The Life and Death of Thelma Todd

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SKU: 9780786465187 Categories: ,

About the Book

American film favorite Thelma Todd was much more than the beautiful blonde of the 1930s who played opposite Buster Keaton, Laurel and Hardy and the Marx Brothers. Todd’s tragic death transformed her into an icon of Hollywood mystery: The photograph of the 29-year-old actress slumped in her luxurious Lincoln Phaeton shocked fans in 1935. How did she die? Was it murder, suicide, or an accident?
This definitive biography covers a fascinating era in Hollywood history. In the course of his exhaustive research, the author interviewed Todd’s cousins Bill and Edna Todd, as well as such friends and coworkers as Ida Lupino, Lina Basquette, Anita Garvin, Dorothy Granger, William Bakewell and Greg Blackton. Also examined is Hollywood’s first major sex scandal of 1913, involving Jewel Carmen, the future spouse of director Roland West—the man Thelma Todd loved.

About the Author(s)

William Donati is a professor in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Bibliographic Details

William Donati
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 248
Bibliographic Info: 41 photos, filmography, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6518-7
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8817-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      ix

Prologue      1

1. Fascinating Youth      3

2. A Town of Make-Believe      23

3. Roland and Jewel      45

4. Pasquale      67

5. Shimmering Blue      82

6. Into the Darkness      95

7. We the Jurors      104

8. The Long Goodbye      175

9. The Aftermath      189

Epilogue      209

Documents      213

Filmography      216

Notes      222

Bibliography      230

Index      232

Book Reviews & Awards

“Donati…gives us an important book with a fresh, new look to an oft-told, much-abused legend…the writing is excellent with a very readable style…highly recommend[ed]”—Classic Images; “definitive”—Rumbo; “fascinating”—EagleTribune.com; “one of the best film books of 2012”—Thomas Gladysz, Huffington Post.