Leila Hyams

Leila Hyams

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Leila Hyams

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Leila Hyams (1 May 1905 – 4 December 1977) was an American film actress. Her relatively short film career began in silent films, and ended in the mid 1930s.

Early life

Born in New York, New York to vaudeville comedy performers John Hyams and Leila McIntyre, Hyams appeared on-stage with her parents while still a child. As a teenager she worked as a model and become well known across the United States after appearing in a successful series of newspaper advertisements. This success led her to Hollywood.

Career

She made her first film in 1924, and with her blonde hair, delicate features, and good natured demeanour, was cast in a string of supporting roles, where she was required to do very little but smile and look pretty. She proved herself capable of handling the small roles she was assigned, and over a period of time she came to be taken seriously as an actress. By 1928 she was playing starring roles, achieving success in MGM's first talkie release, Alias Jimmy Valentine (1928) opposite William Haines, Lionel Barrymore and Karl Dane. The following year she appeared in the popular murder mystery The Thirteenth Chair, a role that offered her the chance to display her dramatic abilities as a murder suspect.

The quality of her parts continued to improve as the decade turned, including a role as Robert Montgomery's sister in the prison drama The Big House (1930) with Chester Morris and Wallace Beery, for which Hyams once again received positive reviews. She then...
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