Pretty starlet Lila Leeds only starred in one film, a low-budget exploitation flick called She Shoulda Said No! (1949). It was the direct result of her notorious 1948 arrest (along with movie hunk Robert Mitchum) for -- get this, kids -- marijuana possession. Yup, the devil weed, grass, pot, whatever you want to call it.
LILA LEEDS AND ROBERT MITCHUM BEING ESCORTED TO PRISON, 1949
Leeds received 90 days in prison and reams of publicity; however, unlike in today's celebrity tabloid culture, the adage "there's no such thing as bad press" didn't hold true in 1949. While Mitchum emerged from the scandal with his tough guy image unscathed, Leeds was branded a drug-addled floozy, and her career never recovered. Or, to be fair, never really took off: prior to She Shoulda Said No!, Leeds's roles were mostly uncredited bits, such as "Blonde Trying on Hat" in I Love My Wife, But... (1946) and, less convincingly, "Eurasian Girl" in Green Dolphin Street (1947).
SHE SHOULDA SAID NO! WAS ALSO KNOWN AS WILD WEED ON THE EXPLOITATION CIRCUIT
...and in 1961, she made the press rounds, claiming that Erwin "Bud" Arvey, the son of Illinois Democratic leader Jake Arvey, was the father of her son; Leeds was demanding child support payments, and used old press clippings to support her claims.
When Leeds died in 1999, there was scant mention in the press. According to various sources, she had become a heroin addict; a minister; and a worker in a rehabilitation clinic. Wherever she is now, we hope she's getting a better break than she did in 1949 -- and hopefully, where the wild weeds don't grow. R.I.P., Lila.