Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Pat DeCicco And His Pals


John Austin termed him a "Bootlegger and Pimp for Louis Meyer".

Michael P. Lentz termed him "A louse & sponge if ever there was one."

I would be hard pressed to improve on that, but I can put in a little more.

We'll start with Wikipedia:

Pat DiCicco

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pat DiCicco
BornPasquale DeCicco
(1909-02-14)February 14, 1909
Queens, New York, U.S.
DiedOctober 24, 1978(1978-10-24) (aged 69)
New York, New York, U.S.
Other namesThe Glamour Boy of Hollywood
OccupationAgent, movie producer
Thelma Todd
(m. 1932; div. 1934)

Gloria Vanderbilt
(m. 1941; div. 1945)

Mary Jo Tarola
(m. 1953; div. 1960)
Pasquale "Pat" DiCicco (February 14, 1909 – October 24, 1978) was an American agent and movie producer, as well as an alleged mobster working for Lucky Luciano.[1] He married and divorced both Thelma Todd and Gloria Vanderbilt. He was a cousin of Albert R. Broccoli and gave him his well-known nickname "Cubby."

Personal life

Todd's marriage in 1932 to DiCicco was particularly unstable and frequently erupted in drunken brawls, one of which resulted in a broken nose for DiCicco and an emergency appendectomy for Todd.[2] They divorced in 1934. Todd died a year later from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.
At 17 years old, Gloria Vanderbilt went to Hollywood, where she married DiCicco in 1941.[3] DiCicco proved to be a temperamental and abusive husband who called her "Fatsy Roo," and regularly beat her. "He would take my head and bang it against the wall," Vanderbilt said. "I had black eyes."[4] They divorced in 1945.[5]
In 1953, DiCicco married actress Mary Jo Tarola (born February 27, 1928), also known by her stage name, Linda Douglas. The marriage lasted seven years before ending in divorce in 1960.

Ted Healy incident

DiCicco is alleged to have been involved in an altercation with comedian Ted Healy just before the latter's death in 1937.
A source alleged that actor Wallace Beery, producer Albert R. Broccoli, and Broccoli's cousin, agent/producer Pat DiCicco beat Healy so badly that he fell into a coma and died.[6] While there is no documentation in contemporaneous news reports that either Beery or DiCicco was present, Broccoli admitted that he was indeed involved in a fist fight with Healy at the Trocadero.[7] He later modified his story, stating that a heavily intoxicated Healy had picked a fight with him, the two had briefly scuffled, then shook hands and parted ways.[8] In other reports, Broccoli admitted to pushing Healy, but not striking him.[9]
There is disagreement over whether Healy died as a result of the brawl or due to his well-known alcoholism.[1] Because of the authorities' lack of interest in investigating Healy's death, an autopsy was not performed until after Healy's corpse had been embalmed; rendering the examiner's note that Healy's organs were "soaked in alcohol" and useless in determining a cause of death.[1]
Following the autopsy, the Los Angeles county coroner reported that Healy died of acute toxic nephritis secondary to acute and chronic alcoholism. Police closed their investigation, as there was no indication in the report that his death was caused by physical assault.[9]


  1. ^ Jump up to: a b c Braund, Simon (June 2010). "The Tragic And Twisted Tale Of The Three Stooges". Empire Magazine. Retrieved 19 August 2015. 
  2. Jump up ^ "Who killed the Ice Cream Blonde?". Santa Monica Daily Press. May 19, 2011. Retrieved 19 August 2015. 
  3. Jump up ^ Vanderbilt, Gloria (2004). ""The Great Thing" (4)". It Seemed Important at the Time: A Romance Memoir. Rockefeller Center, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020: Simon & Schuster. p. 31. ISBN 0-7432-6480-0. 
  4. Jump up ^ Last of the big spenders. Telegraph UK 11/23/2004
  5. Jump up ^ Vanderbilt, Gloria. ""Happy Birthday" (6)". It Seemed Important at the Time: A Romance Memoir. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster. p. 36. ISBN 0-7432-6480-0. 
  6. Jump up ^ Fleming, E.J. (2004). The Fixers: Eddie Mannix, Howard Strickling, and the MGM Publicity Machine. McFarland. pp. 174–177. ISBN 978-0-7864-2027-8. 
  7. Jump up ^ staff (December 23, 1937). "Wealthy Sportsman Confesses Fight with Ted Healy". The Oxnard Daily Courier. p. 1. Retrieved May 15, 2013. 
  8. Jump up ^ Cassara, Bill (2014). Nobody's Stooge: Ted Healy. BearManor Media. ISBN 1593937687. 
  9. ^ Jump up to: a b "Ted Healy Died of Toxic Nephritis". Lewiston Evening Journal. December 23, 1937. p. 8. Retrieved May 15, 2013. 

