There had been another reference to Thelma Todd as Lillian Russell in MOTION PICTURE in September 1935. So it seem to have been a recurring thing in that magazine.
Thelma Todd is likened to Lillian Russell on the last page. It could be because of the then-current movie DIAMOND JIM, which had Binnie Barnes playing Lillian Russell.
Binnie Barnes as Lillian Russell
Marilyn Monroe as Lillian Russell
I thought Paula Stone ( who was in a picture on the last page of the article ) was cute, we've had her on the blog before, in another picture from MOTION PICTURE. One that had Thelma Todd in it.
Watch Paula Stone in SWING IT PROFESSOR, 1937
DIAMOND JIM with Binnie Barnes as Lillian Russell: