Pitts and Todd

Pitts and Todd were a comedy duo from the 1930s, put together by Hal Roach as the female counterpart to Laurel and Hardy.[1] The duo consisted of actresses Zasu Pitts and Thelma Todd. The team changed members over the years, becoming Todd and Kelly, then Kelly and Kelton, followed by Kelly and Roberti, then finally coming full circle with Pitts and Kelly.


Zasu Pitts
Thelma Todd
Lyda Roberti
Patsy Kelly

Roach had previously paired Anita Garvin and Marion Byron together in 1928 and 1929 but only three films resulted.[2] Both Pitts and Todd had been working with Roach in various short films and feature films previously. The duo worked together for 17 short films. Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy made a guest appearance in Pitts and Todd's 1931 short On the Loose. The 1930 Leroy Shield song "Beautiful Lady" was used as the theme song for the Pitts and Todd films.[3] The team's 1932 short film Show Business was directed by Jules White and was later re-worked as a Three Stooges Columbia short A Pain in the Pullman from 1936.[4][5]

In mid-1933, ZaSu Pitts left the Hal Roach studios and Patsy Kelly was brought in as Thelma Todd's new partner. This team filmed 21 more short films together until Todd's death in 1935. The next pairing was Patsy Kelly and Pert Kelton for one short, and then Kelly and Lyda Roberti for two shorts and one feature film, Nobody's Baby. Roberti died in 1938 at age 31.

In 1941, ZaSu Pitts and Patsy Kelly made their only appearance together in the feature film Broadway Limited. The duo echo Laurel and Hardy in one sequence when sharing a bed with a baby and a leaking hot water bottle.[6]


ZaSu Pitts and Thelma Todd

Thelma Todd and Patsy Kelly

Patsy Kelly and Pert Kelton

Patsy Kelly and Lyda Roberti

ZaSu Pitts and Patsy Kelly


  1. Maltin, Leonard (1970). Movie Comedy Teams. New York, NY: Signet Book. p. 141. ISBN 0451044533.
  2. Mitchell, Glenn (1998). A-Z Of Silent Film Comedy: An Illustrated Companion. London: Batsford. p. 95. ISBN 0713479396.
  3. Mitchell, Glenn (1995). The Laurel & Hardy Encyclopedia. London: Bath Press. p. 186. ISBN 0713477113.
  4. http://stoogeworld.com/_Videography/Filmography/PaininthePullman.htm
  5. Solomon, Jon (2001). The Complete Three Stooges: The Official Filmography and Three Stooges Companion. Glendale, CA: Comedy III Productions, Inc. p. 88. ISBN 0971186804.
  6. Mitchell, Glenn (1995). The Laurel & Hardy Encyclopedia. London: Bath Press. p. 150. ISBN 0713477113.
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