Leila Hyams – photos and quotes

Leila Hyams

“Why I probably have the dearest, most domesticated parents in the world. They’ve been married 44 years and still adore each other. And they’re still on the road, too. Mother used to send away for the kindergarten instruction system and tutor me in the dressing rooms. I learned to count with lentils. I never missed a home and simply adored the trunks which formed my first cradle…” — Leila Hyams describing early life with her vaudeville parents.


Photography Prints

Leila Hyams

“Why when I was up against it in New York, I used to pose for Listerine ads. I was the original halitosis girl!”Leila Hyams

Photographer: Ruth Harriet Louise


Leila Hyams

“My first appearance before a movie camera was about five years ago. I was called to a New York studio for a test. I didn’t know a thing about screen makeup, but they told me they would have the makeup man there to put it on. When I arrived at the studio, all I was given was some cold cream and some powder and there wasn’t anybody to help me. The test turned out terrible, and I was so discouraged that I went back to the stage again and didn’t even think of pictures until the fall of 1926.” – Leila Hyams 

Source: Dan Thomas (1929)


Leila Hyams 1931

“I’d rather play comedy than anything else. And though nobody will believe it, I’m a good comedienne. That’s really the thing I have talent for. That’s what’s so sad about the parts I have in pictures. Whenever they have something sobby, they call on Hyams. I hate it.”Leila Hyams

Source: Helen Varden (1931) 


Leila Hyams (Bizarre Los Angeles)

Photographer: Ruth Harriet Louise


Surrender Warner Baxter Leila Hyams Ralph BellamySurrender (1931). With Warner Baxter and Ralph Bellamy.


Island of Lost Souls Richard Arlen Leila Hyams

“That jungle don’t look any too inviting.” — line from Island of Los Souls (1932). With Richard Arlen.


Photography Prints

Leila Hyams (Bizarre Los Angeles)

The Big Broadcast (1932)


Leila Hyams 1932

Photographer: George Hurrell (1932)


Leila Hyams, star of "Freaks" (1932). Bizarre Los Angeles

Promotion still from Freaks (1932)


Leila Hyams in 1934. Photographer: Jack Freulich. Bizarre Los Angeles.
Leila Hyams, Former Actress, Dies at 72

Los Angeles Times, December 8, 1977

Former screen star Leila Hyams, wife of longtime talent agent Phil Berg, has died at their Bel-Air home after a short illness, it was reported Wednesday. She was 72. She appeared in numerous films of the 1920s and 1930s, including “Our Dancing Daughters, “Thirteenth Chair,” “The Bishop Murder Case,” “The Big Broadcast.” Sing, Sinner, Sing,” “The Big House,” and “Ruggles of Red Gap.”

Born in New York City, she began her career appearing in vaudeville with her parents, John and Leila Hyams.

The younger Leila entered films in 1925 and was married to Berg in 1927. She leaves no children.

A spokesman for Westwood Village Mortuary said that at her request there will be no funeral services. Her body will be cremated and the ashes scattered at sea.

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