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Mike Todd

Biography

Producer from the 1956 film All over the world in 80 Times. It received the Academy Honor for Greatest Picture. He produced a lot of money in construction prior to the Great Major depression and dropped everything in the crash, all before turning 21. His 1st production was influenced by a overall performance of The Golf swing Mikado, which he noticed with an all-black solid. He was wedded to Elizabeth Taylor for about twelve months, from 1957 to 1958, when he passed away. He collaborated on All over the world in 80 Times with David Niven.

Quick Facts


Full Name Max Todd
Date Of Birth June 22, 1909
Place Of Birth Minneapolis, MN
Profession Film Producer
Nationality American
Spouse Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Blondell, Bertha Freshman Todd
Children Liza Todd Burton, Mike Todd Jr.
Parents Lisa Vanderpump, Chaim Goldbogen, Sophia Hellerman
Awards Academy Award for Best Picture
Movies Around the World in 80 Days
Star Sign Cancer

  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
  • Salaries
  • Quotes
  • Trademarks
  • Pictures

#Fact
1His and Elizabeth Taylor's daughter Elizabeth Frances "Liza" was born by emergency c section six weeks early on August 6th 1957 weighing 4 lbs 14 oz.
2Todd's premature death wiped out his plans for two future films: "Don Quixote" and "The Man Who Would Be King.".
3He had committed himself to provide financial backing for Laurence Olivier's most cherished project, a film of William Shakespeare's "Macbeth", shortly before his fatal plane crash. But after Todd's death, the funding didn't come through and Olivier was forced to abandon the project.
4Todd twice went bankrupt, once when he filed for bankruptcy for over $1 million as a young man and his construction business (which specialized in soundproofing Hollywood sound-stages, among other lines of business) folded during the Great Depression, and the second time around 1950, when his huge gambling losses and massive debts linked to his lavish lifestyle overwhelmed him. He remained ensconced in a splendid Hudson Valley estate in Tarrytown, New York with his second wife Joan Blondell, living the high life and spending like a pasha, as his second bankruptcy suit wound its way through the federal court system. When creditors' objections threatened to land him in jail due to apparent fraud (Todd had destroyed evidence of his gambling debts so as not to implicate his friends), Todd withdrew the suit and agreed to pay back his creditors. Subsequently, Todd owned over three-quarters of the gross profits of Around the World in Eighty Days (1956), a spectacular that racked up over $20 million in rentals in its first release (approximately $135 million in 2005 terms), a huge sum for the time exceeded by very few films. Despite the fact that he was again rich, and richer than ever (worth about $7-8 million at the time of his death, or about $50 million in 2005 terms), many observers at the time predicted that the profligate Todd would manage to bankrupt himself a third time. He never got the chance, dying in a plane crash in 1958. His widow, Elizabeth Taylor, still owns his share of the Oscar-winning film.
5His penultimate show was entitled "Michael Todd's Peep Show", running at the Winter Garden Theatre, from June 28, 1950 to February 24, 1951, for a total of 278 performances. The music and lyrics for this musical revue, which featured female nudity, were by 'Prince Chakrband Bhumibol', who became the King of Thailand! In Art Cohn's posthumous biography of Todd, "The Nine Lives of Mike Todd", it is revealed that the naked girls featured in the show's mermaid sequence had difficulty getting the blue dye, used in the water, out of their pubic hair.
6In the 1940s, stripper Gypsy Rose Lee fell in love with Todd, who was then famous as a Broadway theatrical impresario. Todd produced two Broadway shows starring Lee, "Star and Garter" and "The Naked Genius" (the latter of which was written by Lee). Gypsy married William Alexander Kirkland in 1942 in an attempt to make the already-married Todd jealous. They divorced in 1944.
7His biographer, Art Cohn, died with him in the plane crash that took Todd's life. The biography was nearly finished and was completed by Cohn's wife and published as "The Nine Lives of Mike Todd" in 1958.
8The biography "The Nine Lives of Mike Todd" reveals that he briefly was suspected of murdering his first wife Bertha, who died mysteriously in 1946, freeing the way for Todd to marry his mistress, Joan Blondell. Blondell later claimed that Todd fleeced her.
9He was preparing a lavish film version of "Don Quixote" at the time of his death. Todd's version was never made.
10In 1957, to celebrate the one-year anniversary of his Oscar-winning film Around the World in Eighty Days (1956), Todd staged an elaborate party at Madison Square Garden for his then-wife Elizabeth Taylor and hundreds of guests. The evening eventually deteriorated into a giant food fight. The party was treated as a serious news event by CBS, which sent Walter Cronkite to cover it. The next day newspaper critics tore the event to shreds. It became what Cronkite considers the low point in his career.
11Killed, along with journalist Art Cohn, when his private plane went down in a blizzard just outside of Albequerque, New Mexico. The plane's ironic name was "The Lucky Liz".
12Father, with Elizabeth Taylor, of daughter Liza Todd.
13Todd had previously (1946) produced an elaborate Broadway musical version of "Around the World in 80 Days." Despite mammoth production values, a Cole Porter score and a cast headed by Orson Welles as Phineas Fogg, it was a notorious, costly failure, losing nearly all of the money invested in it.
14Father of Michael Todd Jr.
15Co-developed the Todd A-O sound system. [1955]


Producer

Producer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Around the World in Eighty Days1956producer
This Is Cinerama1952Documentary executive producer
The Colgate Comedy Hour1950TV Series producer

Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Mexican Hayride1948stage producer
Up in Central Park1948producer: musical play "Up in Central Park"

Actor

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Phil Silvers Show1957TV SeriesMichael Todd

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
A Private Little Party for a Few Chums1957TV Movie documentaryHimself
Playhouse 901957TV SeriesHimself / Himself - Host
What's My Line?1957TV SeriesHimself - Guest Panelist / Himself - Mystery Guest
Alan Melville Takes You from A-Z1957TV SeriesHimself
Person to Person1957TV Series documentaryHimself

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Elizabeth Taylor: Auction of a Lifetime2012TV MovieHimself
Elizabeth Taylor: A Tribute2011TV Movie documentaryHimself
Wishful Drinking2010TV Movie documentaryHimself (uncredited)
20 to 12007TV Series documentaryHimself
Return to 'Giant'2003Video documentaryHimself (uncredited)
Biography2003TV Series documentaryHimself
Cleopatra: The Film That Changed Hollywood2001TV Movie documentaryHimself (as Mike Todd)
Elizabeth Taylor: A Musical Celebration2000TV MovieHimself (uncredited)
Omnibus2000TV Series documentaryHimself
E! True Hollywood Story1998TV Series documentaryHimself
Great Romances of the 20th Century: Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton1997TV Short documentaryHimself
Faces of Torture1988Video documentaryHimself
The Rock 'n' Roll Years1985TV SeriesHimself
Around the World of Mike Todd1967TV Movie documentaryHimself
Hollywood: The Great Stars1963TV Movie documentaryHimself (uncredited)

Won awards

Won awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1957OscarAcademy Awards, USABest PictureAround the World in Eighty Days (1956)
1957Special AwardPhotoplay AwardsAround the World in Eighty Days (1956)


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#Quote
1I've never been poor, only broke. Being poor is a frame of mind. Being broke is only a temporary situation.


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