                                             *                                 *                             *

Occasionally we come across the story that Pat DeCicco was working for Lucky Luciano.  There is no proof of this. It is more likely that DeCicco was only a small-timer who was not directly associated with Luciano even though he was involved in the same line of business and started out in the same part of the country.

The imdb has the following trivia item for Pat DeCicco:

Acted as procurer for Howard Hughes and Joseph Schenk while acting nominally as a talent agent.

The association of DeCicco with Howard Hughes is well known, and remarked upon by Jane Russell in her autobiography. She said something to the effect that Howard Hughes didn't want her to become involved with him.

The story about Ted Healy is unproven, as is the allegation that Healy had an affair with Thelma Todd, which is part of the same package. But to get back to Thelma Todd -

It seemed to begin all at once. Thelma Todd and Pat DeCicco suddenly eloped to Arizona, where it was easier to get married right away.

Pat DeCicco, Jean Malin, Thelma Todd, and Lois Wilson at the Club New Yorker, 1932. The wife of Jean Malin was involved in prostitution, like DeCicco.

This caption claimed that DeCicco was from Argentina. He wasn't, but that didn't keep them from telling people that. It was a recurring story in Thelma Todd's publicity. Another story was that DeCicco was an Italian count, and that because of that Thelma Todd was a countess.  

At the Brown Derby.

 This one seems to be at the Brown Derby, too. Chester Morris is at left.

Pat DeCicco and Thelma Todd ( center ) at the Coconut Grove.

At the Mayfair opening, 1933.

At the Cameramen's Ball, 1933.

At the premiere of the movie CAVALCADE, 1933.

Thelma Todd and Pat DeCicco with Phil Harris.

Phil Harris later married Alice Faye.

There were rumors that a divorce was imminent after Thelma Todd took a trip to England in 1933.

Thelma Todd filed for divorce in 1934. The divorce became final the following year.

March 2, 1934: Thelma Todd is granted a divorce.

Divorces in Hollywood were quite common, as can be seen by the names on the list.

After the death of Thelma Todd, Pat DeCicco was called back to testify before the grand jury. Here, he bids his mother farewell.

Jeanette Meehan said in a newspaper article that DeCicco had never taken Thelma Todd to Long Island to meet his family, claiming that she was too busy.  

DeCicco photographed during the investigation.

DeCicco was believed to have been one of the last people to have seen Thelma Todd alive., because he had shown up during the Lupino's party at the Trocadero. With him was Margaret Lindsay, who recently had made the movie BORDERTOWN with Paul Muni and Bette Davis.

That movie had a "garage murder" in it. People wondered if that could possibly have some connection with the death of Thelma Todd, since she had been found dead in a garage of carbon monoxide poisoning. 

No one was able to prove anything.

The historical record shows that Pat DeCicco lied about how recently he'd been around Thelma Todd, and how often. He told reporters he hadn't seen her for a year, and that he had last seen her at the Venodome.* 

From PHOTOPLAY, early 1935

 This account mentions him having been around Thelma Todd at the Trocadero earlier in 1935. Jeanette Meehan said that he had been telling his family that Thelma Todd wanted to "patch things up". Some people thought that DeCicco had been trying to get her back. 

Ted Healy had a run-in at the Trocadero a couple of years or so afterwards. Accounts differ as to whether or not this caused Healy's death. That story was in this book.

