Saturday, June 14, 2014

Carla Laemmle, 1909-2014

I noticed yesterday evening that Carla Laemmle has died at the age of 104. Laemmle was the niece of Universal Studios founder Carl Laemmle, and came out to Hollywood in the early 1920s along with her family at uncle's invite. She wound up appearing in The Phantom of the Opera, which was originally made in 1925 but which tends to wind up on TCM in the re-release print. Also, Laemmle appeared in some of the Universal horror movies from the early 1930s.

Laemmle was one of the last links to the silent era. I believe the last adult link, at least in the form of somebody who worked as an adult in Hollywood's silent era, was screenwriter Frederica Sagor Maas, who died in January 2012 at the tender age of 111. All that's been left are juveniles: Mickey Rooney started out in silents and lived to the age of 93 before dying earlier this year. That, and the folks who started out even younger, such as Baby Peggy, who started out making movies at about 18 months and was washed up when she was still in her single digits, before having a fascinating life. She's still alive at the age of 95. There are still quite a few Hollywood people older than that still alive, but they mostly, if not all, started in the sound era.

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