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.


Thelma Todd Towel

This towel is said to have belonged to Thelma Todd. It's another item that turned up on ebay recently.

The double "T" logo is for her first and last initials, which are the same.


Scrapbook Stuff

Some Thelma Todd clippings that turned up on ebay. No sources were given, but I recognize a few that have already been on this blog.

Jack Lunden and hat from the silent era, left; Maybelline ad, right; another ad, bottom.

Another picture from the silent era, left; Thelma Todd and Ivan Lebedeff, right;
bottom, "broadcast party" with radio personalities Jimmy Grier, Dan Novis, Margaret Lawrence, Joyce Whiteman, and movie stars Robert Wheeler, Maureen O'Sullivan, Helen Twelvetrees, Thelma Todd, and Russell Gleason.

Top, left; "Thelma Todd, whose smartness is a byword in the city of fashion and films." Top, right: although the name of the boat is not stated, this picture was probably taken on board the "Joyita", the boat with which Thelma Todd was most closely associated, which belonged to Roland West.
Bottom left; Thelma Todd at the florist. Bottom right; I believe this picture is from First National.

                 This copy is identified on the back as being from First National, at any rate,

Although "Hard Rock" isn't a Thelma Todd movie title.


Friday, April 26, 2013

Mabel Todd

Mabel Todd worked with Ted Healy

and she worked with Patsy Kelly

Although this Todd and Kelly team only lasted for one movie,

which actually starred Gary Cooper and Merle Oberon,

 seen at right. Mabel Todd is at left.

Mabel Todd usually seems to have been regarded as comedy relief

 although the fact that she was another Todd who was in comedies appears to have been coincidental.

Her real  last name was Dobbs.

 Mabel Todd also worked in radio

 as a matter of fact she entered the movies after having started on radio.

With Jackie Gleason in 1942,

before he was a television star. 

Mabel Todd's own career ended in 1946.

Reblogged from
Actress (19 titles)
1946Wife Wanted
Florist (uncredited)
1946Down Missouri Way
1944In Society
Manicurist (uncredited)
1943The Ghost and the Guest
Little Sister Mabel
1942The Talk of the Town
Operator (uncredited)
1942Tramp, Tramp, Tramp
1941Blues in the Night
Baby Beth Barton - Singer (uncredited)
1939Mystery of the White Room
Dora Stanley
1939The Mysterious Miss X
Annie Botts
1938Garden of the Moon
Mary Stanton
1938Katnip Kollege (short)
Kitty Bright (voice) (uncredited)
1938Gold Diggers in Paris
1937Hollywood Hotel
Dot Marshall
1937Missing Witnesses
Minor Role (uncredited)
1937Over the Goal
Bee Travis (uncredited)
1937Varsity Show
Soundtrack (4 titles)
1941Blues in the Night(performer: "Says Who? Says You, Says I")
1938Garden of the Moon(performer: "Garden of the Moon" 1938, "Confidentially" 1938)
1938Gold Diggers in Paris(performer: "The Latin Quarter" - uncredited)
1937Hollywood Hotel(performer: "Let That Be a Lesson to You" 1937, "Sing, You Son of a Gun" 1937)

Mabel Todd in BLUES IN THE NIGHT ( 1941 )

THE COWBOY AND THE LADY film clips with Mabel Todd and Patsy Kelly:

Mabel Todd:


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Ted Healy

There are stories linking Ted Healy of Three Stooges fame to both Thelma Todd and Pat DiCicco.

Ted Healy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ted Healy
Ted Healy in The Casino Murder Case trailer.jpg
Healy in the trailer for
The Casino Murder Case.
Ernest Lea Nash
(1896-10-01)October 1, 1896
Houston, Texas
December 21, 1937(1937-12-21) (aged 41)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death
Nephritis or Possible Murder [1]
Comedian and Actor
Years active
Milton Berle, Red Skelton, Jack Benny, Bob Hope
Ted Healy (October 1, 1896 – December 21, 1937) was an American vaudeville performer, comedian, and actor. He is chiefly remembered as the creator of The Three Stooges, but had a successful stage and film career of his own.


 Early life and career

Healy was born Ernest Lea Nash on October 1, 1896 in Houston, Texas,[1] and was known as Lee. In 1912, as teenagers, Nash and his childhood friend Moses Harry Horwitz (later known as Moe Howard of the Three Stooges) joined the Annette Kellerman Diving Girls, a vaudeville act which included four boys. The work ended quickly, however, after an accident on stage. Nash and Howard then went their separate ways. Nash developed a vaudeville act and adopted the stage name Ted Healy.
Healy's act was a hit, and he soon expanded his role as a comedian and master of ceremonies. In the 1920's he was the highest paid performer in Vaudeville making $9000 a week. He added performers to his stage show, including his new wife Betty Brown (a.k.a. Betty Braun). When some of his acrobats quit in 1922, Moe Howard answered the advertisement for replacements. Since Howard was no acrobat, Healy cast his old friend as a stooge (someone who impersonated a member of the audience who is called on stage). In the routine, Howard's appearance on stage would end with Healy losing his trousers.

The beginning of the Stooges

Howard's brother Shemp joined the act soon after as a heckler in 1923, with Larry Fine joining in 1925. Healy's vaudeville revues (with names like A Night in Venice, A Night in Spain, and New Yorker Nights) included the trio under various names, such as Ted Healy and his Southern Gentlemen, but never as Ted Healy and the Three Stooges[citation needed].
Moe Howard took a break from show business in 1927 after the birth of his daughter. The group reconvened in 1928 and appeared in several Broadway productions, leading to an appearance in the 1930 film Soup to Nuts. In 1931 the Stooges broke from Healy after a dispute over a movie contract. They began performing on their own (using such monikers as "The Three Lost Souls" and "Howard, Fine and Howard"), often using some of the material from the Healy shows. Healy subsequently sued the Stooges for using his material. However, the copyright was actually held by the Shubert Theatre Corporation (for which the routines had been produced)—and since the Stooges had the Shuberts' permission to use it, Healy lost the suit.
Healy then hired a new set of stooges, consisting of Eddie Moran (soon replaced by Richard "Dick" Hakins), Jack Wolf, and Paul "Mousie" Garner. The Howard-Fine-Howard Stooges rejoined Healy's act in 1932, but Shemp quit the act shortly thereafter, soon to be replaced by his younger brother Curly Howard. The reunion did not last, however, and in early 1934, Howard, Fine and Howard parted ways with Healy for good.

After the Stooges

Healy went on to establish a promising career in motion pictures, where he was successful in both comedic roles (where he was often grouped with new "stooges", including Jimmy Brewster, Red Pearson and Sammy Glasser) and dramatic roles. After Larry Fine, Moe Howard and Curly Howard left his act in 1934, Healy appeared in a succession of films for 20th Century Fox, Warner Brothers, and MGM. During this period, Healy took to wearing a full toupée in public.[2] He was 41 and under contract to MGM at the time of his death on December 21, 1937, a few hours after preview audiences had acclaimed his work in the Warner Brothers film Hollywood Hotel.


