Thelma Todd

Thelma Todd (July 29, 1905 - December 16, 1935) was a American film actress.

Thelma Todd

Todd was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts and as a child was a bright student who achieved good academic results. She intended to become a school teacher but in her late teens began entering beauty pageants winning the title of "Miss Massachusetts" in 1925. While representing her home state in the "Miss America" pageant later that year she was spotted by a Hollywood talent scout and began her career in film.

During the silent era, she appeared in numerous supporting roles that made full use of her beauty but gave her little chance to act. With the advent of the talkies, Todd was given opportunity to expand her roles by the producer Hal Roach who contracted her to appear with such comedic stars of the day as Harry Langdon, Laurel & Hardy and The Marx Brothers and she appeared as the lead actress in a series of comedy films with actresses Zasu Pitts and Patsy Kelly. She became highly regarded as a capable film comedienne and also appeared successfully in such dramas as the original 1931 film version of The Maltese Falcon. During her career she appeared in more than 130 films and was publicised as "The Ice Cream Blonde" and "Hot Toddy".

In the early 30's she commenced a successful commercial venture when she opened a cafe at Pacific Palisades called "Thelma Todd's Sidewalk Cafe" which attracted a diverse clientele of Hollywood celebrities as well as gangsters and criminals.

On the morning of December 16, 1935, she was found dead in her car inside her garage and her death was determined to have been caused by carbon monoxide poisoning. Police investigating her death determined that Todd had a wide circle of friends and associates and a busy social life. She had spent the last night of her life at a party hosted by entertainer Stanley Lupino and his daughter, the actress Ida Lupino. She had been involved in an argument with her then boyfriend Roland West, but her friends stated that she was in good spirits and were aware of nothing unusual in her life that could suggest a reason for committing suicide.

Police were offered other alternatives throughout their investigations. One theory suggested that the gangster Lucky Luciano had tried unsuccessfully to coerce Todd into allowing gambling on her premises, and when she declared that would happen "over my dead body" had replied that he could arrange that. When Todd's body was found she had blood on her face and her nose was broken. This was the only sign of violence and there was no evidence of any struggle taking place. The investigation was unable to establish any evidence to support this theory.

A second theory widely supported by Todd's friends was that Roland West had grown frustrated by Todd's flightiness and to keep her from leaving her premises to attend another party had locked her in the garage. Her resulting death according to this theory was accidental, however a key, which would have allowed her to escape was found in Todd's handbag.

A third theory was that Todd had turned on the motor of the car in order to keep warm, and had fallen asleep. Roland West had closed the door to the garage without realising Todd was inside and she had died as a result.

The Los Angeles DA's department and a Grand Jury were unable to establish the true circumstances surrounding her death and the conjecture that surrounded it at the time and which has never been resolved with a definitive explanation is an early example of what would become known as a conspiracy theory with rumours and suppositions being accepted as fact, and widely divergent opinions being given credence. The fact that her body was cremated caused theorists to conjecture that this had been done to destroy evidence and to prevent a second autopsy, however by this time authorities were satisfied with her official cause of death.

Her death certificate states her cause of death as accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. Her remains were buried in "Bellevue Cemetery" in her hometown of Lawrence, Massachusetts.

Thelma Todd has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6262 Hollywood Blvd.


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Thelma Todd has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6262 Hollywood Blvd. She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7021 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood. Her remains were buried in "Bellevue Cemetery" in her hometown of Lawrence, Massachusetts. She was also nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance in the TV drama Right to Die (1988). Her death certificate states her cause of death as accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. In 1975, Raquel Welch won a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Actress in a Musical or Comedy for The Three Musketeers. The fact that her body was cremated caused theorists to conjecture that this had been done to destroy evidence and to prevent a second autopsy, however by this time authorities were satisfied with her official cause of death. She is the mother of Damon Welch and actress Tahnee Welch.

