Born into a family of vaudevillians (her parents were the popular "bickering" comedy team of Johnny Hyams and Leila McIntyre), Leila Hyams started out as a juvenile performer. Leila's movie career was an outgrowth of her many appearances in magazine advertisements of the 1920s. She often played conventional ingenues, though she was allowed a bit more three-dimensionality in such roles as a baseball team owner in The Busher (1927), the prime murder suspect in The Thirteenth Chair (1929), and the wisecracking circus-artiste heroine in Freaks (1932). Hyams' finest film hour was as the good-natured saloon girl who teaches Roland Young how to play the drums in Ruggles of Red Gap (1935). Retiring from the screen in 1936, Leila Hyams maintained her show business contacts through the activities of her husband, agent Phil Berg.