Carla Laemmle Dead: Silent Film Actress, Niece of Universal Founder, Dies at 104

Silent film actress Carla Laemmle, niece of Universal Studios founder Carl Laemmle, died Thursday night in her Los Angeles home of natural causes, according to the Los Angeles Times. She was 104.

Laemmle was considered one of the last surviving performers from Hollywood’s silent film years.

Laemmle was born in Chicago but grew up in Hollywood on the Universal Studios lot after her uncle Carl Laemmle encouraged his brother Joseph to move the family to California from the Midwest in the early 1920s.

She appeared in at least 17 films, starting in 1925 with silent horror classic “The Phantom of the Opera,” in which she played a ballerina. She was the last surviving cast member of the film, which starred Lon Chaney Sr.

In her 20s, she watched as sound was integrated into film and uttered the well-known opening lines to another horror classic, 1931’s “Dracula,” starring Bela Lugosi.

During her later years she appeared several documentaries recounting Hollywood’s earliest years and the production of Hollywood’s classic movies.

Almost nine decades after she began in the business, Laemmle was still appearing on camera. Her last role was in “Mansion of Blood” currently in post-production.

More Film

  • Les Arcs Film Festival

    Les Arcs European Film Festival's Industry Village Kicks Off with Strong Roster

    Silent film actress Carla Laemmle, niece of Universal Studios founder Carl Laemmle, died Thursday night in her Los Angeles home of natural causes, according to the Los Angeles Times. She was 104. Laemmle was considered one of the last surviving performers from Hollywood’s silent film years. Laemmle was born in Chicago but grew up in […]

  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    Box Office: 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Rockets to $215 Million Opening Weekend

    Silent film actress Carla Laemmle, niece of Universal Studios founder Carl Laemmle, died Thursday night in her Los Angeles home of natural causes, according to the Los Angeles Times. She was 104. Laemmle was considered one of the last surviving performers from Hollywood’s silent film years. Laemmle was born in Chicago but grew up in […]

  • Disney-Fox Deal Sets Up Scramble for

    Disney-Fox Deal Unleashes Flood of Free-Agent Executives, Talent

    Silent film actress Carla Laemmle, niece of Universal Studios founder Carl Laemmle, died Thursday night in her Los Angeles home of natural causes, according to the Los Angeles Times. She was 104. Laemmle was considered one of the last surviving performers from Hollywood’s silent film years. Laemmle was born in Chicago but grew up in […]

  • Anita Hill

    Anita Hill Chairs Hollywood Anti-Sexual Harassment Commission Formed by Top Execs

    Silent film actress Carla Laemmle, niece of Universal Studios founder Carl Laemmle, died Thursday night in her Los Angeles home of natural causes, according to the Los Angeles Times. She was 104. Laemmle was considered one of the last surviving performers from Hollywood’s silent film years. Laemmle was born in Chicago but grew up in […]

  • Warren Beatty

    Arnon Milchan Sues Warren Beatty Over 'Rules Don't Apply' Flop

    Silent film actress Carla Laemmle, niece of Universal Studios founder Carl Laemmle, died Thursday night in her Los Angeles home of natural causes, according to the Los Angeles Times. She was 104. Laemmle was considered one of the last surviving performers from Hollywood’s silent film years. Laemmle was born in Chicago but grew up in […]

  • Oscar Isaac Addams Family

    Oscar Isaac in Talks to Voice Gomez Addams in Animated 'Addams Family' Movie

    Silent film actress Carla Laemmle, niece of Universal Studios founder Carl Laemmle, died Thursday night in her Los Angeles home of natural causes, according to the Los Angeles Times. She was 104. Laemmle was considered one of the last surviving performers from Hollywood’s silent film years. Laemmle was born in Chicago but grew up in […]

  • Jennifer Lawrence

    Publicists for Jennifer Lawrence, Daisy Ridley, Amy Adams Form New Firm

    Silent film actress Carla Laemmle, niece of Universal Studios founder Carl Laemmle, died Thursday night in her Los Angeles home of natural causes, according to the Los Angeles Times. She was 104. Laemmle was considered one of the last surviving performers from Hollywood’s silent film years. Laemmle was born in Chicago but grew up in […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content