Her silent film roles were mainly those of exotic women including vamps in Finger Prints, (1927) to gypsies The Squall (1929) to Mexican senoritas Rogue of the Rio Grande (1930) to Asian femme fatales The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932). Studios thought she was perfect for Asian roles, thus casting her in yellowface several times such as parts in A Girl in Every Port and The Show of Shows to a lead role playing an Indian princess in John Ford's The Black Watch.
Her breakthrough occurred with the advent of talkies: she appeared in 1927's The Jazz Singer as an uncredited chorus girl. In 1929 she improvised a "foreign" accent, sang and danced in Warner Brothers' first musical The Desert Song (1929). Loy later commented on the film's success and noted "...it kind of solidified my exotic non-American image".
1926 film Across the Pacific