Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Laurence R. D'Orsay (1887-1947)

Pseudonym of Leopold Alexander Thalmayer
Aka Laurence Thalmore
Author, Critic, Literary Agent
Born November 8, 1887, Vienna, Austria
Died November 21, 1947, Los Angeles City or County

Laurence Rex D'Orsay was the pseudonym of a man named Leopold Alexander Thalmayer, also known as Laurence Thalmore. He was born on November 8, 1887 (or 1893), in Vienna, Austria. In 1911 he was living in London, England. Five years later (on March 14, 1916), he arrived in New York with a woman who was ostensibly his British-born wife, Renette. She seems to have vanished from the public record after that.

The 1920 census found Laurence A. Thalmayer living in Kearny, New Jersey, and employed with a trading company. By 1930 Laurence Thalmore was in Beverly Hills with a relatively new wife and son. She was Nordica Abbott (1902-1969), a dancer and artist named for the American opera singer Lillian Nordica, also called Madame Nordica. The son was named Kenneth Thalmayer, eventually Kenneth Edward D'Orsay (1923-1972). Kenneth D'Orsay would one day have a daughter named Nordica Theodora D'Orsay, or Teddy for short. In the 1970s, Teddy was or was not part of some kind of intrigue involving the CIA, the Mafia, drugs, the Shah of Iran, and other fodder for conspiracy theorists. You can try to untangle all that yourself if you'd like.

In the meantime, Laurence R. D'Orsay busied himself as a writer and a literary agent. His stories included:
  • "Phantoms," Weird Tales (Jan. 1925)
  • "The Spirit of It," Short Stories (Jan. 25, 1925)
  • "Marble," Weird Tales (June, 1925)
  • "The Stamp of Courtesy," Clues (Oct. 1926)
  • "Jewels for Two," (with F. L. Grant) Clues (Dec. 1926)
  • "The Price of Empire," Soldiers of Fortune (May, 1932)
D'Orsay also wrote a novel, Mistress of Spears: A Tale of Amazulu (Kansas City, Missouri: Burton, 1930), plus non-fiction on writing and marketing for writers. He ran Laurence D'Orsay Literary Agency in Los Angeles in the 1930s. Henry Kuttner worked for D'Orsay before making a name for himself as an author of science fiction, fantasy, and horror stories. In his work for D'Orsay, Kuttner also helped Leigh Brackett get her career started. I suspect a number of science fiction fans from southern California and their friends from the hinterlands passed through the doors of the D'Orsay agency.

Laurence D'Orsay became a naturalized citizen in 1940. He died after the war, on November 21, 1947, in Los Angeles City or County and was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, in Glendale, California.

Laurence R. D'Orsay's Stories in Weird Tales
"Phantoms" (Jan. 1925)
"Marble" (June 1925)

Further Reading
I don't know of any further sources on Laurence D'Orsay except for his own works.

Mistress of Spears, Laurence D'Orsay's 1930 novel with a cover design by an unknown artist.
And a work by his wife, Nordica Abbott D'Orsay.

Update (June 6, 2014): I found out today that Michael C. Ruppert, the man who made the allegations about Teddy D'Orsay, killed himself on April 13, 2014. Born on February 3, 1951, in Washington, D.C., Ruppert was a police officer with the Los Angeles Police Department, an author, a conspiracy theorist, and a radio host. 

Text and captions copyright 2013 Terence E. Hanley


  1. Please contact me at: john.a.carman@gmail.com
    I knew Mike Ruppert and I am former law enforcement.

  2. See this on Mike Ruppert and Teddy D'Orsay. Comments please contact me.