Thelma Todd became highly regarded as a capable film comedienne, and Roach loaned her out to other studios to play opposite Wheeler & Woolsey, Buster Keaton, Joe E. Brown, and the Marx Brothers. She also appeared successfully in such dramas as the original 1931 film version of The Maltese Falcon, in which she played Miles Archer's treacherous widow. During her career she appeared in more than 130 films and was sometimes publicized as "The Ice Cream Blonde."
In the early 1930s, she opened a successful cafe at Pacific Palisades, called Thelma Todd's Sidewalk Cafe, attracting a diverse clientele of Hollywood celebrities as well as many tourists.
Professor Timoleon Post (Buster Keaton) and Eleanor Espere (Thelma Todd) get drunk at Eleanor's flat in Speak Easily (1932).
Todd continued her short-subject series through 1935, and was featured in the full-length Laurel & Hardy comedy The Bohemian Girl. This was her last film; she died before completing all of her scenes. Producer Roach salvaged the unfinished performance by deleting all of Todd's dialogue and limiting her appearance to one musical number.