Here is an extremely rare very early vintage original autographed 8″ by 10″ photo of actress Leila Hyams, from her prime in the early 1930s. Known for two horror classics, Freaks and Island of Lost Souls. Both her parents had careers in films, and can be seen together in The Housekeeper’s Daughter (1939). As soon as she could walk, Leila appeared onstage with her parents, and as a teenager she worked as a model and became well-known after appearing in a successful series of newspaper advertisements (she was the first person to model for Listerine mouthwash). This success led her to Hollywood, and she made her first film appearance in Sandra (1924) with Barbara La Marr. Her blonde hair, delicate features and innocent sex appeal led to a variety of supporting roles, where she was required to do very little but smile and look pretty. By 1928 she was appearing in starring roles, and achieved success in MGM’s first talking film, Alias Jimmy Valentine (1928) opposite William Haines, Lionel Barrymore and Karl Dane. She was once described as “The Golden Girl” by an artist because of her perfect pink skin and blonde hair coloring and, according to a 1928 Photoplay Magazine article, she carried a small satin case suspended from her garter that contained an extra pair of stockings, in case the ones she was wearing were damaged. Leila appeared in the popular murder mystery The Thirteenth Chair (1929), a role that offered her the chance to display her dramatic abilities as a murder suspect. The quality of her parts continued to improve, which included a role as Robert Montgomery’s sister in the prison drama The Big House (1930), with Chester Morris and Wallace Beery, for which she again received positive reviews. She is best remembered, though, for two early 1930s horror movies–as the wise-cracking, kind-hearted circus performer Venus in Tod Browning’s controversial Freaks (1932) and the heroine in Island of Lost Souls (1932) with Charles Laughton and Bela Lugosi. Another memorable performance was as the good-natured saloon girl who teaches’Roland Young (I)’ (aqv) to play the drums in Ruggles of Red Gap (1935). One of Hyams’ favorite hobbies was fishing, and she was the original choice to play Jane in Tarzan the Ape Man (1932), but she turned it down. The role was ultimately played in that film and several other Tarzan films by Maureen O’Sullivan. Her last film was Yellow Dust (1936). After ten years and 50 films, Leila decided to concentrate on her personal life and retired from acting in 1936, continuing to remain a part of the Hollywood community. Apparently she was very shrewd about protecting her assets, putting a picture of herself on all her checks so they would be impossible to cash if they were stolen. She was married to agent Phil Berg for 50 years, from 1927 until her death. Leila Hyams passed away from natural causes on December 4, 1977, in Bel-Air, CA at age 72. Creasing, including light vertical crease through face, corner wear, minor corner staining, minor edge wear, name written bottom border. This item is in the category “Entertainment Memorabilia\Autographs-Original\Movies\Photographs”. The seller is “pengang” and is located in this country: US. This item can be shipped worldwide.
- Original/Reproduction: Original
- Object Type: Photograph
- Industry: Movies