The lovely and talented Sally Todd first appeared in Playboy in June of 1956, in a clothed pictorial about girls in Las Vegas. She was asked back to be the gatefold model for the February issue in 1957.
When Sally was 19, she entered and won a beauty pageant in her hometown of Tuscon at the urging of her mother and began doing local modeling gigs.
A few years later, she wanted to take a trip to Canada but had only saved enough for Los Angeles, so she went to Hollywood. She had studied drama in Tuscon and was spotted while shopping by a scout for 20th Century Fox. He had her in for screen tests and a very nice B-movie career was born! Fox billed her as “a young Lana Turner and much prettier than Marilyn Monroe.”
Being a young Lana I can somewhat see; being prettier than Marilyn I have to put my hands in a “T” and call bran flakes and cheese sticks on. Sorry. No dice. That is total chicanery. But I’m a big Marilyn guy from way back, whereas I’ve only had li’l Stripey Butt here saved on the computer for around six months, so I suppose I am a biased judge. Ms. Todd starred in, to name some highlights, The Unearthly, Frankenstein’s Daughter, and Al Capone, as well as guest-appearing on a slew of television shows.
She became a regular Hollywood fixture, often popping up as the hot date of various popular actors and landing herself in Walter Winchell’s gossip column. As a cross-connection, Winchell also narrated the 60′s era television hit “The Untouchables,” on which Sally appeared both in front of camera and behind, dating a few of the stars.
Unlike some of the other playmates, who mainly did not do much actual real-life modeling, in addition to her screen credits Sally was a genuine full-time model. She did modeling both of clothing and of products, first in Tuscon and then with great success in Los Angeles, where her blonde wholesome looks landed her in the Los Angeles Home Show, which is actually a pretty big event. Beginning in 1955, Ms. Todd modeled on Johnny Carson as one of the Carson Cuties, and by 1956 she was television’s highest-paid model. Not bad!
Of course, the Tinseltown high life does take its toll from time to time. On August 26, 1958, Ms. Todd caused a Hollywood freeway accident involving five cars. It’s estimated she was going around 70 miles per hour when she lost control and collided with four other vehicles. She didn’t die — this isn’t one of those right-curve-bummer-ass posts that I sometimes do on the playmates, don’t worry.
She suffered some bruises on her left wrist, fingers, and right knee when she went flying through the window of her sports car and was thrown out onto Barham Blvd (with a seat belt, she’d probably have been completely unscathed). After failing an intoxication test at the scene, Ms. Todd was booked for drunk driving by the LAPD.
She spent the night in jail and on August 27th was informed she’d be charged with felony drunk driving. Ms. Todd’s story, to which she stuck, was that she’d had two drinks with a girlfriend and was en route home when the car went out of control as she stepped on the brake. Apparently the story worked. On September 2, 1958, Ms. Todd appeared in court expecting to be formally charged with felony drunk driving, but was told to return in eight days, when the DA’s office had their case more prepared.
She never was charged with anything, in the end. At the time, she was on-the-downlow-dating married man and popular local figure Jack Webb, of television’s Dragnet. Webb had creator credit on the show and widely touted the importance to him that the show be “realistic;” he insisted on lots of police consultants and was in general a gladhander of the cops all-around. (When he died, they gave him a funeral with full police honors and the LAPD retired badge #714, which had been Sgt. Joe “Just the facts, ma’am” Friday’s number on Dragnet). So, you know. Boyfriend with majah LADPD pull. Felony charge that disappears. Do the math.
Ms. Todd actually had quite the full dance card with some big names for a lot of years, but I want to go read this book called Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Will There Be Enough Room with my kidlet, so I’m afraid I’m putting the kebosh on what could have been a lengthy walk down lovers’ lane.
Bonus factoid for historical stalkytimes: the articles from this incident also list her as living at 11060 Fruitland Drive, North Hollywood. I think it is batshit bananas that papers used to print addresses, because I don’t think people were any more trustworthy with personal information then than they are now. Probably got shitloads of folks harassed, burglarized, or worse. Scandalous.
Once again, as was the case with Ms. Kubert’s issue, Jayne Mansfield is on the Playboy cover. Don’t worry, I am not neglecting her — she is an extra-special Valentine Vixen who will appear later this month.
Final quick thought: why did they keep making her put that stupid straw in her mouth? How is that even a Thing? Is she supposed to look like a hayseed, but then the next second she is at the beach? Really inconsistent. Weird. Anyway. Catch you on the flip!