Friday, July 31, 2020

Thelma Todd Hal Roach Laurel And Hardy 1933


Another photo with a cake.

Thelma Todd with Hal Roach Laurel and Hardy at the 20th anniversary party for the Hal Roach studios.


Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Birthday Of Thelma Todd


Thelma Todd was born on the this day in 1906.

Today is also the birthday of Clara Bow. She was born the year before Thelma Todd

Some publicity claimed that Thelma Todd was born on the same day, month, and year as Clara Bow, which also seems to be whthey sometimes added a year to Thelma Todd's age. Usually the studios pretended the glamour girls were younger than thereally were.


Tuesday, July 28, 2020

"The Devil Was My Partner" - HOUSE OF MYSTERY #6

The "Ricky Rialto" character in this story is based on Lucky Luciano, who was deported to Italy following the second World War. Art by Curt Swan.

Reblogged from

Some people like to argue about Luciano. I am not one of them. When they can't prove anything it can't settle everything, and when you don't have the required viewpoint they can't use it to argue against. Not that they let that stop them.


Sunday, July 26, 2020




A New Version of the book TESTIMONY OF A DEATH by Patrick Jenning and Marshall Croddy is now available. I don't agree with everything in that book, but I'll repost this here as it is something that I have discussed on this blog before, and some of it has to do with the Luciano story which was mentioned in connection with the table from Thelma Todd's Sidewalk Cafe.

From The Thelma Todd Fan Group on facebook.

For those interested in the mystery of Todd's death, I'm bringing out updated versions of the book Marshall Croddy and I wrote, Testimony of a Death/Thelma Todd: Mystery, Media, and Myth in 1935 Los Angeles. You can buy it on Amazon or through A hardcopy version should be available through Barnes and Noble soon.

Patrick Jenning As much as I'd like to sell more copies, there really isn't that much different from the first version, other than I've corrected a lot of typos. It does have a new cover, and some footnoted information about Jewel Carmen has changed to reflect the information I came across researching a new book about Los Angeles in the first part of the 20th century: The Long Winding Road of Harry Raymond: A Detective's Journey Down the Mean Streets of Pre-War Los Angeles. Jewel was a bit of a bad girl the early 'teens.


Table From Thelma Todd's Sidewalk Cafe


This was on facebook. I've seen pictures of this table before, but I'm not sure if I've had them on this blog before.  I don't know anything else about it besides what is here.

Joshua Curtis is with Katherine Rose and John Akridge.
I wanted to thank Katherine Brookes and John Akridge for this wonderful gift of incredible history. They were both fortunate enough to remove the last of the furniture and fixtures from Actress Thelma Todd's Residence and Cafe!! These items have been in Thelma Todd's Cafe and residence since the early 30's and during her death in December of 1935. The lively and sassy Thelma died a mysterious death that still is not fully understood today. One of the theories involves Lucky Luciano wanting to set up illegal Gambling above the restaurant. There has always been speculation about the illegal gambling upstairs. Did Thelma's business partner Roland West bring it in..? Did Luciano..? One thing is for sure.. Thelma did not want any part of illegal Gambling!!
So that takes to this incredible piece of history.. This Is a table that secretly converts to a Gambling table!!! Felt topped for card games or another locked compartment( needs a small skeleton key) That opens up to a craps table and compartment for storing cards and poker chips!! This table may just answer the question of the illegal gambling or is it Thelma's personal table for games with friends?!?!? One thing is for sure .. This table was used by Hollywood Royalty during the heyday of Hollywood in the early to mid 1930's! The strikemarks of the dice in the wood of the craps compartment are as fresh as they were made over 80 years ago! So much Research to do on this incredible piece of history!!!

Joshua Curtis Last time the table is at Thelma's where it has been for over 80 years!

Joshua Curtis John Akridge bringing the history!

Joshua Curtis Felt top For cards, stores under the table

Joshua Curtis Slots for chips and holding those cards low.

Joshua Curtis Hidden (locked) Compartment for shooting craps! Also Compartments for card and chip storage

Joshua Curtis Custom built compartments

Joshua Curtis You can still see the strike marks in the wood from the hours and hours of craps shooting!

Joshua Curtis John Akridge demonstrates how the table converts for gambling!

Joshua Curtis How the table looks with the gambling features stowed away!

Joshua Curtis If that felt and wood could talk!!

on facebook:

John Akridge This card table is a complete mystery. It doesn't really match anything else we found, style wise. Nobody was able to tell me anything about it, except that it's always been there. All I know for certain is that it is A. Very old, B. Came out of that building. It is interesting that an antique gaming table was pulled out of a building that has had rumours of illegal gaming surrounding it in the past. Personally I don't believe Thelma Todd had anything to do with Lucky Luciano and I think there is enough evidence out there to debunk any claims that he and Thelma Todd ever met. Did Roland West bring it in after Thelma Todd's passing, or did Thelma Todd own it? I don't know. From all the marks on the craps table you can tell it has seen a lot of use.


Thursday, July 23, 2020

Scrapbook Of Thelma Todd' Pictures


Scrapbook Of Thelma Todd' Pictures compiled by a fan.

