Lila Lee (1901-1973)


The beautiful, sweet and petite silent film actress Lila Lee was born Augusta Appel in Union Hill, New Jersey on July 25th, 1901. Her family moved to New York City, and she was educated by private tutors. As a tiny child she went on the stage in a series of Gus Edwards kiddie review shows, and she was the original “Look Out For Jimmy Valentine” girl, introducing that song to the public. Lila was fondly called “Cuddles” by the cast and crew of the shows, and that nickname stuck with her throughout the rest of her career.

In 1918 she became a child star for Famous Players Lasky, later Paramount. Her dark pixie looks and friendly nature won her recognition in the film colony pretty quickly, and she began to get more interesting roles as she aged. Films of note for Lila during these years were “Hawthorne of the U.S.A.” (1919) opposite Wallace Reid, “Male and Female” (1919) opposite Thomas Meighan, “Blood and Sand” (1922) with Rudolph Valentino, and the strange Lon Chaney vehicle “The Unholy Three” (1930). Lila was married and divorced three times, including a marriage to actor James Kirkwood, with whom she had a son, named James Kirkwood Jr. (he was writer of the musical “A Chorus Line”). She made the transition to sound films smoothly, and worked throughout most of the 1930’s, before ill health forced her to cut back. She retired from the screen, except for a handful of films and guest appearances on television in her later years. Lila Lee died from a stroke on November 13th, 1973, in Saranac Lake, New York. ~ Copyright © 2004

Lila Lee’s Silent Films

Man in Hobbles, The (1928) …. Ann Harris
Black Pearl, The (1928) …. Eugenie Bromley
Little Wild Girl, The (1928) …. Marie Cleste
… aka Flaming Justice (1928) (UK)
Black Butterflies (1928) …. Norma davis
… aka Butterflies (1928) (UK)
Just Married (1928) …. Victoire
Adorable Cheat, The (1928) …. Marion Dorsey
Thundergod (1928) …. Enid Bryant
United States Smith (1928) …. Molly Malone
… aka Fighting Marine, The (1928)
Bit of Heaven, A (1928) …. Fola Dale
You Can’t Beat the Law (1928) …. Patricia Berry
Top Sergeant Mulligan (1928) …. The girl
Million Dollar Mystery (1927) …. Florence Grey
One Increasing Purpose (1927) …. Elizabeth Glade
Fascinating Youth (1926) …. Guest
New Klondike, The (1926) …. Evelyn Lane
Broken Hearts (1926) …. Ruth Esterin
… aka Souls in Exile (1926) (UK)
Coming Through (1925) …. Alice Rand
Old Home Week (1925) …. Ethel Harmon
Midnight Girl, The (1925) …. Anna
Another Man’s Wife (1924) …. Helen Brand
Wandering Husbands (1924) …. Diana Moreland
Love’s Whirlpool (1924) …. Molly
Woman-Proof (1923) …. Louise Halliday
Hollywood (1923) …. Cameo appearance
… aka Joligud (1923)
Homeward Bound (1923) …. Mary Brent

Lila Lee (Tweeny) stares longingly at Gloria Swanson’s beautiful shoes in “Male and Female” (1919)

Ne’er-Do-Well, The (1923) …. Chiquita
Ebb Tide (1922) …. Ruth Attwater
Rent Free (1922) …. Barbara Teller
Back Home and Broke (1922) …. Mary Thorne
Ghost Breaker, The (1922) …. Maria Theresa, a Spanish Heiress
Blood and Sand (1922) …. Carmen
Dictator, The (1922) …. Juanita
Is Matrimony a Failure? (1922) …. Margaret Saxby
One Glorious Day (1922) …. Molly McIntyre
Fast Freight, The (1921/II)
… aka Freight Prepaid (1921)
… aka Via Fast Freight (1921)
After the Show (1921) …. Eileen
Crazy to Marry (1921) …. Annabelle Landis
… aka Three Miles Out (1921) (USA)
Gasoline Gus (1921) …. Sal Jo Banty
Dollar a Year Man (1921) …. Peggy Bruce
Easy Road, The (1921) …. Ella Klotz
Charm School, The (1921) …. Elsie
Midsummer Madness (1920) …. Daisy Osborne
Prince Chap, The (1920) …. Claudia (age 18)
Soul of Youth, The (1920) …. Vera Hamilton
Terror Island (1920) …. Beverly West
Male and Female (1919) …. Tweeny (scullery maid)
Hawthorne of the U.S.A. (1919) …. Princess Irma
… aka Hawthorne, the Adventurer (1919)
Lottery Man, The (1919)
Heart of Youth, The (1919) …. Josephine Darchat
Rose o’ the River (1919) …. Rose Wiley
Daughter of the Wolf, A (1919) …. Annette Ainsworth
Rustling a Bride (1919) …. Emily
Puppy Love (1919) …. Gloria O’Connell
Secret Garden, The (1919) …. Mary Lennox
Jane Goes A’ Wooing (1919)
Such a Little Pirate (1918) …. Patricia Wolf
Cruise of the Make-Believes, The (1918) …. Bessie Meggison

To learn more about Lila Lee visit her profile on The Internet Movie Database


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