Thelma Todd

  1. Jean Harlow, Hell’s Angels, 1930.      Dropping Norway’s Greta Nissen due to her thick accent when revamping the film as a talkie, tycoon-cum-director Howard Hughes saw just about every starlet in town. (How unusual!).  Including, the original Hot Toddy – ex-schoolteacher and Miss Massachusetts 1925.
  2. Edwina Booth, Trader Horn, 1931.     Surprising she had  time to test – she made 19 films in 1931! She would have been perfect for sexploitation genius David F Friedman’s 1970 re-make, Trader Hornee – “the second ‘e’ is silent.” 
  3. Alice White, Picture Snatcher, 1933.  .  She was only a copper ‘s daughter, but she knew  how to be arresting… for James Cagney.  White used to be Chaplin’s secretary and script girl and he encoraaged her to try acting.   She became a blonde Clara Bow with a similarly spirited sex-life. So no James Cagney on Todd’’s co-star list of the Marx Brothers, Charlie Chase. Laurel and Hardy, etc. First into movies as script-girl for the German dictator, et, director  Josef von Sternberg, the ice-cream-blonde’s early Clara  Bow-glow inevitably evaporated during 121 films in nine  years… before her carbon monoxide “suicide,” more likely a covered-up  hit for not selling her restaurant, Thelma Todd’s Sidewalk Café, to The Mob. (According to his deathbed confession in 1952, it was  violent  director Roland West  – a partner in the café –  who  murdered Thema, his lover,  in 1935).


 Birth year: 1905Death year: 1935Other name: Casting Calls:  3