A cloud of mystery still hangs over Healy's death. Newspaper accounts attributed it to serious head injuries sustained in a nightclub brawl while celebrating the birth of his first child. Conflicting reports claimed the comedian died of a heart attack at his Los Angeles home.[3][4][5] The death certificate issued by the state of California lists his cause of death as nephritis, or inflammation of the kidneys.[6]
Two days before his death, the twice-married Healy had visited Moe Howard's wife, Helen, at their Hollywood apartment with the news that his ex-wife Betty (Hickman) was pregnant. Even though he'd recently been divorced by the 21 year-old,[2] Healey was excited at the prospect of his first child, telling Mrs. Howard, "I'll make him the richest kid in the world." Howard later stated in an interview that Healy had always wanted children and that it was ironic that the impending birth of his first child shortly preceded his own death. Howard recalled, "He was nuts about kids. He used to visit our homes and envied the fact that we were all married and had children. Healy always loved kids and often gave Christmas parties for underprivileged youngsters and spent hundreds of dollars on toys."[7]
At the time of Healy's death, the Stooges (consisting of Moe, Larry, and Curly) were at Grand Central Terminal in New York City preparing to leave for a personal appearance in Boston. Before their departure, Howard called Rube Jackter, head of Columbia Pictures' sales department, to confirm their benefit performance at Boston's Children's Hospital. During the conversation, Jackter told Howard that the night editor of The New York Times wanted to talk to him. Howard phoned The Times. The editor, without even a greeting, queried curtly, "Is this Moe?" Howard said it was. The editor then asked, "Would you like to make a statement on the death of Ted Healy?" Howard was stunned. He dropped the phone. Folding his arms over his head, Howard started to sob. Curly and Larry rushed into the phone booth to warn Howard that their train was about to leave. They found him crumpled over, crying. Since Howard seldom openly showed his emotions, Larry cracked to Curly, "Your brother's nuts. He is actually crying." Howard did not explain the reason for his emotional breakdown until he boarded the train. When they arrived back in Hollywood, they learned the details of Healy's death from a writer friend, Henry Taylor. Taylor told Howard that Healy had been out drinking at the Trocadero nightclub on the Sunset Strip, and an argument broke out with three college boys. Healy called them vile names and offered to go outside the club to take care of them one at a time. Once outside, Ted did not have a chance to raise his fists. The three men jumped him, knocked him to the ground and kicked him in the head, ribs and stomach. Healy's friend actor Joe Frisco came on the scene, picked him up from the sidewalk and took him to his apartment, where Ted died of what medical officials initially called a brain concussion. [8]
However, a very different account asserts that Healy was beaten to death by screen legend Wallace Beery, Albert R. Broccoli (later producer of James Bond films), and notorious gangster (and Broccoli's cousin) Pat DiCicco.[why?] This account appears in E. J. Fleming's book The Fixers: Eddie Mannix, Howard Strickling, and the MGM Publicity Machine (2004) about legendary MGM "fixers"[3] ] Mannix and Strickling. Under orders from studio head Louis B. Mayer, MGM sent Beery, one of their most valuable properties, to Europe for several months, while the story of the "three college boys" was fabricated to conceal the truth. (Immigration records confirm a four-month trip to Europe on Beery's part immediately after Healy's death, ending April 17, 1938).[9]
Despite his sizable salary, Ted Healy died penniless. MGM's staff members started a fund to pay for his burial. Moe Howard later mentioned that producer Bryan Foy of the famed Foy family of vaudevillians footed a sizeable portion of the bill for the funeral. According to Howard, even in the heyday of his stage career, Ted refused to save money and spent every dime of his salary as fast as he earned it. Healy loved betting on horses, and his favorite reading matter was race track charts.
Healy was survived by his widow, Betty Healy (née Hickman, whom he married on May 15, 1936) and his son, John Jacob Nash — who was baptized in St. Augustine's Church, opposite MGM, a week after Healy's death. John Nash, who legally changed his name to Theodore John Healy in 1959, died on July 16, 2011 from liver failure as a complication of prostate cancer in Stone Mountain, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta.
Ted Healy is interred at Calvary Cemetery in Los Angeles, California. Healy's was the first caricature drawn by Alex Gard to grace the walls of Sardi's restaurant in the New York City Theater District.[10]


  1. ^ World War I Draft Registration
  2. ^ Maurer, Joan Howard; Jeff Lenburg, Greg Lenburg (1982). The Three Stooges Scrapbook. Citadel Press. ISBN 0-8065-0946-5.
  3. ^ Pittsburgh Press December 22, 1937
  4. ^ Lewiston Evening Journal December 23, 1937
  5. ^ Prescott Evening Courier December 22, 1937
  6. ^ Death Certificate, filed on December 23, 1937
  7. ^ Howard, Moe. (1982) The Three Stooges Scrapbook, pp. 14–15; Citadel Press. ISBN 0-8065-0803-5
  8. ^ Howard, Moe. (1977, rev. 1979) Moe Howard and the Three Stooges, p. 39; Citadel Press. ISBN 978-0-8065-0723-1
  9. ^ Ile de France passenger list, p. 117, line 9, Microfilm roll T715_6140
  10. ^ The New York Public Library Inventory of Sardi's Caricatures

Further reading

  • The Complete Three Stooges: The Official Filmography and Three Stooges Companion by Jon Solomon, (Comedy III Productions, Inc., 2002).
  • The Three Stooges Scrapbook by Jeff Lenburg, Joan Howard Maurer, Greg Lenburg (Citadel Press, 1994).

