Lyda Roberti

Lyda Roberti was a popular Polish actress who died young from a heart attack

She was born Lyda Pecjack on May 20, 1906 in Warsaw, Poland. Her father was a professional clown and her mother was a circus trick rider. During her childhood she performed in the circus all over Europe. After the communist revolution in 1917 her family ended up living in Shanghai, China. Lyda worked as a cafe dancer until she earned enough money to move to the United States. She performed in vaudeville and made her Broadway debut in the 1931 musical You Said It. The show was a success and she became known as “Broadway’s Preferred Polish Blonde”. Lyda was signed by Paramount in 1932. The petite beauty appeared in the hit films Million Dollar Legs, The Kid From Spain, and Torch Singer. Her sexy image and unique European accent helped to make her a popular comedic actress.

Lyda RobertiLyda Roberti

Lyda Roberti
She returned to Broadway in 1933 to star in the musical Roberta. Lyda married radio announcer Bud Ernest on June 25, 1935. The couple separated a year later but they reconciled soon after. Hal Roach teamed her with Patsy Kelly in the comedy shorts At Sea Ashore and Hill-Tillies. Her performances got rave reviews. Unfortunately she suffered from a weak heart and had to undergo surgery. Then she had a series of heart attacks which forced her to cut down on her workload. In 1937 she appeared in the films Nobody’s Baby and Pick A Star. Tragically on March 13, 1938 she died from a heart attack. She was only thirty-one years old. Her close friend Patsy Kelly said that she was bending over to tie her shoe when she suffered her fatal heart attack. Lyda was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California. Her final film, Wide Open Spaces, was released one month after death.

Lyda RobertiLyda Roberti