The Ice Cream Blonde

 

Charlie Chaplin and Thelma Todd

Charlie Chaplin and Thelma Todd

Thelma Todd made 119 films in her career, mostly comedies and slapstick alongside the Marx brothers and Buster Keaton. My favorites were Monkey Business and Horse Feathers. Her career was cut short by her death on December 16th 1936, when she was found dead in her car inside the garage of Jewel Carmen, a former actress and former wife of Todd’s lover and business partner, Roland West.  Her death was determined to have been caused by carbon monoxide poisoning.  Her friends and family said that she was in good spirits and they were aware of nothing unusual in her life that could be used as a reason to commit suicide.  Everything was hunky dory in her life and she was in the middle of filming a movie with Laurel and Hardy.

Thelma Todd when she was found in her car.

Thelma Todd when she was found in her car.

Detectives were quick to rule it an accident, a result of her warming up her car or using the heater to keep her warm.  However, she was found with a bloodied lip that pointed to foul play.  The coroners concluded that Todd’s death was an accident, as besides her bloody lip there were no marks to indicate violence on the body. When no evidence of murder being brought forward a grand jury probe determined that the death was accidental with suicidal tendencies.  Her body was cremated.

Thelma Todd laying in state, December 19, 1935.

Thelma Todd laying in state, December 19, 1935.

Due to the era I think that the investigation was pretty superficial.  To this day it is still a mystery as to why she had a bloody lip and why the body was found where it was. Thelma Todd was 29 years old.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ripley Trout
    Oct 16, 2013 @ 19:31:21

    No funnies, just darn interesting. Thanks.

    Like

    Reply

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