Lila Lee Wilkinson
January 28, 1928
Iola, Kansas, U.S.
|Died||September 15, 1999 (aged 71)|
Canoga Park, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Jack Little (annulled)|
Dean O. McCollom (1949–1950)
Irving Rochlin (1951–?)
Lila Leeds (born Lila Lee Wilkinson, January 28, 1928 – September 15, 1999) was an American film actress.
Early life and career
Born in Iola, Kansas, Leeds's mother located to Clovis, New Mexico where Lila lived during her teens. Lila worked the box office at the local movie theatre. She then ran away from home. She worked as a dancer in St. Louis before moving to Los Angeles. While working as a hatcheck girl at Ciro's, she met and married actor, composer, singer and conductor Jack Little. The marriage was annulled when Leeds discovered that Little was already married.
After taking an acting course at the Bliss-Hayden School of Acting, Leeds signed with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and began appearing in small roles. Leeds appeared in the Red Skelton film The Show-Off (1946); Lady in the Lake (1947), based on a Raymond Chandler story; and in the Lana Turner vehicle Green Dolphin Street, where she played a Eurasian who drugs the leading man and rolls him for his money. She had a small part in So You Want to Be a Detective, which was part of the Joe McDoakes series of theatrical shorts.
Considered a Lana Turner look-alike, Leeds was 20 years old and engaged to Turner's ex-husband Stephen Crane at the time of her arrest. Cheryl Crane, Turner and Stephen's daughter, wrote that Leeds first tried marijuana with members of Stan Kenton's orchestra and that she was introduced to heroin while in jail. After Leeds was arrested, Stephen Crane fled to Europe rather than become entangled in scandal.[page needed]
Unable to find more work in films, Leeds left California in 1949. She moved around the Midwest where she worked in nightclubs, married and divorced twice, and had three children, Shawn, Ivan and Laura, all of whom live in Southern California. She eventually made her way back to Los Angeles in 1966 where she studied religion and volunteered at local missions and soup kitchens.
On September 15, 1999, Leeds died of a heart attack at age 71 in Los Angeles.
|1946||I Love My Husband, But!||Blonde trying on Hat||Short, Uncredited|
|1947||Lady in the Lake||Receptionist|
|1947||Green Dolphin Street||Eurasian Girl||Uncredited|
|1948||April Showers||Society Girl||Uncredited|
|1948||So You Want to Be a Detective||Veronica Vacuum||Short, Uncredited|
|1949||City Across the River||Undetermined Role||Uncredited|
|1949||She Shoulda Said No!||Anne Lester|
|1949||The House Across the Street||Billie Martin||Uncredited, (final film role)|
- Server, Lee (2002). Robert Mitchum: "Baby I Don't Care". Macmillan. pp. 158–159. ISBN 0-312-28543-4.
- Silver, Alain; Ursini, James; Duncan, Paul (2004). Film Noir. Taschen. p. 173. ISBN 3-8228-2261-2.
- "Robert Mitchum Arrested with Two Movie Actresses in Marijuana Party Raid." St. Petersburg Times, September 2, 1948.
- Detour: A Hollywood Story, by Cheryl Crane
- Fleming, E. J. (2004). The Fixers: Eddie Mannix, Howard Strickling, and the MGM Publicity Machine. McFarland. pp. 219–220. ISBN 0-7864-2027-8.
- Server, Lee (2002). Robert Mitchum: "Baby I Don't Care". Macmillan. p. 457. ISBN 0-312-28543-4.
- Wilson, Scott (2016). Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed. McFarland. p. 434. ISBN 9781476625997. Retrieved 4 November 2018.
- Lila Leeds on IMDb
- Lila Leeds: Movie star mystery photo
- Screenshots of Leeds from "Lady in the Lake"
- Lila Leeds at Find a Grave
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