, 1935)
  • Twin Triplets (MGM, 1935)
  • Hot Money (MGM, 1935)
  • Top Flat (MGM, 1935)
  • All American Toothache (MGM, 1935)

Patsy Kelly and Pert Kelton

  • Pan Handlers (MGM, 1936)

Patsy Kelly and Lyda Roberti

  • Hill Tillies (MGM, 1936)
  • At Sea Ashore (MGM, 1936)
  • Nobody’s Baby (MGM, 1937)

ZaSu Pitts and Patsy Kelly


  1. ^ Maltin, Leonard (1970). Movie Comedy Teams. New York, NY: Signet Book. pp. p. 141. ISBN:0451044530.
  2. ^ Mitchell, Glenn (1998). A-Z Of Silent Film Comedy: An Illustrated Companion. London: Batsford. pp. p. 95. ISBN:0713479396.
  3. ^ Mitchell, Glenn (1995). The Laurel & Hardy Encyclopedia. London: Bath Press. pp. p. 186. ISBN:0713477113.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Solomon, Jon (2001). The Complete Three Stooges: The Official Filmography and Three Stooges Companion. Glendale, CA: Comedy III Productions, Inc.. pp. p. 88. ISBN:0971186804.
  6. ^ Mitchell, Glenn (1995). The Laurel & Hardy Encyclopedia. London: Bath Press. pp. p. 150. ISBN:0713477113.

Leonard Maltin's book MOVIE COMEDY TEAMS discussed the team of  Zasu Pitts and Thelma Todd ( along with it's later incarnations ) along with such well known comedy teams as Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, The Marx Brothers, and The Three Stooges.
According to this book, there was some talk of Patsy Kelly and Zasu Pitts being teamed again for a television program almost twenty years after BROADWAY LIMITED, but nothing came of it.
*Roach also talked about pairing Patsy Kelly with Oliver Hardy and Spanky McFarland in a new series called "The Hardy Family": nothing ever came of this and that series seems to have been proposed as a sort of a threat during negotiations with Stan Laurel. 
Zasu Pitts And Thelma Todd

PICK A STAR  ( abridged )

Thelma Todd And Patsy Kelly, Gus Meins At The Brown Derby:
Zasu Pitts And Thelma Todd:


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