Monday, August 30, 2010

Thelma Todd "The Ice Cream Blonde."

During the silent era, Todd performed in supporting roles that made full use of her beauty. With the talkies, Todd was given opportunity to expand her roles when producer Hal Roach signed her to perform with comedy stars Harry Langdon, Charley Chase, and Laurel and Hardy.

In 1931 she was given her own series, teaming with ZaSu Pitts for slapstick comedies. This was Roach's female version of Laurel and Hardy. The Todd shorts often cast her as a working girl having all sorts of problems and trying her best to remain charming despite the antics of her sidekick.

Thelma Todd became known as a wonderful film comedienne and Roach loaned her out to other studios to play opposite Wheeler & Woolsey, Buster Keaton, Joe E. Brown, and the Marx Brothers.

She also performed in the original 1931 film version of The Maltese Falcon, in which she played Miles Archer's widow.

During her career she performed in 119 films although many of these were short films and was sometimes publicized as "The Ice Cream Blonde."

In August 1934, she opened a successful cafe at Pacific Palisades, called Thelma Todd's Sidewalk Cafe.

Todd continued her short-subject series through 1935 and was featured in the full-length Laurel and Hardy comedy The Bohemian Girl. This was her last film she died after completing all of her scenes, but most of them were re-shot. Producer Roach deleted all of Todd's dialogue and limited her appearance to one musical number.

This video is from the film: You're Such A Comfort To Me" by Thelma Todd, Ginger Rogers, Jack Oakie and Jack Haley .


  1. One of my favorites. Wish she was remembered more for her talent than the way she passed away

  2. Thank you Amanda, When I write about the classic movie stars, I try to focus on thier film performances.

  3. Loved your article, Dawn. Ice cream blonde is such a cute and descriptive way to describe her. I've seen her in several movies and really enjoy her work. She had striking eyes! I've got several of her movies DVR'd today and look forward to having a Thelma Todd evening!

  4. Didn't know too much about Thelma Todd until you posted this lovely piece Dawn. I definitely want to see more of her work now.

  5. Becky, Thank you. Funny and beautiful, what a great combination for an actress.

    Monty, Thank you. I agree. I also want to see more of her films.


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