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Carla Laemmle

An American actress and the niece of Universal Pictures founder Carl Laemmle.

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A Quick Tip by Count_Orlok_22

  • Oct 20, 2011
On this day, October 20th, back in 1909, Rebecca Laemmle was born. You may or may not know her by this name, because she would shortly thereafter adopt the name Carla Laemmle in honor of her uncle Carl Laemmle, the founder of Universal Pictures. Carla is perhaps best known to fans of classic horror for having appeared in the 1925 silent film version of The Phantom of the Opera, starring Lon Chaney, in which she had a very small uncredited role as one of the ballet dancers. One of her other, more memorable roles, is in the classic 1931 film version of Dracula, directed by Tod Browning and starring Béla Lugosi. She plays a coach passenger who delivers the first lines of dialogue:
"Among the rugged peaks that frown down upon the Borgo Pass are found crumbling castles of a bygone age."
While this was essentially nothing more than a cameo appearance, it is nonetheless an unforgettable one and it has gone down in history as the first line of dialogue spoken in a supernatural talkie. Up until this point, most horror films featured a logical explanation for any seemingly supernatural occurrences. Many silent films utilized supernatural elements such as vampires before, but with the growth of conservative moral groups that pressured Hollywood and threatened censorship, supernatural story lines had become something of a taboo. Yet, thanks to Universal Pictures and Carla Laemmle, that is no longer the case!
On another interesting historical note, Carla is one of the few remaining silent film actors still alive and she has been an information goldmine for film scholars and historians who want to learn about the early years of Hollywood film studios. She also appeared as the host and narrator for the documentary The Road to Dracula, which was directed by David J. Skal, and can be found on all Universal Dracula DVDs.
Happy 102nd Birthday, Carla Laemmle!
Caption Carla Laemmle in Caption Caption Carla Laemmle hosting Carla Laemmle with David J. Skal at signing. Caption Caption Caption
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October 20, 2011
nice photos....
October 20, 2011
I would have embedded the video, but the YouTube uploader only allowed for people to use a link, so it's on FB anyway.
 
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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 ...

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