Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Hollywood And The Underworld

Abbott and Costello meet Frank Costello, as told by the daughter of Lou Costello. Reposted from "Who's On First? Abbott And Costello" on facebook.

Chris Costello:

I changed the profile photo to ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET THE KILLER, and then found this photo of dad, Bud, and mobster Frank Costello (I believe he's far left). Called "The Prime Minister," Frank Costello was a good friend of both my dad and his brother, Pat. 

In the photo here they staged a goofy shot with Bud looking as if he's ready to be carted off. The amusement on the faces of these two guys is hysterical to meas they appear so out of their element.

Dad had a favorite saying, "Only three types of people come from Paterson, New Jersey -- a comic, a priest, or a gangster!"
I recall family saying that when Costello was in town he would often visit our home and hang with dad. I was very young and cannot recall ever meeting the man, but after recently watching a documentary on Amazon on crime families, and the history of the Mafia (very good, by the way), I was fascinated by Frank Costello and how he escaped death on a couple of occasions when a hit had been put out on him.

And no, there is absolutely no relationship with Frank Costello.


Sunday, January 27, 2019

George Raft And Warren Hymer

Warren Hymer and George Raft being directed by Fritz Lang in a scene from YOU AND ME ( 1938 )


Johnny Weissmuller And George Raft


Johnny Weissmuller, having finished TARZAN, THE APE MAN (1932), visits his friend George Raft, on the set of NIGHT AFTER NIGHT.



EVERY NGHT AT EIGHT was a movie Patsy Kelly was in along with Alice Faye, Frances Langford, and George Raft.


Saturday, January 26, 2019

Lucille Ball And The Untouchables

Lucille Ball was around some underworld characters in the 1930's when she was a young woman.

Lucille Ball in 1930.

She dated Pat DeCicco while she was working as a model in New York in that period. Pat DeCicco was someone who was associated with Thelma Todd as well as the underworld.

Thelma Todd with Pat DeCicco.

Lucille Ball was also associated with George Raft, who she knew in Hollywood.

Lucille Ball, George Raft, Virginia Pine (and her daughter Joanie) and Mack Gray (April 25, 1935).
Mack Gray was one of Raft's friends who also had underworld connections.

Lucille Ball had some success in the movies, but later found greater fame on television in I LOVE LUCY, which costarred her real-life husband Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, and William Frawley.

Beginning in 1955 Lucille Ball's clothes on the show were designed by Edward Stevenson, who used to make clothes for Thelma Todd in the thirties. Stevenson had designed clothing for Lucille Ball in the movies and would continue working for her for the rest of his life.

Although the program consisted mainly of more or less innocuous comedy, one episode did pit Lucille Ball against an Italian peasant woman in a conflict which in retrospect could be said to foreshadow her involvement in a television program involving Italian gangsters.

THE UNTOUCHABLES was another story, but it was produced by Desilu, as the production company headed by Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball was called. THE UNTOUCHABLES  began in 1959 as a two-part episode on CBS's WESTINGHOUSE DESILU PLAYHOUSE.

Photo of the cast for The Untouchables as seen on Desilu Playhouse: Only Robert Stack (third from left) and Abel Fernandez (second from right) were used in the actual television series. Keenan Wynn is seen here at the right of Robert Stack, Peter Leeds (who played LaMarr Kane, replaced in the series by Chuck Hicks) is to the right of Wynn, and TV's Kit CarsonBill Williams as Marty Flaherty (replaced by Jerry Paris in the series), is on the far right. Actor Paul Dubov, who played Jack Rossman (replaced in the series by Steve London), is missing from this photo.

The two parts were later combined to make a feature film which was released to theaters.

Barbara Nichols as "Brandy LaFrance", a fictional thirties blonde. 

Barbara Nichols with Neville Brande, who played Al Capone.

Barbara Nichols reprised her role on the first episode of the regular series, "The Empty Chair". The title referred to the absence of Al Capone from his position as the head of the Chicago mob. The other gangsters continued their operations without him and Elliot Ness continued to oppose them. Ness attempted to turn the gangsters against each other and then sought the assistance of Brandy LaFrance, the niece of Jake Guzik, who had been Capone's accountant

Reblogged from

This is a 25 caliber Colt pocket pistol. In the program Elliot Ness gives one to Brandy to protect herself with.

This is the same type of gun that Rudy Schafer said that Thelma Todd had given his father to carry at the Sidewalk Cafe. 

When the gangsters are going to kill her, she uses it to defend herself with.

Hearing the shot, the Untouchables rush in and apprehend the gangsters, concluding the episode.

Joan Blondell appeared on an episode of THE UNTOUCHABLES called "The Underground Court". Joan Blondell was thought of as being the same type as Thelma Todd in the 1930's and she appeared in THE PUBLIC ENEMY, which was one of the most famous gangster movies of all time. Her sister Gloria Blondell was at one time married to Cubby Broccoli, who was Pat DeCicco's cousin. 

                              Robert Stack and Joan Blondell on THE UNTOUCHABLES.

Stock footage of the Morro Castle burning was used on this episode, which involved a gangster who swam ashore from the stricken ship with records of underworld transactions. Once ashore he let it be known that the information would be turned over to the authorities in the event of his death, which he regarded as protection from his former comrades.

This being a show where crime didn't pay, he paid for his crimes by the end of the episode, in spite of this protection from the mob.

Lucille Ball did not herself appear on THE UNTOUCHABLES, but she appeared in a parody on THE LUCY SHOW called "Lucy The Gun Moll" on March 4, 1966. Robert Stack and Bruce Gordon played the same characters that they had on THE UNTOUCHABLES, although their characters were called "Agent Briggs" and "Big Nick" instead of "Elliot Ness" and "Frank Nitti".

