Born as Rebecca Laemmle in 1909, Carla 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 very 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 and 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".
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. 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.
On October 3, 2010 she appeared in BBC Four documentary A History of Horror with Mark Gatiss, sharing memories of her early film work and Lon Chaney and Bela Lugosi in particular. She also recited her opening lines from Dracula. 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.