The Los Angeles DA's department and a Grand Jury were unable to establish the true circumstances surrounding her death and the conjecture that surrounded it at the time and which has never been resolved with a definitive explanation is an early example of what would become known as a conspiracy theory with rumours and suppositions being accepted as fact, and widely divergent opinions being given credence. She has been married to James Welch (1959)-(1962), publicist and agent; Patrick Curtis (who played the baby of Olivia de Havilland in Gone With The Wind) (1967)-(1972), writer; Andre Weinfeld (1980-1990); and Richard Palmer (1999). Roland West had closed the door to the garage without realising Todd was inside and she had died as a result. She has also performed in a nightclub act in Las Vegas and has starred on Broadway in Woman of the Year and in Victor/Victoria, where she replaced Julie Andrews. A third theory was that Todd had turned on the motor of the car in order to keep warm, and had fallen asleep. She has also appeared in the night time soap opera CPW and made infomercials and exercise videos. Her resulting death according to this theory was accidental, however a key, which would have allowed her to escape was found in Todd's handbag. Her television appearances include the series The Hollywood Palace, the made for TV movies The Legend of Walks Far Woman and Right to Die, in which she turned in a stirring performance as a woman with Lou Gehrig's disease, and in the PBS series American Family, about a Mexican American family in East Los Angeles.

A second theory widely supported by Todd's friends was that Roland West had grown frustrated by Todd's flightiness and to keep her from leaving her premises to attend another party had locked her in the garage. Her most memorable publicity still, where she was clad in a furry animal-skin bikini for One Million Years B.C., became a bestselling poster. The investigation was unable to establish any evidence to support this theory. Despite box office disappointments, Welch became one of the leading sex symbols of the 1960s and 1970s. This was the only sign of violence and there was no evidence of any struggle taking place. But the movie turned out to be a dismal failure. When Todd's body was found she had blood on her face and her nose was broken. Her first real starring role was in Myra Breckinridge with the one and only Mae West in the cast.

One theory suggested that the gangster Lucky Luciano had tried unsuccessfully to coerce Todd into allowing gambling on her premises, and when she declared that would happen "over my dead body" had replied that he could arrange that. After her appearance as Lust incarnate in Bedazzled, she returned to the United States and appeared in a Western with James Stewart titled Bandolero!, which was followed by Lady in Cement with Frank Sinatra. Police were offered other alternatives throughout their investigations. On loan out to Hammer Studios in Britain, she starred in the remake of One Million Years B.C.. She had been involved in an argument with her then boyfriend Roland West, but her friends stated that she was in good spirits and were aware of nothing unusual in her life that could suggest a reason for committing suicide. She was then cast in the Sci-fi hit Fantastic Voyage. She had spent the last night of her life at a party hosted by entertainer Stanley Lupino and his daughter, the actress Ida Lupino. Welch's first starring role was in A Swingin' Summer, which led to a contract with 20th Century Fox.

Police investigating her death determined that Todd had a wide circle of friends and associates and a busy social life. She was cast in bit parts in a few films, including Roustabout starring Elvis Presley. On the morning of December 16, 1935, she was found dead in her car inside her garage and her death was determined to have been caused by carbon monoxide poisoning. She found a place in Los Angeles and started making the rounds of the movie studios. In the early 30's she commenced a successful commercial venture when she opened a cafe at Pacific Palisades called "Thelma Todd's Sidewalk Cafe" which attracted a diverse clientele of Hollywood celebrities as well as gangsters and criminals. Instead, she moved back to California. During her career she appeared in more than 130 films and was publicised as "The Ice Cream Blonde" and "Hot Toddy". Her marriage broke up and she moved with her two children to Dallas, Texas, where she modeled for Neiman-Marcus and worked as a cocktail hostess, intending to move on to New York City from there.

She became highly regarded as a capable film comedienne and also appeared successfully in such dramas as the original 1931 film version of The Maltese Falcon. Welch became a weather forecaster at a local San Diego television station. Because of her heavy schedule, she decided to leave college. With the advent of the talkies, Todd was given opportunity to expand her roles by the producer Hal Roach who contracted her to appear with such comedic stars of the day as Harry Langdon, Laurel & Hardy and The Marx Brothers and she appeared as the lead actress in a series of comedy films with actresses Zasu Pitts and Patsy Kelly. In 1959, Raquel Welch played the title role in the famous Ramona Pageant, a yearly outdoor play at Hemet, California, which is based on the novel Ramona by Helen Hunt Jackson. During the silent era, she appeared in numerous supporting roles that made full use of her beauty but gave her little chance to act. The following year she married a high school sweetheart, James Welch. While representing her home state in the "Miss America" pageant later that year she was spotted by a Hollywood talent scout and began her career in film. After high school she entered San Diego State College on a theater arts scholarship.

