The Amazingly Wonderful Carla LaemmleCarla Laemmle is an American actress and the niece of Universal Pictures founder Carl Laemmle. Laemmle was a movie actress in the 1920s and 1930s, and is one of the very few surviving actors of the silent film era. Her life actually began far from Hollywood, in Chicago, Illinois, where Rebekah Isabelle Laemmle was born October 20, 1909 to Joseph and Carrie “Belle” Laemmle on October 20, 1909.
Thus, the Joseph Laemmle family that included 11-year-old Carla Laemmle, her mother, and Carla’s maternal grandmother, Emogene Isabelle Norton, arrived in California by train in January of 1921 when the fledgling Universal Studios was celebrating their sixth year in the business of movie-making. The family maintained residence at Universal City until 1937.
During her “fairy tale” life at the studio, Carla Laemmle witnessed the actual making of several of her Uncle Carl’s classic movie productions, many of which took place on the studio’s back-lot.
Carla’s talent as a dancer won her notoriety during the 1920s, including a part in the 1925 classic Universal Pictures production, The Phantom of the Opera. Carla Laemmle was eventually placed under contract with Universal Pictures in 1928-1935. In addition, Carla’s small part in the original Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi, won her celebrity cult status. She is ultimately credited with ushering in the first “supernatural” talkie movie, which ultimately grew into what we now know as the “horror”genre.
[Some of this text used with permission from Rick Atkins, cinemagraphe.com]