Suggested reading from Chicago Review Press
The Whirlwind Life and Mysterious Death of Screwball Comedienne Thelma Todd
By Michelle Morgan
BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY
288 Pages, 6 x 9
Formats: Cloth, EPUB, Mobipocket, PDF
Cloth, $26.95 (US $26.95) (CA $31.95)
Chicago Review Press (Nov 2015)
eBook Editions AvailableWill it work on my eReader?
OverviewA beloved film comedienne who worked alongside the Marx Brothers, Laurel and Hardy, and dozens of others, Thelma Todd was a rare Golden Age star who successfully crossed over from silent films to talkies. This authoritative new biography traces Todd's life from a vivacious little girl who tried to assuage her parents' grief over her brother's death, to an aspiring teacher turned reluctant beauty queen, to an outspoken movie starlet and restaurateur.Increasingly disenchanted with Hollywood, in 1934 Todd opened Thelma Todd's Sidewalk Café, a hot spot that attracted fans, tourists, and celebrities. Despite success in film and business, privately the beautiful actress was having a difficult year–receiving disturbing threats from a stranger known as the Ace and having her home ransacked–when she was found dead in a garage near her café. An inquest concluded that her death, at age just twenty-nine, was accidental, but in a thorough new investigation that draws on interviews, photographs, documents, and extortion notes–much of these not previously available to the public–Michelle Morgan offers a compelling new theory, suggesting the sequence of events on the night of her death and arguing what many people have long suspected: that Thelma was murdered.But by whom?The suspects include Thelma's movie-director lover, her would-be-gangster ex-husband, and the thugs who were pressuring her to install gaming tables in her popular café–including a new, never-before-named mobster. This fresh examination on the eightieth anniversary of the star's death is sure to interest any fan of Thelma Todd, of Hollywood's Golden Age, or of gripping real-life murder mysteries.
Reviews"The Ice Cream Blonde is a riveting mystery about the death of Thelma Todd. It's also an eerie exploration of the Todd dichotomy—breezy comedienne on the one hand; serious businesswoman with underworld connections on the other. Highly recommended." —Robert Matzen, author of Fireball: Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3