Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Today's Blind Items - Killer Comedian - Old Hollywood

I suppose as time passes, the name of this actor becomes less known, but in the all time history of movies he is a permanent A lister. If you are too young, you might not know his name, but if you read any history of movies book, he will be at the top for what he did film making wise. He was foreign born. Lets call him MG. He had his greatest success working with a co-star. The same co-star.

Another star of many of these same films was an actress who was probably A- list. Lets call her BG She was a staple of the films. She also was having sex with our permanent A list actor. He always made her have sex to keep the role. Even if they were each married, he would still make her.

This is where it gets interesting. BG was having an affair with a married man which began while she was still married. This married man, we will call SC. He discovered that BG was hooking up with MG and there was a big fight. So, BG went over to the home of MG. Apparently MG was about to get married to a woman he would end up marrying more than once. But, as it happened, MG hadn't told BG that he was getting married. MG had been telling BG he wanted to marry BG. At that point, in the middle of the night, BG said that in the morning she was going to tell everything to the soon to be wife of MG.

BG then drove off and went to the home of SC. She tried to get in but he wouldn't let her. An hour or so later, MG showed up and sneaked in through a side door of the garage and strangled BG to death with a pair of tights. He then turned on the engine of the car and walked out.

Now, what is interesting is that even though everyone suspected BG had been killed, everyone assumed it was the scorned wife of SC that did it. Nope. Now you know who it was.

69 comments:

sandybrook said...

Charlie Chaplin, Edna Purviance and ???

MKL said...

Fred Astaire?

MontanaMarriott said...

Stan Laurel from LAUREL & HARDY, married the same woman twice.

MontanaMarriott said...

Virgina Ruth Rogers he married her first in 35"-37" and then again in 41"-46"

cheesegrater15 said...

BG has to be Thelma Todd.

rd said...

+1

K8T said...

Stan Laurel was born in the UK

pkelly491 said...

BG = Thelma Todd
SC = Roland West
MG = Stan Laurel

ZantiMissKnit said...

Stan Laurel and Thelma Todd, the "ice cream blonde".

DDonna Tarttty said...

"Bohemian Girl" was the last film made by Thelma Todd. It was a Laurel and Hardy film, and she died while it was being filmed. The "BG" initials fit.

The G Man said...

BG stands for "Bohemian Girl"

From Thelma Todd's Wikipedia page says she appeared in "several Laurel and Hardy films, the last of which (The Bohemian Girl) featured her in a part that was truncated by her suspicious death at the age of 29."

Sal Salington said...

A bit about Thelma Todd, and that old building on PCH just north of Santa Monica that used to be Thelma Todd's Roadside Cafe. If you've lived in LA, you've probably driven past it.

http://laist.com/2008/05/10/laistory_thelma.php

lj812 said...

pkelly491 +1

T. W. said...

Damn

Dahling said...

This was a fun read. Sad. But fun.

SteveD said...

Well, here's another fine mess he's gotten into!

David Smith said...

This breaks my heart. I've always loved Laurel and Hardy.

atoukzug said...

Old Hollywood blinds are always the most interesting ones here.

Please, Enty, do more. I'm just really bored with rappers, drug addicted actresses, and over pampered pretty boys.

Trashy and petty is no replacement for glamour and intrigue.

Pilot Gal said...

Agree with @atoukzug. Love the old-time Hollywood blinds!

D Brown said...

Complete baloney. Stan Laurel wed Viginia Rodgers on 28 September 1935 (would divorce in 1938 and remarry in 1941) but Thelma Todd died on 16 December 1935. Hence no way Thelma Todd could have been killed for threatening to go to Stan Laurel's "bride to be".

I don't know if they had an affair but I doubt she needed to sleep with him for roles. Between 1929 and 1936 (release dates) she appeared in six L&H films. However she appeared in ninety six non-L&H films during the same period.

As for Roland West his friend , actor Chester Morris ("Boston Blackie" for you old B movie fans), reported that West, on his death bed in 1952, confessed that he had indeed murdered Todd.

Lindy said...

I always heard Stan Laurel was nice.

cc423 said...

atoukzug: don't forget teen moms.

BestMan said...

Agreed. I just scroll by until there's something interesting. The rap/reality/teen mom carp has almost driven me from the site.

BestMan said...

As much as I loved these two, I thought of Pryor/Wilder while reading. Still old while more modern, though I wouldn't know who the actress is.

atoukzug said...

Funny how when you look back at the majority of the buddy teams, there's always one that turns out to be a genuine nice guy, and the other a real dick.

Hope/Crosby <----- Enty, do an item on the singer he "Accidentally" killed in his house.
Martin/Lewis
Abbott/Costello
Laurel/Hardy

Dusty Fairy said...

And stripper/porn star/baby mama/reality “stars”. BLECH.

Dusty Fairy said...

They were my first thought, too.

ImmodestyBlaise said...

Roland West was a partner in Thelma Todd's Sidewalk Cafe= SC

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1991-05-05/entertainment/9102090725_1_mysterious-murder-patsy-kelly-roland-west

Brayson87 said...

