Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Thelma Todd - Suicide, Accidental Death, or Murder?

Cue thriller type music! I was obsessed yesterday looking up information about the silent/talkie film star Thelma Todd. I had been reading some article, I can't even remember where or what it was, but it was recent and made a reference to a movie that starred Thelma Todd. Google her I did as I was not too familiar with who she was or what she looked like. I found out that she died very young, at 29, of quite fishy circumstances.

She was found in the early morning hours of December 16, 1935 in her garage, slumped over in the driver's seat of her parked car. The police determined she had committed suicide, and then later changed that determination to accidental death by carbon monoxide poisoning. Something was afoot though.

For one they found her lip bruised and some blood on her face and dress. Also, in order for her to have reached her driveway she would have had to climb a large outdoor staircase on a hill which would have dirtied her shoes. The shoes she was wearing were clean. Other things such as the autopsy showing beans and peas in her stomach, when that's not what was served at the dinner she attended the night before, her connection to a mobster, a jealous wife of her lover, a fight with that lover that night, etc. just give more fodder to anything BUT an accidental death.

It just saddens me at how young she died, and if indeed she met her end through no fault of her own inebriation then it also makes me mad that someone got away with such an awful crime. I shall be adding some of her movies to my Netflix queue.


  1. A good book on Todd if you can find it is called "Hot Toddy: The Life and Times of Thelma Todd" by Andy Edmonds. She was definitely involved with some shady characters in her life.

  2. It always sounded a little fishy to me. But I guess we'll never know. She was such a wonderful actress. I adore her shorts with Zazu Pitts

  3. Seems like murder, I'm afraid. So sad. Had she lived, and shown us everything she could do, we would remember her as much as we do Lombard or Harlow.
    By the way, just found this site - lovely!

  4. I agree with you, all seems more on the fishy side than not. :( And thanks Matthew, glad you found me!


  5. yes it seems like murder & we can also called it a silent murder. but she was so honest with her job. I saw first time on screen watching movie online