Thelma Todd was born on July 29th 1905 in the small town of Lawrence, Massachusetts. Thelma had originally wanted to become a school teacher and she entered college with that intention. It was her mother who eventually convinced her to enter beauty pageants. Thelma was so successful in beauty contests that she entered on the state level and won the coveted title of "Miss Massachusetts" in 1925 and went on to the "Miss America" pageant.
Her first film was as Lorraine Lane in 1927's Fascinating Youth, a romantic comedy, which was Paramount's showcase vehicle for its new stars. She was 21 years old. Thelma received minor billing in another film that year entitled God Gave Me Twenty Cents. Soon Thelma was staring in many films, in 1928 and 1929 alone, Thelma was featured in twenty films, some comedies, some dramas, and still others found her in gothic or horror flicks
In 1934, Thelma made sixteen feature films but her career would soon come to a grinding halt. Her comedic talents served her well, once again, in 1935 with films such as The Twin Triplets and The Misses Stooge. She also proved to be a savvy business woman with the opening of "Thelma Todd's Sidewalk Cafe", a restaurant that catered to show business people, but it also some shady characters as its clientele. Rumor persisted that Thelma had become involved with the wrong type of men.
On December 16th 1935, Thelma was found dead in her car, in her garage, in Los Angeles, California. Death was ruled a suicide due to carbon monoxide poisoning.
She was only 30 years old.
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