Silent film people were so dirty lol.

atoukzug said...

"Silent film people were so dirty lol."

Yea, but they did it with class and style...

Brayson87 said...

@ato, not according to the blinds on this site ;)

atoukzug said...

"not according to the blinds on this site ;)"

Everything looks best in black and white.....

Queen of Pith said...

I love Thelma Todd.

The coroner's report did list her as having bruising around the neck and cracked ribs.

Unfortunately, Stan Laurel fits -
Thelma died in December 1935
He married Virginia Ruth Rogers in 1935 (could be off by the "soon to be" wife) - they married again in 1941.
He is foreign born.
According to Wikipedia - he threatened this second wife.

Han Niam said...

Another good link @Sal. I’ve wondered about that place for many years.

Beyond EMF said...

Who Killed Thelma Todd? ... with charming map.

http://jaquo.com/thelma-todd/

Aimless Spectator said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Terry Teratoma said...

"everyone assumed it was the scorned wife of SC that did it."

I thought everyone assumed it was mob related? That's the impression I've always been under. A jealous/angry fellow actor makes more sense, but I've always read that it was a suspected mob death.

atoukzug said...

"I thought everyone assumed it was mob related?"

Assumptions usually change depending on who's in the room, and what number martini you're on.

There's also the public assumptions, and the ones you keep to yourself, "if ya' knows what's good for ya'", or "if you ever want to work in this town again."

Snappy Dragon said...

I was reading in a newspaper archive from Dec 1935 that the wife of Actor Wallace Ford said Thelma called her between 4-4:30 on Sunday. Thelma was supposed to attend a party at her house later that evening. She was asking Mrs. Ford if it was ok if she brought a friend. Mrs. Ford told her it was fine and asked who the friend is and Thelma said "You'd never guess and you'll be surprised when you see". She never showed and no one knows who this person was. Mrs. Ford insisted she talked to Thelma well after they were saying she was presumed to have died. Also, Roland West did say that he locked her out of the house because she had a habit of staying out late and disturbing him when coming in. When she left for a party at the Trocadero Saturday night he told her to be home by 2am or else she'd be locked out and she was. She was also receiving death threats and ransom notes by mail several months before her death but this mysterious "guest" remained the suspect even though no one had any idea who it could have been.

kelli grrrl said...

There was a recent article in The Daily Mail (I know, I know) about Stan Laurel being a nice guy. He stayed in touch over the years with his first partner in comedy, who never made it big. They printed the letters he wrote to the guy & made him seem like an all-around good bloke. And now this!!!

Sugar Kane said...

+1

bollybiy said...

@D Brown and Snappy Dragon: THANK YOU

It continues to amaze me how many commenters make guesses which can be dismissed with minimal research, and how many more seem to assume that the early guesses are correct and add to the chorus.

And while I appreciate the fact that some details of the blinds may be fudged for one reason or another, a number of these older blinds seem to be dubious when it comes to the basic underlying story. Perhaps the memories of Enty's sources are less than reliable, but then again this is an entertainment site and not the police blotter.

Liloleme said...

Stan Laurel had all but one of Thelma Todd's scenes cut from Bohemian Girl because he thought her association would affect the success of it. Guilty conscience?

Kendrick Schroder said...

I remember going past that building as a kid with the dadster or momster and someone always saying it had a dark past. Funny I never bothered to find out what it was - very interesting.

Sher said...

This blind makes little sense.

From the facts of the case at the time:
-BG and SC (Todd and West) lived together above the cafe. Going to his home is the same as going to her own home.
-BG, SC and the wife (Jewel) were all partners in the cafe.
-BG used the garage below the wifes home for her car.
-BG would send her maid to retrieve the car
-BG had a chauffeur the night in question. No mention of any 'stops' on the way home.

So, Why would this MG look for her at the garage instead of her home?
By all accounts she DID go home but West (SC) had locked her out of the apartment for returning way past the 2am agreed to time. It's assumed then, by scuffs on her shoes, that she trekked down the road and up lots of steps to her garage to get out of the cold.

She certainly could have been murdered, but not as this blind describes.

Terry Teratoma said...

"Assumptions usually change depending on who's in the room, and what number martini you're on."

Yes, very true, lol.

Chronically Savvy said...

How about Fatty Arbuckle?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roscoe_Arbuckle

KristyKreme17 said...

Who did Crosby allegedly kill? I’d believe it.

Bumtitty said...

Oh come off it. Stan Laurel, bumtitty.

dav725 said...

I sincerely doubt this blind. Where on earth would the proof come from? The only person who would know that Stan Laurel did it was Stan Laurel...and I doubt he was talking. Everything I've read about him says that he was kind, awkward and reserved. I call BS on this one

Snappy Dragon said...