External links

                                                        *                    *                     *


(Special To The News)

Hollywood, Dec. 21 -- The sudden death today of Ted Healy, bald and glowering comedian famous for his stooges, assumed aspects of mystery tonight with reports that he had been severely beaten, a little more than twenty four hours before he died, at the Trocadero Restaurant, Hollywood's premier night spot.

Coroner Frank Nance announced he would perform an inquest after Dr. Wyland Lamont, Healy's physician, refused to sign a certificate of death, Early reports said the comic had died of "a stroke."

From a group of fellow actors came the story tonight of Healy's mysterious beating.

Bobby Burns Berman, New York and Hollywood cafe man, said that Healy sobbing and with tears streaming down his face, approached him early Monday morning as he stood in Vine St. with comedian Joe Frisco and Man-Mountain Dean, motion picture actor and wrestler.


"I was slugged out at the Trocadero," Healy told them, Berman said, and exhibited a huge welt on his head.

But he refused to tell who had beaten him or why.

He said he was going for treatment to Dr. Sidney L. Weinberg, who could not be reached at his office tonight.

Reportedly stricken at 3 A. M., Healy died at 11:30 A. M. (3:30 P. M. New York) after oxygen had been administered in a vain attempt to save his life.

Mrs. Healy, the former Betty Hickman, who gave birth to a son on Friday, had not been informed of his death. Her husband had remained at her bedside until only a few hours before he was reportedly stricken.

His latest film, "Hollywood Hotel," was previewed last night.

                                                                   *                   *                       *

Ted Healy's death was linked to the Trocadero. And Ted Healy's death was linked to Pat DiCicco. For Pat DiCicco was said to have been one of the three men who beat him shortly before he died.

One account has it that Ted Healy was romantically involved with Thelma Todd.

                               Ted Healy and his Stooges, from back when their early days.

That's Shemp next to Ted Healy at the right.

Ted Healy and the Three Stooges in Hollywood

Curly, in place of Shemp, is next to Ted Healy at the left.

                                                             Ted Healy without Stooges.

Ted Healy with Patsy Kelly in SING, BABY, SING, 1936.

Ted Healy was also associated with Frank Fay, with whom Patsy Kelly had worked in New York.

                                                       Ted Healy and first wife Betty Healy

                                                       Betty Healy at the Roach studio

With Laurel and Hardy in OUR RELATIONS:
Betty Healy, Lona Andre, Daphne Pollard, Iris Adrian

Gloria Bondell, Katherine Blondell ( Mother ), Joan Blondell.

Gloria Blondell made one Three Stooges short, THREE SAPPY PEOPLE, in 1939. She was also married to Pat DiCicco's cousin Cubby Broccoli at the time.

 Cubby Broccoli in 1936, while he was married to Gloria Blondell.

 Mabel Todd ( not to be confused with Thelma Todd )

with Ted Healy in his last film, HOLLYWOOD HOTEL, 1937.

I beleve that a book published in 2002 was the first to have the story that Pat DiCicco, Cubby Broccoli, and Wallace Beery were the ones that beat up Ted Healy shortly before his death.

Moe Howard's book MOE HOWARD AND THE THREE STOOGES had mentioned the story about Ted Healy having been beaten up, but hadn't named the assailants.

The Forrester's book also has it that Ted Healy was seeing Thelma Todd in 1934, while she was still married to Pat DiCicco.

The source for this story is said to have been Mousie Gardner, one of  Healy's "new Three Stooges",

who had himself come out with a book in 1999.

It hadn't said anything about Thelma Todd, but it did mention that Ted Healy liked to set fire to things, including some belongings of blonde Bonnie Bonnel, who had worked with him and the Three Stooges in the movies.

