Synopses & Reviews
A beloved film comedienne who worked alongside the Marx Brothers, Laurel and Hardy, and dozens of others, Thelma Todd was a rare Golden Age star to successfully cross over from silent films to “talkies.” This authoritative new biography traces Todd’s life from a vivacious little girl who tried to assuage her parents’ grief over her brother’s death, to an aspiring teacher turned reluctant beauty queen, to outspoken movie starlet and restaurateur. Increasingly disenchanted with Hollywood, in 1934 Todd opened Thelma Todd’s Sidewalk Café, a hotspot that attracted fans, tourists, and celebrities. Life appeared charmed for the beautiful Hollywood rebel when, just 29 years old, Todd was found dead in a garage near the café. An inquest concluded that her death was accidental, but in a thorough new investigation that draws on FBI files, interviews, photographs, and extortion notes—much of these not previously available to the public—Michelle Morgan offers fresh evidence surrounding Todd’s death, proving what many people have long suspected, that Thelma was murdered. But by whom? The suspects include Thelma’s movie-director lover, her gangster ex-husband, thugs who were pressuring her to install gaming tables in her popular café, and a new, never-before-named mobster. Coinciding with the 80th anniversary of Todd’s death, the publication of The Ice Cream Blonde is sure to interest any fan of Thelma Todd, Hollywood’s Golden Age, or gripping real-life murder mysteries.
“The Ice Cream Blonde
is a riveting mystery about the death of Thelma Todd. It’s also an eerie exploration of the Todd dichotomy—breezy comedienne on the one hand; serious businesswoman with underworld connections on the other. Highly recommended.” —Robert Matzen, author of Fireball: Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3
“The Ice Cream Blonde
gives an engaging and balanced look at the fascinating life and notorious death of Thelma Todd. Michelle Morgan proves once again that she is expert researcher who can tackle a controversial subject justly, and through her, Thelma Todd becomes much more than just a scandalous Hollywood footnote.” —Christina Rice, author Ann Dvorak: Hollywood's Forgotten Rebel
"In Ice Cream Blonde
, biographer Michelle Morgan shows us why Thelma Todd was so beloved to her family, co-workers, and fans. In the final riveting chapters, Morgan exposes the dangerous world Todd lived in and the shadowy figures she let into her life. Finally, 80 years after her death, we understand why Todd's last days were more unsettling and disturbing than any role Hollywood could have written for her." —Michael G. Ankerich, author of Mae Murray: The Girl with the Bee-Stung Lips
Some of the most notorious events and infamous scandals in Hollywoods history, starting in the 1920s through present day.
This compilation showcases the most famous murders, suicides, unexplained deaths, scandalous romances, illegitimate children, cover-ups, and more. Starting in the 1920s and going right up to the present day, it brings forward some of the most notorious events in Hollywoods history.
About the Author
Michelle Morgan is the author of The Mammoth Book of Hollywood Scandals, Marilyn’s Addresses, and Marilyn Monroe: Private and Undisclosed, which was featured in the Sunday Times magazine, the New York Post, and Harpers Bazaar, among other publications. She has been interviewed on dozens of radio stations and featured on many television programs, including the BBC National News.