Lya Lys, a film actress of the late 1930s and early ‘40s whose best-known movie appearance probably was in the pre-World War II “Confessions of a Nazi Spy,” died Monday at 78.
Miss Lys, who also had a small role in the Humphrey Bogart horror film, “The Return of Dr. X,” died of a heart ailment at Hoag Memorial Hospital in Newport Beach, said her grandson, Randy Caruso.
Miss Lys, whose real name was Natalia Lyecht, came to Hollywood from France in 1930. She got her start in films in the surrealistic “The Andalusian Dog” by director Luis Bunuel and artist Salvador Dali, Caruso said.
“Confessions of a Nazi Spy” remains a widely praised semi-documentary film, which, when it was made in 1939, was among the first pictures with an anti-Hitler theme. Miss Lys left show business in 1943 after a series of financial reversals.
In addition to Caruso, she is survived by her husband, George Feit; a daughter, Joyce Wells, and two grandchildren.