Bonnie Bonnell next to Ted Healy in NERTSERY RHYMES, with the Three Stooges.

Bonnie Bonnell with Ted Healy and the Three Stooges in PLANE NUTS.

There's also a story from another of the new Stooges, Dick Hakins. After the incident where Pat DiCicco chased Harry Cohn from New York's 21 Club in 1942, shouting "Thelma!"*, it says that Dick Hakins wondered if Cohn had been threatening to expose DiCicco's involvement in the deaths of Thelma Todd and Ted Healy.  "From what I knew of Harry Cohn, I wouldn't put anything past him," Hakins is quoted.

But we don't know just how much DiCicco had to do with the deaths of Thelma Todd or Ted Healy.  The only thing that is certain in this case is that nothing is certain.

*This incident was mentioned by Gloria Vanderbilt ( who was married to Pat DiCicco at the time ) in her autobiography BLACK KNIGHT, WHITE KNIGHT.


MEET THE BARON with Zasu Pitts

Gloria Blondell:

Bonnie Bonnell:

Cubby Broccoli:

Mousie Garner:

Ted Healy:

THE GOOD OLD SOAK ( movie with Wallace Beery and Ted Healy):


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

National Suicide Prevention Week

Found this on facebook:

I hadn't known there was a suicide prevention week. It must be something the news media doesn't talk about. Sometimes it seems they are actually trying to promote suicide.

Sometimes you come across references to Thelma Todd having been ruled a suicide. She wasn't. That was only an opinion held by some people at the time that wasn't shared by everyone. And there have been other cases where celebrities were said to have killed themselves when it wasn't certain.

There's not really much that can be said for suicide. There's a lot more to be said for just going on living, the way you're supposed to, for as long as it lasts.


Monday, April 22, 2013

Street & Smith's PICTURE PLAY

Movie magazines were very popular in the thirties, despite the depression.

July 1934 issue, with Myrna Loy on the cover.


Jean Parker would later work with Laurel and Hardy. Dick Powell and Ruby Keeler were very popular at the time, but Shirley Temple became the most popular star of her day.

Marion Davies was not a top star, but she had her fans.

Madeleine Carroll would later work with Bob Hope.

Thelma Todd was not considered one of the biggest stars by Hollywood, but her films were still to be found in the theaters, and her pictures in the fan magazines.
Alice White had been a rival to Clara Bow in the silent era. She was still making movies after sound came in.


The underworld was frequently in the headlines during this period. Alice Faye later made ROSE OF WASHINGTON SQUARE, which had remarkable resemblances to the real life story of Fanny Brice and Nicky Arnstein.
It seems there was some sort of a problem with the way Carole Lombard spelled her name at PICTURE PLAY. Why, I don't know. Everyone else seemed to like it all right with the "e".

Bette Davis early in her career.

Loretta Young a few years after she appeared in SEVEN FOOTPRINTS TO SATAN.

PICTURE PLAY at Media History Project:


PICTURE PLAY and Carole Lombard:


Friday, April 19, 2013

Thelma Todd - Wikipedia

A look at Wikipedia, or, what goes up must come down by another's hand.

Thelma Todd

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Thelma Todd
Thelma Todd in Corsair 4.jpg
in Corsair (1931)
BornThelma Alice Todd
(1906-07-29)July 29, 1906
Lawrence, Massachusetts
DiedDecember 16, 1935(1935-12-16) (aged 29)
Pacific Palisades, California
Cause of deathaccidental carbon monoxide poisoning
Other namesAlison Loyd
Years active1926-1935
Spouse(s)Pat DiCicco
(m.1932–1934; divorced)
Thelma Alice Todd[1] (July 29, 1906 – December 16, 1935) was an American actress. Appearing in about 120 pictures between 1926 and 1935, she is best remembered for her comedic roles in films like Marx Brothers' Monkey Business and Horse Feathers, a number of Charley Chase's short comedies, and co-starring with Buster Keaton and Jimmy Durante in Speak Easily. She also had roles in Wheeler and Woolsey farces, several Laurel and Hardy films, the last of which (The Bohemian Girl) featured her in a part that was truncated by her death.