Reblogged from

This program ends with Lucy making peace, so that everyone can live happily ever after. A somewhat more pleasant end for the underworld character than they generally had received on THE UNTOUCHABLES.

Lucille Ball:

Lucille Ball Autobiography Mention Of Dating Pat DeCicco:

Lucy The Gun Moll:


Mack Gray:

Hollywood And The Underworld:

George Raft:

Edward Stevenson:



Monday, January 21, 2019

DeCicco Bon-Bons

"DeCicco's Bon-Bons" were pieces of chocolate covered ice cream that were sold in movie theaters, one of the things that Pat DeCicco tried his hand at after having been married to Thelma Todd and Gloria Vanderbuilt. He had been associated with the motion picture business in other capacities for some time before becoming involved in refreshments that were sold in theaters, having previously been involved in providing the producers with certain other things. 

                                                      Sign For DeCicco's Bon-Bons

DeCicco's Bon-Bons were advertised in intermission snipes run in theaters. In this one the name appears on the side of an ice cream cart which is jumped by the pirates, after which the pirates can be seen holding the boxes and eating the bon-bons.

This one is an advertisement just for DeCicco's Bon-Bons. It does contain blackface humor, something which was noted by a comment on youtube.

Pat DeCicco:

King Film Productions ( Intermission Snipes ):


Friday, January 18, 2019


The 1929 Thelma Todd movie SEVEN FOOTPRINTS TO SATAN is reportedly scheduled for restoration by Warner Brothers.

Posted by Steve Finklestien in The Vitaphone Project on facebook on Jan. 15th:

The following is an e-mail reply from Ned Price, from a query I sent him : "Hi Steve,
Thank you for your interest in “Seven Footprints to Satan”. This feature is already on our preservation list, we have tracked down a couple prints as well as the Vitaphone discs. The preservation work is slated to be completed in-house at Warner Bros.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Thelma Todd In The Glee Club

Thelma Todd is listed as a member of the Glee Club at the Lawrence State Normal School in 1925.

Posted by Jack Taylor in The Hal Roach Studio Group on facebook.

The first page of the same publication, with the name at the top.



Autographed Thelma Todd Photo

Markus Brandes posted this autographed Thelma Todd photo in the Thelma Todd Fans Group on facebook.

Signed oversized vintage gelatin silver matte-finish photograph, shows Thelma Todd in a beautiful chest-up portrait, 10,75 x 13,75 inch, signed and inscribed to set and glamour photographer Max M. Autrey and his wife in blue ink "To Madame & Monsieur Autrey - a charming hostess and a - great photographer - My Best to you both - always - Thelma Todd"


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Thelma Todd Playing Cards

Some Thelma Todd playing cards that turned up recently on ebay.



Sunday, January 13, 2019

Autographed Thelma White Photo

Thelma White publicity photo, which she autographed for a fan.

"Just say no" is a reference to an anti-drug campaign, and is presumably intended to be humorous. People tend to associate Thelma White with dope because she was in the movie REEFER MADNESS, which some people thought it was cool to laugh at. There are still problems with drug abuse, whether they think it's funny or not.


Saturday, January 12, 2019

Thelma White?

Frequently we see the wrong name on pictures of the glamour girls. It happened again.

This picture was posted on facebook by "Captain Bijou".

Edna Mae Jones (1913-??) and Thelma White (1910-2005) from the Wheeler and Woolsey screen comedy, HIPS, HIPS, HOORAY!! (1934).

Ron Hutchinson:

Definitely NOT Thelma White in that photo. Here she is. BTW she never appeared in the film although she was announced.


Friday, January 11, 2019


This Spanish herald for the British film YOU MADE ME LOVE YOU ( 1933 ) mentions only Thelma Todd and not Stanley Lupino. Stanley Lupino was a star in England at the time, but would be better known today as the father of Ida Lupino.



SNAPPY SNEEZER was a 1929 Charley Chase comedy with Thelma Todd in the cast.

Posted on ebay by E. P. Worrel.

"The Snappy Sneezer," original shooting script, 1929. This is an original script for the Hal Roach production starring Charley Chase and Thelma Todd. It bears the working title "Hay Fever." Rather than providing dialog, the script describes the action to take place. It is five pages long, in excellent condition, and measures 14" x 8 1/2".

This script was editor Richard Currier's copy. It was purchased by Doug Hart at the Hal Roach studio auction in 1963, and I obtained it directly from Mr. Hart.


Thursday, January 10, 2019

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Sidewalk Cafe For Rent

The Sidewalk CafĂ© was sold recently, and the new owner has made it available for rent. Reblogged from

Property Details for 17520 Revello Drive, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

Originally built in 1927, this bluff side villa has remained timeless and preserved, evocative of the Amalfi Coast. Designed and built by famous architect Nathaniel Coleman, and nicknamed Castillo Del Mar, this everlasting compound continues to flourish almost 100 years later. Looking through the antique leaded and stained glass windows, you are met by awe-inspiring ocean and mountain views. Step outside to the villas many flat, tiered parcels to witness sights of Malibu, and Santa Monica. Brand new Kitchen and appliances, as well as electrical and plumbing throughout the home allow you to fully command the homes integral enchant, while possessing modern amenities. The main house features 5 bedrooms, and 4 full baths. 3 of the bedrooms are only accessible through private entry. Additionally, their is a detached studio unit with kitchenette, with its own address, via Posetano Rd.