Carla Laemmle

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Carla Laemmle
CarlaLaemmle Dracula
Carla Laemmle in Dracula in 1931
BornRebecca Isabelle Laemmle
(1909-10-20) October 20, 1909 (age 104)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Years active1925–39; 2001; 2010–present
 
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Carla Laemmle
CarlaLaemmle Dracula
Carla Laemmle in Dracula in 1931
BornRebecca Isabelle Laemmle
(1909-10-20) October 20, 1909 (age 104)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Years active1925–39; 2001; 2010–present

Rebecca Isabelle Laemmle (born October 20, 1909) known professionally as Carla Laemmle is an American actress and the niece of Universal Pictures studio founder Carl Laemmle, she is of German Jewish descent. She was a movie actress in the 1920s and 1930s, and is, along with Jean Darling, Baby Peggy, Luise Rainer and Mickey Rooney, one of the very few surviving actors of the silent film era.

Career[edit]

Laemmle entered films in 1925 playing an uncredited role as a ballet dancer in the original silent film version of The Phantom of the Opera (1925) and a small role in the early talkie version of Dracula (1931), and is the last surviving cast member of both classic films. Laemmle continued to appear in small roles until the late 1930s, when she disappeared from the movie screen. She briefly came out of retirement to play a vampire in The Vampire Hunters Club (2001).

She shared her reminiscences of appearing in a bit part in Dracula (1931) by hosting the original documentary The Road to Dracula (1999), a supplemental piece included on the 2004 DVD release, Dracula: The Legacy Collection. In that classic film, she portrayed a bespectacled passenger riding in a bumpy horse-drawn carriage with Renfield as he is traveling to Dracula's castle. In this documentary, Laemmle proudly states: "I had the privilege of speaking the first lines of dialogue in the first talking supernatural thriller".[1]

In 2009 the book Growing Up With Monsters: My Times at Universal Studios in Rhymes, co-authored by Carla Laemmle and Daniel Kinske, was released. The book details her life at Universal Studios from 1921 to 1937.[2] On October 20, 2009, she celebrated her 100th birthday with a guestlist which included Ray Bradbury, George Clayton Johnson, Bela Lugosi, Jr., Sara Karloff and Ron Chaney.[3]

On October 3, 2010 she appeared in BBC Four documentary A History of Horror with Mark Gatiss, sharing memories of her early film work with Lon Chaney and Bela Lugosi. She also recited her opening lines from Dracula.[4] In November 2010 she made an appearance in the documentary Moguls and Movie Stars: A History of Hollywood for Turner Classic Movies and in May 2011 she appeared in Paul Merton's Birth of Hollywood on the BBC. In March 2012, Turner Classic Movies presented a screening of Dracula, Laemmle appeared at the screening in connection with its Classic Movie Festival.[5]

Filmography[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1925The Phantom of the OperaPrima BallerinaUncredited
1927Topsy and EvaAngelUncredited
1927Uncle Tom's CabinAuction SpectatorAngel
1928The Gate CrasherMaidCredited as Beth Laemmle
1929The Broadway MelodyOyster ShellUncredited
1929The Hollywood Revue of 1929Chorus GirlCredited as Beth Laemmle
1930King of JazzChorineCredited as Beth Laemmle
1931DraculaCoach PassengerUncredited
1935The Mystery of Edwin DroodSchoolgirlUncredited
1936The Adventures of Frank MerriwellCarla Rogers
1939On Your Toes
2001The Vampire Hunters ClubElder VampireDirect-to-video release
2010PooltimeZelda
2011The ExtraMinnie
2012A Sad State of AffairsConnie
2012Mansion of BloodMaribelle

References[edit]

  1. ^ DVD Documentary The Road to Dracula, produced by David J. Skal, on 2-DVD set Dracula: The Legacy Collection (2004), Universal Home Entertainment release # 24455.
  2. ^ "Growing up with Monsters". Growing up with Monsters. Retrieved 2010-10-24. 
  3. ^ Tarpinian, John King. "Carla Laemmle Celebrates 100" File 770 (online version) October 23, 2009
  4. ^ "Four Programmes – A History of Horror with Mark Gatiss". BBC. 2010-10-11. Retrieved 2010-10-24. 
  5. ^ McCue, Michelle (March 28, 2012). "TCM Classic Film Festival Continues To Expand In Final Weeks Before April 12 Opening". We Are Movie Geeks. Retrieved April 4, 2012. 

External links[edit]