Syfy Insider Exclusive

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, sweepstakes, and more!

Sign Up For Free to View
SYFY WIRE Women's History

Forgotten Women of Genre: Leota Toombs Thomas

By Clare McBride

March is Women's History Month. And while we at SYFY FANGRRLS celebrate women's achievements all year long, we're going above and beyond this month with Season 2 of our limited podcast series, Forgotten Women of Genre.

If you’ve ever dared to enter Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion, you’ve been a guest at the seance table of the mysterious Madame Leota. Despite only existing as a floating head in a crystal ball, there would be no ride without her. It's Madame Leota who calls forth the happy haunts of the house, allowing us to join in the spooky fun. Every visitor to the Haunted Mansion knows Leota’s face. She’s become a cult figure, with devoted theme park fans, her own Funko Pop, and appearances in the Haunted Mansion film and the TV show Once Upon a Time. But they might not know the story of the woman behind the face: Leota Toombs Thomas, one of the most influential female Imagineers in the history of the Disney parks.

Science fiction, fantasy, and all associated genres have finally evolved from a niche interest into a mainstream staple. But the women who have been instrumental in creating and shaping the nerdverse have largely gone unrecognized. Until today. SYFY FANGRRLS' Forgotten Women of Genre tells the stories of the women who helped some of the most famous fantasy worlds become a reality.

New episodes of Forgotten Women of Genre will be released every weekday in March. Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.