The newspaper archives also states that Ernest Peters, her chauffeur, dropped her off at 3:45am Sunday morning. But there is some confusion on the time. Some said she left the party around 2am. So that contradicts the drop off time of 3:45am. Regardless, It was assumed she died shortly thereafter. However, Mrs. Ford claimed to have spoken to her at 4ish pm on Sunday afternoon. Also Rolands estranged wife claimed to have seen her with a mysterious foreign man later that night around 11pm. While she was at the party at the Trocadero, she was social and having a good time. She stopped off at Sid Grauman's table. He was sitting with 3 other people. After a conversation with someone at that table she became very upset and ready leave immediately. She left and the rest is a mystery.

Someone at that table could have told her the rumor of Stan Laurel planning to propose to another woman and it upset and she left. Maybe contacted him and he came over and he smooth talked her then killed her later. He could be the mysterious guest. All these years later, its anybody's guess but after spending some time on cdan NOTHING surprises me.

Mango said...

Stan Laurel had all but one of Thelma Todd's scenes cut from Bohemian Girl because he thought her association would affect the success of it. Guilty conscience?


Bohemian Girl = BG

Snappy Dragon said...

Hmmmm.... in another article at the Grand Jury hearing, the investigating officer said a white handkerchief was found with a small amount of blood on it in the front seat of her car. There was a small S embroidered in the corner.

mercyprosperity said...



Director Roland West was long considered the likely suspect.
The rumors adversely affected his career.
Some said that Thelma had actually died on West's yacht, the MV Joyita.

Interesting trivia: Roland West and Thelma Todd first met at a yacht party in .....the Catalina Islands.

More Interesting trivia: 25 passengers vanished from the MV Joyita in the Samoan islands, in 1955. West's former yacht was now a cargo ship, carrying medicine and foodstuffs. The boat was found, with engine trouble; yet the 16 crew and 9 passengers had vanished, and were never heard from again.

Do Tell said...

Thelma Todd/Stan Laurel makes no sense for this. She died of carbon monoxide poisoning and was involved with Lucky Luciano, who used to abuse her. When she died, she had a broken nose, two cracked ribs and bruises around her throat.. Luciano had approached her about opening an illegal casino in the top floor of the cafe she ran, and she turned him down. If the victim here is her, it would make more sense that Luciano killed her or had someone else do it.

bianca said...

Are you American, because I'm pretty sure that's not how we abbreviate
years? It's '35 - '37/'41 - '46. I'm only stating this because as written, it reads like he was married to her based on her physical proportions...which would be hilarious (and sexist)!

Liloleme said...

so after going to a party at the trocadero (leaving around 2:30-3:00am) she went over to stan laurel's house?
chauffeur drives her home and doesn't walk her upstairs like he usually does. how did laurel know she'd be sitting up in the garage? i'm confused :/

Amelia Zedlar said...

I don't have a moment to look it up, but recall that Pat DiCicco, later married to Gloria Vanderbilt and seriously mobbed-up, very likely had a role in Ms. Todd's murder. The mob wanted to run gambling out of the Cafe, or some such.

And please, let's leave Roscoe Arbuckle out of all this stuff. He was acquitted by a jury, the case against him thoroughly debunked, and he suffered enough in life *steps off soapbox*

Sd Auntie said...

@Kristy kreme..maybe Crosbys 1st wife Dixie

Sd Auntie said...

Hope it's not Stan...he was,a funny guy.

Thea said...

Yes! Thelma Todd 100% fits, they never could explain the bruises or her broken nose & ribs

Remie Ross said...

And the poor girl who died suffered too! Even if he didn't rape her and let's say it was consensual sex, she suffered a ruptured bladder from his sloppy fat ass.

Sher said...

@SnappyDragon
"Mrs. Ford insisted she talked to Thelma well after they were saying she was presumed to have died."

Thelma being alive and interacting with people on Sunday is problematic, mainly because she was found Monday morning still in her evening wear from Saturday night.

MichelleJ817 said...

Actress Thelma, Groucho Marx , the killer either Pat DiCicco or Roland West?

D Brown said...

@mercyprosperity

Roland West's career was not 'adversely' effected since he never made a film after 1931. He had been very successful directing silent films of the mid-1920s. It is unclear whether he couldn't transition to sound or if it was chronic alcoholism that ended his film career. The latter also aggravated his violent temper. That is why many people are more than willing to believe the bruises on Todd came from a confrontation with West.

Camal19 said...

All these Blinds are destroying my image of Old Hollywood...and modern Hollywood too. Now I can't watch an old time movie anymore, without being disgusted by the actor or director. I can't even watch modern day movies either. I used to think Steven Spielberg was brilliant...now he's nothing but a disgusting pedophile.

Snappy Dragon said...

In one article Mrs. Ford said something to the effect of Thelma telling her she was coming to the party but still has on her clothes from the night before. So that could explain that detail.

mercyprosperity said...

@ D Brown
source: Roland West, Wikipedia
"....The bad publicity surrounding his alleged involvement in Thelma Todd's death hurt his reputation, and have largely overshadowed his film work."

Most Incredibly said...

💯💯💯💯

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