Obits--Carla Laemmle

Dancer in Universal's Lon Chaney 1925 Phantom Movie

Carla Laemmle in Recent Years, from her Website

Carla Laemmle, a dancer in the 1925 version of The Phantom of the Opera, and a niece of Universal Studios founder Carl Laemmle, died peacefully on June 12, 2014 at the age of 104. Although Ms. Laemmle was uncredited in the film, modern sources sometimes list her as Meg Giry.

Ms. Laemmle also appeared in the 1931 Universal Studios version of Dracula, in which she 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 ... ." She later joked that she did not have to memorize that difficult line because she played a character reading a book on a train, and could read the line from a piece of paper inside the book.

Ms. Laemmle was active in film during the 1920's and 1930's, but retired after a series of frequently uncredited and mostly forgettable film roles. A notable exception was the 1929 musical, The Broadway Melody, the first musical to win a best picture Oscar and one of the last risque movies before imposition of the 1930 Hollywood production code. Ms. Laemmle is listed on as a "specialty dancer" in the film, a euphemism for a role in which she emerged almost naked from a giant oyster shell.

Ms. Laemmle left the film industry in 1939 but, after more than a sixty-year break, returned to the screen in a 2001 horror picture. She made several more horror films before her death, and also appeared in the 2012 Kickstarter-funded video documentary, The Phantom of The Opera – Unmasking The Masterpiece, along with, among others, Hugh Panaro, then Broadway's masked man.

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Carla Laemmle as a Young Beauty
(From her Facebook Page)