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She Was A Hollywood Golden Age Star Until She Was Found Dead In A Strange Way: Here Are The Many Mysterious Theories Surrounding What Happened To Thelma Todd

Some of Thelma’s most notable performances included her roles alongside the Marx Brothers in Monkey Business and Horse Feathers. Plus, she went on to star in over one hundred shorts and feature films in her lifetime.

And on top of her raging success in Hollywood, Thelma even solidified herself as a young businesswoman. She conceptualized and launched a Malibu restaurant, known as Thelma Todd’s Sidewalk Cafe, that was widely beloved by both tourists and celebrities.

Thelma Todd’s Death

However, the twenty-nine-year-old star’s Hollywood reign came to a tragic halt on December 16, 1935. That morning, Thelma’s maid, Mae Whitehead, found her dead in her car.

Thelma’s car had been parked in Roland West’s garage– who was her business partner and casual lover.

“She was slumped in the front seat of her car. Just bent over, her head to the left,” Whitehead reportedly told detectives. The maid also added that Thelma had blood around her nose.

Investigators later declared Thelma’s official cause of death as carbon monoxide poisoning, and the public was devastated.

Nonetheless, other factors in the star’s life pushed authorities to delve deeper into her personal life and relationships.

And according to a Los Angeles Times article published in 1935, investigators had good reason to believe that Thelma might have been targeted.

“The officers turned to probable reason for death by foul means. Within the past three months, two men had been arrested in New York in connection with extortion notes and telephone calls received by Miss Todd, demanding $10,000 under penalty of death,” the article reported.

Still, though, the scene of Thelma’s death showed no signs of violence. So, everyone from investigators to conspiracy theorists began storyboarding a multitude of other explanations.

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