Home > Chi Town Views > Mike Todds Grave. Liz Taylor, Robberies, PI’s and Chicago Mobsters(?)

Mike Todds Grave. Liz Taylor, Robberies, PI’s and Chicago Mobsters(?)

 “Mike Is The Most Exciting Man Alive”

So said the late  Elizabeth Taylor about her third husband Broadway producer and Hollywood mogul Michael Todd (Avron Hirsch Goldenbogen). Born in Minnesota Mike’s family moved to Chicago when he was eight where he grew up with hundreds of thousands of other offspring of immigrants. He made and lost two millions before turning to becoming an impresario. His first big break came during Chicago’s 1934 Worlds Fair when he produced a risque “flame” dance number.

From there he went on to produce a number of musical comedies splitting his time between Broadway and Chicago. For awhile he operated a club/cafe in Chicago but when he found himself in business with Capone gunman  Frank Nitti he ended his involvement. During the 1940’s he began his involvement in Hollywood as a behind the scenes money man and eventually would become a producer master showman. In February of 1957 he married Liz Taylor they quickly had a baby girl named Liza. She was pregnant with their second child in 1958 when Michael Todd was killed in an airplane crash.

He was buried in an unassuming grave in Forest Park on Chicago’s near west side where he rested quietly until 1977. Elizabeth Taylor went to leave some flowers at his grave when she was horrified to discover the grave dug up and the coffin empty. The police were called and the chief and his men combed the area and came up empty. Not long afterwords a private eye named Anthony Pellicano showed up with a film crew and he quickly finds a bag with the remains more or less out in the open.

It shouldbe noted here that Mr. Pellicano was a known associate of  Anthony “The Ant” Spilotro a notorious west side gangster who served as the role model for the Joe Pesci character in “Casino“. And the story goes that the ant  had dug the body up after hearing rumors that he was buried with some expensive jewelery. Pellicano was taking advantage of the situation to make a name for himself. Later he went on to make quite a name  for himself in Hollywood as the PI to the stars. Only to end up in prison for illegal wiretapping, extortion and a raft of other charges.

Anyway until today I knew none of this but I was checking out one of the new videos from Dogstar7  on YouTube. They have been doing among other things a series of beautiful HD clips about local celebrity / interesting tombstones in the Chicago area. This one of Michael Todd’s is their latest.

Main sources of information:

http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/September-2007/How-Anthony-Pellicano-Detective-to-the-Stars-Found-the-Stolen-Body-of-Elizabeth-Taylor-Ex-Husband-Mike-Todd/

http://www.answers.com/topic/mike-todd

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