Early life

Todd was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts to John and Alice Todd, and was a bright student who achieved good academic results. She intended to become a school teacher. However, in her late teens, she began entering beauty pageants, winning the title of Miss Massachusetts in 1925. While representing her home state, she was spotted by a Hollywood talent scout and began her career in film.


in Corsair (1931)
During the silent era, Todd appeared in numerous supporting roles that made full use of her beauty but gave her little chance to act. With the advent of the talkies, Todd was given opportunity to expand her roles when producer Hal Roach signed her to appear with such comedy stars as Harry Langdon, Charley Chase, and Laurel and Hardy. In 1931 she was given her own series, teaming with ZaSu Pitts (pronounced "Zay-soo," also her character's name) for slapstick comedies. This was Roach's attempt to create a female version of Laurel and Hardy. When Pitts left Roach in 1933, she was replaced by Patsy Kelly. The Todd shorts often cast her as a working girl having all sorts of problems, and trying her best to remain poised and charming despite the embarrassing antics of her sidekick.
In 1931, Todd became romantically involved with director Roland West,[1][2] and starred in his film Corsair.
Thelma Todd became highly regarded as a capable film comedian, and Roach loaned her out to other studios to play opposite Wheeler & Woolsey, Buster Keaton, Joe E. Brown, and the Marx Brothers. She also appeared successfully in such dramas as the original 1931 film version of The Maltese Falcon starring Ricardo Cortez as Sam Spade, in which she played Miles Archer's treacherous widow. During her career she appeared in 119 films although many of these were short films, and was sometimes publicized as "The Ice Cream Blonde."
In August 1934, she opened a successful cafe at Pacific Palisades, called Thelma Todd's Sidewalk Cafe, attracting a diverse clientele of Hollywood celebrities as well as many tourists.[3]
Todd continued her short-subject series through 1935, and was featured in the full-length Laurel and Hardy comedy The Bohemian Girl. This was her last film; she died after completing all of her scenes, but most of them were re-shot. Producer Roach deleted all of Todd's dialogue and limited her appearance to one musical number.[4]


On the morning of Monday, December 16, 1935, Thelma Todd was found dead in her car inside the garage of Jewel Carmen, a former actress and former wife of Todd's lover and business partner, Roland West. Carmen's house was approximately a block from the topmost side of Todd's restaurant. Her death was determined to have been caused by carbon monoxide poisoning. Todd had a wide circle of friends and associates as well as a busy social life; police investigations revealed that she had spent the last night of her life at the Trocadero, a popular Hollywood restaurant, at a party hosted by entertainer Stanley Lupino and his actress daughter, Ida. At the restaurant, she had had a brief but unpleasant exchange with her ex-husband, Pat DeCicco. However, her friends stated that she was in good spirits, and were aware of nothing unusual in her life that could suggest a reason for committing suicide.
The detectives of the LAPD concluded at first that Todd's death was accidental, the result of her either warming up the car to drive it or using the heater to keep herself warm. Other evidence, however, pointed to foul play. The Grand Jury ruled her death as suicide. Since her body was cremated, a second, more thorough autopsy could not be carried out. It was believed that she was the target of extortion, but refused to pay. It is also possible that she was locked in the garage by her assailant after she started the car. Blood from a wound was found on her face and dress, leading some to believe that she was knocked unconscious and placed in the car so that she would succumb to carbon monoxide poisoning.
Todd's death certificate states her cause of death as accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. She was cremated; after her mother's death, her remains were placed in her mother's casket and buried in Bellevue Cemetery in her home town of Lawrence, Massachusetts.
Complicating matters, there was an apparent murder two years later involving Todd's ex-husband Pat DiCicco and another movie actor as the victim. According to E.J. Fleming's book The Fixers (about MGM's legendary "fixers" Eddie Mannix and Howard Strickling), Wallace Beery (one of MGM's top stars), gangster Pat DiCicco, and Albert R. "Cubby" Broccoli (who was also DiCicco's cousin and eventual producer of the James Bond films) allegedly beat comedian and movie actor Ted Healy to death in the parking lot of the Trocadero nightclub on December 21, 1937. The book claims that Beery was sent to Europe by the studio for a few months, while a story was concocted that three college students had killed Healy. Immigration records confirm a four-month-long trip to Europe on Beery's part immediately after Healy's death, ending April 17, 1938.[5] A pencil drawing of Beery survives that was done on a film set by Healy, an amateur artist as well as the organizer and original leader of The Three Stooges.


