Anyone who has ever met Sylvia Boyd is struck by her enthusiasm, her genuineness and her kindness. Her “can do” attitude is infectious. She is a positive life force.
This year, she was unanimously selected by parade organizers PAPA (Palisadian Americanism Parade Association) to be the town’s parade marshal.
The Marquez resident first volunteered to help with the Fourth of July Parade in 2005. The next year she was put in charge of the PAPA People. That position meant she found and organized parade volunteers, a position she has held through 2022.
Boyd receives this honor, not only for her time volunteering, but also for her dedication to this community.
“If you love the Palisades like I do, you do whatever you can to enhance where you live,” Boyd said. “I’m loyal to wherever I live and work.”
Boyd is a member of the Marquez Knolls Association. She has served as an elder at the Palisades Presbyterian Church and is now a deacon.
In 2016, she received a Pacific Palisades Community Council Sparkplug award for her Food for Thought Speaker series, in which she planned a free weekly lunch for the community and supplied speakers.
Born in Hollywood, Boyd was a child actress known as the Armenian Shirly Temple. Between 1941 and 1946, she was in eight films.
Boyd, aka Sylvia Arslan, played Bette Davis and Claude Raines child, Fanny, in “Mr. Skeffington” (1944).
She was in Moon Over Her Shoulder (1941), Sheriff of Cimarron (1945), the Great Stagecoach Robbery (1945) and Humoresque (1947).
She graduated from Van Nuys High School in 1950, attended Cal State Northridge a year before marrying her high school sweetheart Jon in 1951.
He enlisted as a Marine during the Korean War and Boyd went with him to Camp Pendleton.
She continued to act and was up for a part in Cecil De Mille’s The Ten Commandments, but then found out she was pregnant with her first child.
“So, I dropped out,” she said. “I have no regrets.”
It was then that Boyd joined a new company, Tupperware. For the next 46 years, she traveled the globe, with her husband beside her. They have been married 72 years.
“It was the most exciting life,” Boyd said. “Much more exciting than acting.”
Jon gave up his position with the Los Angeles Fire Department to move with his wife to her first assignment in Fort Wayne, Indiana. From there Boyd was reassigned to Westchester in L.A.
“We did $4.5 million worth of business our last year at that location,” she said.
In 1982, Jon was asked to be a regional vice president. He told top management, “My wife was the one who built the business” and turned them down, but suggested they give the job to his wife. A year later she was offered the position overseeing six states (Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana and Illinois) and the couple moved to Cincinnati.
Next Tupperware sent the Boyds to Australia for three years, before a six-month stint in Toronto. Then she got a call to go to India. The couple moved there in 1996.
She retired when she was 64, but the company had other plans and sent her to the Midwest for eight months.
In 2000, the company made her president of Tupperware in Canada.
Finally, Boyd made her retirement permanent and came back to the Palisades home the couple had purchased when they worked at Westchester.
“I love my home,” she said, “I love to have people up here.”
In her backyard, with its spectacular views, Boyd routinely has reunions with former Tupperware employees and for several years hosted the after-parade picnic for PAPA.
The Boyds have two children, Lorna and Leslie, and two grandchildren (a third is deceased) and now two great grandchildren, ages 3 and 1. And, recently they added Roxy, a “loveable” foster terrier to their home.
About being selected as parade marshal, Boyd said, “I was very surprised and very honored.”