Born: July 29, 1905 in Lawrence, Massachusetts, USA
Died: December 16, 1935 in Pacific Palisades, California, USA
|~Stars of the Photoplay, 1930~
Thelma Todd was a young school teacher in Massachusetts at the time Paramount selected her as
one of the first pupils in their motion picture training school on Long Island. After graduating she
journeyed to Hollywood where she has appeared in numerous pictures, including "Vamping Venus,"
"Naughty Baby" and "Her Private Life." With the advent of talkies she became very popular in Hal
Roach Comedies, as well as feature pictures. Thelma was born in Lawrence, Mass., is 5 feet 6,
weighs 117, and has golden blonde hair and dark blue eyes.
Careers (1929) .... Hortense
The Bachelor Girl (1929) .... Gladys
Hurdy Gurdy (1929/I)
House of Horror (1929) .... Thelma
... aka The Haunted House (USA: alternative title)
Trial Marriage (1929) .... Grace Logan
Seven Footprints to Satan (1929) .... Eve
Naughty Baby (1928) .... Bonnie Le Vonne
... aka Reckless Rosie (UK)
The Haunted House (1928) .... The Nurse
The Crash (1928) .... Daisy McQueen
Heart to Heart (1928) .... Ruby Boyd
Vamping Venus (1928) .... Madame Vanezlos the Dancer/Venus
Abie's Irish Rose (1928)
The Noose (1928) .... Phyllis
The Gay Defender (1927) .... Ruth Ainsworth
The Shield of Honor (1927) .... Rose aka Flora Fisher
Nevada (1927) .... Hettie Ide
... aka Zane Grey's Nevada (International: English title: poster title)
Fireman, Save My Child (1927) (uncredited)
Rubber Heels (1927) .... Princess Aline
God Gave Me Twenty Cents (1926)
Fascinating Youth (1926) .... Lorraine Lane
|~The Los Angeles Times~
December 17, 1935
known as the blonde in the Marx Brothers' film, "Horsefeathers."
Todd began entering beauty pageants in her teens, and won the title of Miss Massachusetts in 1925.
This earned her the attention of theater and film scouts who enlisted her for supporting roles in silent
films. She was soon signed by Hal Roach, who placed her alongside top stars in a series of
For a year, Todd worked steadily in one picture after another, playing comedy leads opposite Charlie
Chase, Laurel and Hardy and Harry Langdon. In 1928, she became a freelance, and during the next
few years her success became assured. It was in this period that she took the role in "Horsefeathers"
as well as prominent leads in "The Corsair" with Chester Morris and the "Maltese Falcon" with Bebe
In Hollywood, Todd was noted for her friendly, unaffected ways. She was one of the few actors or
actresses who started in comedy, obtained success and yet never was extremely ambitious to appear
in serious roles.
Her death came early at age 30, and the nature of it is still debated. She was found dead in her
automobile, which was parked in a garage, with the ignition key in the on position but the engine not
running. Officially, her death was deemed accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, but suicide or
murder conspiracies have never fully been put to rest.