Dancer and silent movie star Carla Laemmle (whose uncle founded Universal Studios) died last night, leaving just Mexican silent movie star Lupita Tovar, child stars Baby Peggy, Dickie Moore, Fay McKenzie and a couple of Our Gang kids left as the only living stars from the silent era. Carla was 104. “Her heart just stopped,” Laemmle’s great niece, Rosemary Hilb, said in a press release today, noting that she had been in good health.
Laemmle appeared with screen legend Lon Chaney in the silent classic The Phantom of the Opera (1925) and in Dracula (1931) with Bela Legosi, where she famously spoke the film’s first lines: “Among the rugged peaks that frown down upon the Borgo Pass are found crumbling castles of a bygone age … . “
Watch a fun interview with Carla from just a few months ago, talking to her great-niece about Hollywood at the turn of the last century, and appearing in some of the great Universal studio horror films.
Check out Matthew Rettemund of Boy Culture‘s comprehensive Last Star Standing list over movie stars over 80.