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April 14, 2020

40 Beautiful Pics of Leila Hyams in the 1920s and ’30s

Born 1905 in New York City, American film actress, model, and vaudevillian Leila Hyams made her first film in 1924, and with her blonde hair, green eyes, delicate features, and good-natured demeanor, was cast in a string of supporting roles, where she was required to do very little but smile and look pretty.

By 1928, she was playing starring roles, achieving success in MGM's first talkie release, Alias Jimmy Valentine (1928). 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.

Although she succeeded in films that required her to play pretty ingenues, and developed into a capable dramatic actress in 1930s crime melodramas, she is perhaps best remembered for two early 1930s horror movies, as the wise-cracking but kind-hearted circus performer in Freaks (1932) and as the heroine in the Bela Lugosi film Island of Lost Souls (1932).

Hyams also appeared in the once controversial Jean Harlow film Red-Headed Woman (1932), the musical comedy The Big Broadcast (1932), and was praised for her comedic performance in Ruggles of Red Gap (1935).

In 1936, after a 12-year acting career and performing in 50 films, she retired from the motion-picture industry; nevertheless, she remained active in the Hollywood community for the rest of her life. Although her career only lasted around twelve years, the blonde blue-eyed ingenue and leading lady remained a press favorite, with numerous magazine covers.

In 1977, after a "brief illness", Hyams died at age 72 at her home in Bel-Air in Los Angeles.

Take a look at these glamorous photos to see the beauty of Leila Hyams in the 1920s and 1930s.

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