She intended to become a school teacher but in her late teens began entering beauty pageants winning the title of "Miss Massachusetts" in 1925. Among her titles were "Miss Photogenic," "Miss La Jolla," "Miss Contour," and "Miss San Diego." In 1957, she was named "Miss Fairest of the Fair" at the San Diego County Fair. Todd was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts and as a child was a bright student who achieved good academic results. She took dancing lessons as a child, and was winning beauty pageants by the time she was a teenager. Thelma Todd (July 29, 1905 - December 16, 1935) was a American film actress. The family moved to the suburb of La Jolla, where Raquel grew up. In 1942, Armand Tejada was transferred to San Diego, California.

Her father was an immigrant from Bolivia of Castilian Spanish extraction who was an aerospace engineer, and her mother an American of Irish descent. She was born Jo Raquel Tejada in Chicago, Illinois, the oldest of three children born to Armando Carlos Tejada and Josephine Sarah Hall.
. Raquel Welch is one of the most famous sex symbols of all time, and she is still considered one of the most beautiful women in the world.

Raquel Welch (born September 5, 1940) is an American actress. Windham Vandermark. Mrs. Legally Blonde (2001) (MGM) ..

Hortensia. Tortilla Soup (2001) (Samuel Goldwyn Company) .. Jacqueline. Folle d'elle (1998) (UGC-Fox Distribution) ..

Grace Kosik. Chairman of the Board (1998) (Trimark Pictures) .. Herself (uncredited). The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult (1994) (Paramount) ..

aka The Prince and the Pauper. Edith .. Crossed Swords (1977) (Warner Bros.) .. aka Stunt Woman.

Jane Gardner .. L'Animal (1977) (Analysis Film Releasing Corp.) .. Jennifer "Jugs". Mother, Jugs and Speed (1976) (20th Century Fox) ..

Queenie. The Wild Party (1975) (American International Pictures) .. Constance de Bonancieux. The Four Musketeers (1975) (20th Century Fox) ..

Constance de Bonancieux. The Three Musketeers (1973) (20th Century Fox) .. Alice. The Last of Sheila (1973) (Warner Bros.) ..

Magdalena. Bluebeard (1973) (Cinerama Releasing Corp.) .. Carr. K.C.

Kansas City Bomber (1973) (MGM) .. Eileen McHenry. Fuzz (1972) (United Artists) .. Hannie Caulder.

Hannie Caulder (1971) (Paramount Pictures) .. Elena. The Beloved (1970) (Joseph Brenner Assciates) .. Myra Breckinridge.

Myra Breckinridge (1970) (20th Century Fox) .. Priestess of the Whip. The Magic Christian (1969) (Commonwealth United Entertainment) .. Michele.

Flareup (1969) (MGM) .. Sarita. 100 Rifles (1969) (20th Century Fox) .. Kit Forrest.

Lady in Cement (1968) (20th Century Fox) .. Maria Stoner. Bandolero! (1968) (20th Century Fox) .. Juliana.

The Biggest Bundle of Them All (1967) (MGM) .. Lillian Lust. Bedazzled (1967) (20th Century Fox) .. Fathom Harvill.

Fathom (1967) (20th Century Fox) .. Nini. Le Plus vieux metier du monde (1967) (Goldstone Film Enterprises) .. Elena.

Le Fate (1966) (Royal Films International) .. aka Shoot Loud, Louder. Tania Montini .. Spara forte, piu forte, non capisco (1966) (Embassy Pictures) ..

Loana. One Million Years B.C. (1966) (20th Century Fox) .. Cora Peterson. Fantastic Voyage (1966) (20th Century Fox) ..

Jeri. A Swingin' Summer (1965) (United Screen Arts) .. Do Not Disturb (1965) (20th Century Fox) (uncredited). Call girl (uncredited).

A House Is Not A Home (1964) (Embassy Pictures) .. College girl with blue bow (uncredited). Roustabout (1964) (Paramount Pictures) ..

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