Saturday, March 9, 2019

Dorothy Layton

Dorothy Layton said that everyone knew Thelma Todd as "Toddy", that
Thelma Todd was involved with Lucky Luciano, and that she thought that Thelma Todd had been murdered by Luciano. I'm not saying that the stuff about Luciano is true, but Dorothy Layton did know Thelma Todd and she did tell that story.

Dorothy Layton died in 2009.

Reblogged from

Dorothy Layton
Dorothy LaytonDorothy Layton, has died on June 1 aged 96, she worked during the early sound era with some of the greatest comedians of the day, among them Laurel and Hardy – she was considered their last great female stooge. "Laurel was the brains behind the genius of Laurel and Hardy," she declared in 2003. "I heard rumours of fights between them but never witnessed anything to suggest their relationship was anything but professional. What I can say is the producer Hal Roach had to often stop the cameras rolling because Laurel and Hardy, who ad-libbed, used to have everyone rolling about in tears of laughter." She was born Dorothy Violet Wannenwetch on August 13 1912 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her father was one of the three founders of the Western Southern Life Insurance Co, and the family moved frequently before finally settling in Virginia. After attending convent school (where her teacher described her as "charismatic"), in 1929 Dorothy went to Santa Barbara, California, to visit a cousin. She intended to stay for a fortnight, but in the event she never left, and her mother joined her the following year, setting up in a small house at West Hollywood. Dorothy was soon going out with Roger Marchetti, a well-known lawyer who represented Howard Hughes, Louis B Mayer and Bing Crosby. He took her to Hollywood's premier restaurants, where they would be joined at the table by figures such as Jean Harlow, Joan Crawford, Greta Garbo and Hughes himself. With an ambition to become an actress herself, Dorothy quickly appreciated that the surname Wannenwetch was insufficiently catchy, and she decided to take that of her maternal great-grandmother, Layton. Meanwhile, whenever she had a screen test, Marchetti hired Max Factor to apply her make-up and the MGM costumier Gilbert Adrian to run up her gowns. It paid off. In 1932 Dorothy Layton – like Mary Astor, Joan Crawford and Clara Bow before her – was selected as one of the "WAMPAS Babies" (promising starlets chosen by the Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers). Soon afterwards she was signed to MGM, and appeared in a series of comedy shorts for Hal Roach, who had brought Our Gang, Harold Lloyd and Laurel and Hardy to the screen. She made her debut in Chickens Come Home (1932), with Laurel and Hardy and Thelma Todd. In 2006 Dorothy Layton recalled: "Everyone knew Thelma Todd as 'Toddy'. She became involved with mobster Lucky Luciano. She had such a tragic end. I believe Toddy was murdered by Luciano, but never dared make my opinion public as I feared for my own life." Roach cast Dorothy Layton opposite Laurel and Hardy in The Chimp, Country Hospital, and Pack up Your Troubles (all 1932). In the same year she was in the Charlie Chase comedy Young Ironsides. In 1933 Dorothy Layton appeared in Pick-up, which starred George Raft. But in the spring of that year she split up with Marchetti. She also broke with her agent, BP Schulberg, and her opportunities began to dry up. She made her last film for Hal Roach playing Billy Gilbert's secretary in Fallen Arches (1933) before appearing later that year in Louis Lewyn's epic Hollywood on Parade. In 1934 Dorothy Layton left the film business and went to live in Baltimore, where she married Howard Taylor, who ran a company selling mattresses. They had a son and a daughter. In 1947 she became a volunteer at Keswick Health Care Centre, and seven years later joined Keswick as a paid employee. She eventually retired in 1977, although five years later she returned to entertain patients and teach them bridge, a game she had been taught to play by Howard Hughes. "Volunteer work gave me a sense of belonging," she said, "whilst Hollywood was false and phoney." Dorothy Layton is survived by her son.

                                    *                                  *                              *

                      Wampus Baby Stars Of 1932 - Dorothy Layton seated at right in front row.

ON THE LOOSE ( 1931 )

Dorothy Layton is the other blonde in the picture, who can be seen at the bottom on the right.

Dorothy Layton:


No comments:

Post a Comment