For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Thelma Todd has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6262 Hollywood Blvd.

Selected filmography

1926Fascinating YouthLorraine Lane
1927Rubber HeelsPrincess Anne
1927Fireman, Save My ChildUncredited
1928Noose, TheThe NoosePhyllis
1928Abie's Irish Rose
1929Her Private LifeMrs. Leslie
1929Seven Footprints to SatanEve
1929Unaccustomed As We AreMrs. KennedyShort film
1930Her ManNelly
1930Another Fine MessLady PlumtreeShort film
1931Chickens Come HomeMrs. HardyShort film
1931No LimitBetty Royce
1931Maltese Falcon, TheThe Maltese FalconIva ArcherAlternative title: Dangerous Female
1931CorsairAlison Corning
1931Monkey BusinessLucille Briggs
1931On the LooseThelmaShort subject
1931BroadmindedGertie Gardner
1932Big Timer, TheThe Big TimerKay Mitchell
1932This Is the NightClaire
1932Horse FeathersConnie Bailey
1932Speak EasilyEleanor Espere
1932Call Her SavageSunny De Lane
1933You Made Me Love YouPamela Berne
1933Fra DiavoloLady Pamela RocburgAlternative titles: Bogus Bandits
The Devil's Brother
1933Sitting PrettyGloria Duval
1933Air HostessMrs. Carleton
1933Counsellor at LawLillian La Rue
1934PalookaTrixieAlternative titles: Joe Palooka
The Great Schnozzle
1934Hips, Hips, Hooray!Amelia Frisby
1935Two for TonightLilly
1936Bohemian Girl, TheThe Bohemian GirlGypsy queen's daughter

See also


  1. ^ a b Erickson, Hal. "Thelma Todd". Allmovie.
  2. ^ Wright, David (2002). Joyita: Solving the Mystery. Auckland University Press. p. 3. ISBN 1-86940-270-7.
  3. ^ Wallace, David; Miller, Ann (2003). Hollywoodland. Macmillan. p. 21. ISBN 0-312-31614-3.
  4. ^ Louvish, Simon (2002). Stan and Ollie, The Roots of Comedy: The Double Life of Laurel and Hardy. Macmillan. p. 339. ISBN 0-312-26651-0.
  5. ^ Ile de France passenger list, p. 117, line 9, Microfilm roll T715_6140

Further reading

  • Edmonds, Andy (1989). Hot Toddy: The True Story of Hollywood's Most Sensational Murder. New York: William Morrow and Co. Inc. ISBN 0-688-08061-8.
  • James Robert Parish and William T. Leonard; Gregory W. Mank and Charles Hoyt (1979). The Funsters. New Rochelle, New York: Arlington House. ISBN 0-87000-418-2.

External links







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Here we have the wikipedia entry for Thelma Todd. It's been that way a while, I guess, but there is no guarantee that it will remain as it is since anyone that wants to can put in whatever they want. I don't think I'll put anything else in as what I had previously put in was all removed.

The entry is mostly OK, but there are some problems with it. Thelma Todd didn't actually get into movies because she won a beauty contest:  Paramount was sent her picture by Napoleon Demara, a partner in a local film exchange.

 The grand jury did not rule her death a suicide, but ended as a hung jury because they were unable to come to a conclusion as to whether her death had been murder, suicide, or an accident.

Many sources will tell you that Thelma Todd came to Hollywood because of a beauty contest or that the grand jury ruled her death a suicide. That is because they all tend to repeat each other, not because the information that they have is correct. A great many errors have crept into our version of history because they are widely believed to be true by people who simply do not know any better.

Thelma Todd:

Thelma Todd Club: