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Carla Laemmle Obituary

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Jun 13th, 2014
Jun 13


 Carla Laemmle, link to Hollywood’s past, dies at 104


Carla Laemmle at Larry Edmunds


By Claire Noland
Los Angeles Times
June 13, 2014


Carla Laemmle, a dancer, actress and niece of Universal Pictures founder Carl Laemmle who grew up at her uncle’s studio watching movies being made, died Thursday night at her home in Los Angeles. One of the last links to Hollywood’s silent film era, Laemmle was 104.


Click here to continue reading the Los Angeles Times obituary for Carla Laemmle



Carla Laemmle’s Book Signing

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Oct 31st, 2009
Oct 31


Carla Laemmle at Larry Edmunds Bookshop


Larry Edmunds Bookstore



Larry Edmunds Bookshop
6644 Hollywood Blvd. (at Cherokee)
Hollywood, CA 90028
(323) 463-3273



By Allan R. Ellenberger


On Friday, October 30, 2009, at Larry Edmunds Bookshop, Bob Birchard signed his book, Early Universal City, and Carla Laemmle (who just celebrated her 100th birthday on Tuesday) and Rick Atkins signed, Among the Rugged Peaks: An Intimate Biorgraphy of Carla Laemmle. After birthday cake for Carla, Bob Birchard gave a short slide presentation about the early years of Universal City.



Bob Birchard, Carla Laemmle, Rick Atkins

Bob Birchard (left) signing his book, “Early Universal City,” and Carla Laemmle and Rick Atkins signing “Among the Rugged Peaks”



Carla Laemmle at Larry Edmunds

Carla Laemmle signing my copy of the book on her life, “Among the Rugged Peaks: An Intimate Biography of Carla Laemmle”



Carla Laemmle Book Signing

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Oct 28th, 2009
Oct 28


Hollywood Heritage



Just in time for Halloween…our friends at the Larry Edmunds Bookshop in Hollywood are having a presentation and booksigning with the first person to speak a line in Bela Lugosi’s legendary 1931 vampire film, DraculaCarla Laemmle


Presentation and booksigning for Among the Rugged Peaks:  an intimate biogrphy of Carla Laemmle by author Rick Atkins will take place:





Friday, October 30, 2009, 7:00 pm 


Larry Edmunds Bookshop 

6644 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA 20028  



Carla celebrated her 100th birthday on October 20th at Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre, which was packed with friends and well-wishers and hosted by the magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland.  Click here for a story and photos of the event.


If you’ve never met Carla Laemmle, Friday evening is your chance — as well as your opportunity to see how beautiful someone can look at 100 years of age!  You must see her to believe it. 


Hollywood Heritage board member, Bob Birchard will also give a presentation on the history of Early Universal Studios during Carla’s time there (Note: Mr. Birchard will give his full presentation on “Early Universal Studios,” his latest Arcadia book, as an “Evening @ the Barn” at the Hollywood Heritage Museum on January 14, 2010)



Larry Edmunds Bookshop
6644 Hollywood Blvd. (at Cherokee)
Hollywood, CA 90028
(323) 463-3273



Parking/Metro: The Hollywood/Highland complex offers 4 hour parking for just $2 if you get a validation at one of the complex’s stores, restaurants or theatres only.  If you prefer the subway, Larry Edmunds is just three blocks east of the Hollywood/Highland Red Line metro station, on the south side of Hollywood Blvd. 


Click on ‘Continue Reading’ for a description of Carla’s book


Continue Reading »

Carla Laemmle’s 100th Birthday

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Oct 20th, 2009
Oct 20


Carla Laemmle


Carla Laemmle


By Allan R. Ellenberger 


Today is the 100th birthday of actress and dancer Carla Laemmle, who is also the niece of Universal Studios founder, Carl Laemmle.


Carla Laemmle was born Rebecca Isabelle Laemmle on October 20, 1909 in Chicago, Illinois. According to the 1910 census, when Carla was 6 months old, she was living with her family at 4244 Vincennes Avenue, and may have been born there.


Carla was the daughter of Joseph Laemmle, who was Carl’s older brother. Joseph was 76 when died in March 1929. Her mother, Carrie Belle Norton Laemmle, was born in Connecticut and died in March 1962 at age 91. Carla also had a half-brother, Universal director, Edward Laemmle who died in 1937.



Carla Laemmle in Dracula

 Carla Laemmle is thrown onto the laps of fellow passsengers in the opening sequence of Dracula (1931)


Carla had an uncredited role as a ballerina in The Phantom of the Opera (1925) and continued in smaller parts in Universal films. In 1931 she had the opportunity to speak the first line of dialogue in the horror classic, Dracula. She plays a bookish young girl who reads to her fellow passengers while riding in a coach. Today she is the only surviving cast member of the film.


Click below to watch Carla Laemmle in Dracula. She appears at one minute and 19 seconds into the film.



Besides Dracula, Carla had small roles in several films of the 1920s and 30s such as Topsy and Eva (1927), The Broadway Melody (1929), King of Jazz (1930) and the Mystery of Edwin Drood (1935). Also a dancer, she appeared in many venues including the one below at the Shrine Auditorium on June 11, 1931.


 Carla Laemmle ad


In 1936 she played Princess Quan Mui Mai in Her Majesty The Prince at the Music Box Theater. In 2001 Carla appeared in The Vampire Hunters Cluband this year co-authored a book about growing up on the Universa lot from 1921  to 1937 called Growing Up With Monsters: My Times at Universal Studios in Rhymes. Still active at 100, she recently attended the Cinecon banquet this past September. Happy Birthday Carla!


Carla Laemmle

Carla Laemmle at the recent Cinecon banquet in September (Photo by Allan R. Ellenberger)



Cinecon 45 Wrap-up

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Sep 9th, 2009
Sep 9


Cinecon 45


 Cinecon 45 poster


Another Cinecon has passed into the California sunset


By Allan R. Ellenberger


Cinecon 45 was presented by the Society of Cinephiles this past Labor Day weekend screening nearly 50 rare silent films and early sound feature films as well as many short subjects at the historic Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. The organization is dedicated to showcasing unusual films that are rarely given public screenings.


The celebrity honorees who attended along with the showing of one of their films included: Denise Darcel, Flame of Calcutta (1953); Adrian Booth (aka Lorna Gray), The Last Bandit (1949) and Stella Stevens, The Silencers (1966) who were honored at Sundays banquet with the Cinecon Career Achievement Award along with composer, Richard M. Sherman, who created the music for the films Mary Poppins (1964), The Jungle Book (1967), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968) and many more.


Some of the films screened included: The Miracle Man (1932), Hatter’s Castle (1948), Broadway Love (1918), Nightmare (1942), Bardelys the Magnificent (1926) and The Bride Comes Home (1935).


Highlights of the weekend included the North American premiere of The Dawn of Tomorrow (1915), a Mary Pickford film thought to be lost when a tinted nitrate print with Swedish titles turned up in the Archival Film Collections of the Swedish Film Institute. Pickford’s costars were David Powell, Forrest Robinson and Robert Cain. The film was dedicated to Robert Cushman, photo archivist of the Margaret Herrick Library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences who recently passed away.


Turn to the Right (1922), a Rex Ingram film, was recently restored by the George Eastman House. Made following two of the director’s epics, Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921) and The Conquering Power (1921), it starred Ingram’s wife, Alice Terry and Jack Mulhall. It was during the making of Turn to the Right that Ingram made one of his greatest discoveries when he cast Ramon Samaniego, later to be known as Ramon Novarro, in his next film, The Prisoner of Zenda (1922)


Cinecon 45 - Robert Dix

Author Robert Dix, son of actor Richard Dix, signed his autobiography, Out of Hollywood. With Dix are Sue Guldin and his wife Mary Ellen 



Author book signings included: Miriam Nelson (My Life Dancing with the Stars); Scott O’Brien (Kay Fancis – I Can’t Wait to be Forgotten and Virginia Bruce – Under My Skin); Robert S. Birchard (Early Universal City); John Gloske (Tough Kid: The Life and Films fo Frankie Darro); Paul Picerni (Steps to Stardon: My Story); Robert Dix (Out of Hollywood) and Michael Hoey (Elvis, Sherlock & Me).



Cinecon 45- Jane Withers

Former child star, Jane Withers 


Celebrity guests at Sunday’s banquet included: Sybil Jason, Lisa Mitchell, Jane Withers, Miriam Nelson, Carla Laemmle, June Foray, Ann Rutherford, Johnny Whitaker, France Nuyen, William Welman, Jr., Robert Dix, and many, many more.


The officers of Cinecon 45, who made this weekend such a success are: Robert S. Birchard, president; Marvin Paige, vice-president; Michael Schlesinger, secretary and Stan Taffel, treasuer.


Cinecon 45- Stella Grace, Jonathan Chin-Davis and Sue Gulden

Cinecon volunteer coordinator, Stella Grace (left) with volunteers Jonathan Chin-Davis and Sue Guldin.


And the volunteer coordinator for Cinecon and my boss for the weekend is the fantastic, one-of-a-kind Rhode Islander, Stella Grace.


For more information on Cinecon, please visit: http://www.cinecon.org/


Some Cinecon moments


 Carla Laemmle and Marvin Paige

Carla Laemmle (left), niece of Universal founder Carl Laemmle and Cinecon officer, Marvin Paige. Miss Laemmle will celebrate her 100th birthday on October 20.



Cinecon 45- William Wellman Jr.

 William Wellman Jr., son of the famed director



 Cinecon 45- Sybil Jason

 Actress Sybil Jason and archivist Miles Krueger



Cinecon 45- Katherine Orrison and Lisa Mitchell

Author Katherine Orrison (Lionheart in Hollywood: The Autobiography of Henry Wilcoxon) and actress Lisa Mitchell (The Ten Commandments)



 Cinecon 45 - Ann Rutherford

 Gone with the Wind’s Ann Rutherford



 Cinecon 45- Frederick Hodges

 Accompanist Frederick Hodges



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