By the early 1920s, Hollywood had gained its renowned reputation as the film capital of the world. But, the golden age of Hollywood did not begin until the 1930s, when Thelma Todd was a household name.
Tragically, though, the actress known as “The Ice Cream Blonde” and “Hot Toddy” was found dead in her car in 1935. And to this day, Thelma’s shocking death has remained a highly speculated mystery in pop culture.
A Star Was Born
Thelma Todd was born on July 29, 1906, in Lawrence, Massachusetts, and from a young age, she was regarded as an extremely intelligent and hard-working girl.
She graduated from high school in 1923 and quickly enrolled in a training school for teachers known as Lowell Normal College. However, Thelma’s mother, Alice, recognized her beauty and grace. So, Alice pushed Thelma to enter acting contests and beauty pageants.
Unsurprisingly, the young star was wildly successful within the pageant circuit and went on to claim the title of Miss Massachusetts in 1925.
And this win did much for Thelma’s career, as she was catapulted into the eyes of some of Hollywood’s most prominent talent scouts. They eventually advised Thelma to enroll in the Paramount School for Junior Stars, a program launched by the Paramount Movie Studio, and she did.
Thelma first starred in some silent films before trying her hand at “talkies.” Then, she quickly became known for offering two valuable assets– comedic punch lines and beauty.
Film screenshot, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons; pictured above is Thelma in the film Corsair