Reblogged from

Description: Golden Age of Hollywood style fan scrapbook. Newspaper & or magazine clippings, pages, photos, glued, pasted or taped collage style, celebrating career of Thelma Alice Todd (July 29, 1906  December 16, 1935), American actress most remembered for comedic roles. Nicknames included "The Ice Cream Blonde" and "Hot Toddy". She appeared in a whirlwind 120 features and shorts from just 1926 and 1935 and is fondly remembered for her work in the Marx Brothers' comedies Monkey Business and Horse Feathers, also in some Charley Chase short comedies as well as working with Buster Keaton and Jimmy Durante and in some Laurel and Hardy films. Her amazing career suddenly ended tragically with her still suspicious death in 1935 at just 29 years old. 10 pages, 12 loose item(s). Material: paper. Measurement: approximate 11.5 x 9 INCHES. 


Monday, July 20, 2020


Mickey Daniels and Thelma Todd in LOVE FEVER, a "Boy Friends" comedy.


Sunday, July 19, 2020

Friday, July 17, 2020

War Mamas


Thelma Todd and Zasu Pitts in 'War Mamas,' 1931. Photo by Stax Graves. 


Sunday, July 12, 2020

Marilyn Monroe and Hal Roach

While attached to the U.S. Army Air ForcesFirst Motion Picture Unit athe Hal Roach studio, photographer David Conover discovered Marilyn Monroe.

June 26, 1945 Yank magazine photo (color version) of Marilyn Monroe as Norma Jeane Dougherty


Saturday, July 11, 2020

Marilyn Monroe and Hal Roach


Marilyn Monroe was at the Hal Roach studio early in her career.

Clayton Moore mentioned seeing Marilyn Monroe there in his autobiography..


Moore was working on the Lone Ranger show at the time. It was one of a number of shows which was being shot there in this period.

Hal Roach also mentioned Marilyn Monroe being at his studio.

A commercial with Marilyn Monroe which was filmed at the Hal Roach studio.

A movie with Marilyn Monroe which was filmed at the Hal Roach studio.


George Herriman and Hal Roach


 George Herriman was the creator of Krazy Kat. He also knew Hal Roach. And drew him.


Chico and Groucho Marx were there. So were Walt Disney, Louis B. Mayer and Harold Lloyd. Stan Laurel
and Oliver Hardy were guest speakers, as were Jean Harlow and Will Rogers. The master of ceremonies was Charlie Chase. Few could dispute Film Daily’s report that the “Hal Roach anniversary dinner-dance was easily one of the best parties held on the coast in years.”
The party began on Thursday evening, December 7, 1933, and lasted until the next morning. Five hundred invited guests joined Roach at his studio in Culver City to celebrate his twentieth year as a studio head, with thousands more listening to an NBC radio broadcast of the proceedings. “Memory Lane was all lighted up with electrics,” reported Grace Kingsley for the Los Angeles Times. “The place had been fitted up like a palace.”
It’s likely, but not certain, that George Herriman was among those in attendance. Herriman’s friendship with Roach dated back to at least 1920, when they went on fishing trips together. Introductions probably had been made by Herriman’s close friend and former Los Angeles Examiner colleague Harley Marquis “Beanie” Walker, who appears to have begun working for Roach in 1917, writing titles for Harold Lloyd’s “Lonesome Luke” movies. When Herriman returned from New York to Los Angeles in the early 1920s, he set up shop in Walker’s office, and drew “Krazy Kat” while Roach’s comedies were being filmed around him.
Although news accounts of Roach’s party don’t list Herriman, a newly discovered Herriman cartoon is dated the night of the party, and most likely was presented to Roach at the event. It is a grand gift. There are sharp and funny caricatures of stars such as Laurel and Hardy, Will Rogers and Charley Chase, as well as Roach’s behind-the-scenes men, including Our Gang director Robert McGowan; Roach’s old friend Lewis Albert “Al” French; and Beanie Walker, shown “rhapsodizing rhetorically, attempting what might be termed, a ‘script.’” Roach’s father, Charles, and brother, Jack, are seated on a bench, with Officer Pupp, Krazy Kat, and Ignatz peering out from behind them. Soaring over the whole affair is a magnificent Hal Roach himself, riding a polo pony and announcing that he has just cleared his twentieth hurdle. “I do the hurdling, and he gets the credit,” responds his horse, wide-eyed.
Herriman inscribed his gift to “‘Hal,’ dolling,” adding the nickname he seems to have acquired on Roach’s lot: “The ‘Squatter.’” It is a characteristically modest move by Herriman, but the generous drawing is an unmistakable sign of the great affection shared between Hal Roach and George Herriman, as well as how much Roach must have enjoyed having the resident cartoonist drawing “Krazy Kat” on his lot. The full-color original of this gift has not been located; currently the only evidence of it is a black and white photograph that had been carefully preserved in a scrapbook by Hal’s mother, Mabel Roach. It is reproduced here for the first time.


Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Roach Shorts On Turner Classic Movies In September


Ivan G. Shreve Jr. to The Hal Roach Studio
Turner Classic Movies has their tentative September 2020 schedule up (…) and the night of September 14 brings forth a slew of Roach shorts that may be of interest to the group:
CHARLEY CHASE: The Pip from Pittsburg (1931), Whispering Whoopee (1930), His Silent Racket (1933), Girl Shock (1930), Fallen Arches (1933), The Chases of Pimple Street (1934), Four Parts (1934)
TODD & PITTS: Asleep in the Feet (1933), The Bargain of the Century (1933)
TODD & KELLY: Top Flat (1935)
THE BOY FRIENDS: You're Telling Me (1932), Call a Cop! (1931), Too Many Women (1932), Air Tight (1931)
BILLY GILBERT: Apples to You! (1934)

Zasu Pitts and Thelma Todd in "Asleep in the Feet ".