The story that Ted Healy was involved with Thelma Todd is in this book, too. But we find no mention of this affair from the period in which it was supposed to have taken place. 

The official Carole Landis site says at http://carolelandisofficial.blogspot.com/2011/11/myths-about-carole.html that Pat DeCicco, who was her boyfriend at the time, broke her nose. I didn't know ( or remember ) that story, but I wouldn't put it past him. He used to beat up Thelma Todd when he was married to her. Gloria Vanderbilt, too.

Carole Landis and Victor Mature in ONE MILLION BC. Reblogged from http://www.suspense-movies.com/stars/carole-landis/landis27.html

I guess "Director" sounded better than "Pimp", "Go-Fer", and similar titles for what in current parlance might be termed "Associates".

Pat DeCicco was the "Black Knight" the title referred to.

Some of the things she said about him were not good. She not only said that she had been told that he had killed Thelma Todd, but that he tried to kill her as well. This marriage ended in divorce, the same as the previous one. 

Pat DeCicco with Gorgeous Gussie.

Gorgeous Gussie was one of a great many women whose name was linked with his in later years.

But the last one to marry him was Mary Jo Tarola, in 1953.

Like his two previous marriages, it didn't last.

Pat DeCicco was not important in the underworld or the motion picture industry, and was known only as someone who was around the rich and famous. Today he is remembered mainly for the women he was associated with. 

*When he was summoned by the grand jury, DeCicco testified that "I saw her only about five times in the last two years, after we divorced". He also said that "There was no possibility of any reconciliation between us, and I made no overtures in that line." 
Both statements contradicted what he had previously represented as the truth.

*                 *                *

Rudy Schafer was the son of the manager of Thelma Todd's Sidewalk Café. In his later years he was able to communicate with me by e mail. What he told me about Pat DeCicco wasn't good. 

He said, "I met Pat Diccio (sp) once, but didn't know him.  The talk I heard was that he was rough on her and presumably beat her. There much sympathy for her on this score.

All I recall about this was from conversations I overheard at my grandparents home ( they raised me ) around the Sunday dinner table.  The family usually got together then.  The talk was that he was a sleaze ball and that he treated Thelma badly--verbally and physically.  I have no specifics."

*                   *                   *

Although usually cast in some role other than "actor",  Pat DeCicco did act in one movie, 1935's NIGHT LIFE OF THE GODS. In this movie he was one of the Greek gods who came to life when a magic potion was used on their statues.

We see him here at right with the wicked-looking blade with which he was supposed to have whacked off the head of Medusa. And we can watch this movie online now that it has been put on youtube.


Wedding of Pat DeCicco and Gloria Vanderbilt


 Carole Landis Site Says DiCicco broke her nose:

Pat DeCicco:

Pat DeCicco as Perseus in THE NIGHT LIFE OF THE GODS:

Pat DeCicco in the news:

DeCicco Bon-Bons:

Ted Healy:

Virginia Hill:

Howard Hughes:

Patsy Kelly and Jean Malin:

George Raft:

Mary Jo Tarola:

Thelma Todd article by Jeanette Meehan, Part II:

Gloria Vanderbilt and Pat DiCicco

Gloria Bullfinch and Prince Del Slimo in Wonder Woman comics:



  1. From The Thelma Todd Club on yahoo: For whatever it's worth, the Mitzi who wrote the Fun Like Mad column was the niece of Louis B. Mayer. She mentioned he was with Sally Blane, who was Loretta Young's sister and later married to director Norman Foster. Margie

  2. From The Thelma Todd Club on yahoo: Mitzi's granddaughter posts on an MGM Facebook group all the time. If I remember the retationships correctly,Mitzi's brother was director Jack Cummings.


  3. The usual story is that Pat DiCicco had been beating up Thelma Todd and that she also got appendicitis, not that he caused it. Michelle Morgan says that Thelma Todd had her appendix taken out in 1926 and that whatever problem Thelma Todd had at a later date was not appendicitis, although it was called that in the newspapers.