Oscar History

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Two "Dracula" Actresses

The Los Angeles Times reports that one of the last remaining silent era actors has passed away. The actress in question, Carla Laemmle, had an easy in to the movies: her uncle Carl Laemmle founded Universal Studios and invited her family to live in a bungalow on the lot.  Carla only had a small part in the horror classic Dracula (1931) but a key one: she uttered the first line of dialogue. She didn't appear in many pictures in her long life, dying at 104 years of age, but she apparently just recently filmed a role in a new horror film Mansion of Blood (2014) starring Gary Busey.

In happier news - this is not a double RIP -  Lupita Tovar, a Mexican beauty who starred in the Spanish language version of Dracula that same year (in those early days of sound they made simultaneous alternative versions for other markets with the same sets and costumes) is still with us at 103 years of age. Lupita also comes from a movie family or, rather, began one. She is the mother of Oscar nominee Susan Kohner (Imitation of Life) and grandmother to the directors Paul Weitz and Chris Weitz (of About a Boy fame)

Related: Oldest Living Screen Stars of Note

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Reader Comments (4)

Her passing is a loss to film history but to be 103, still be in good health and just suddenly go well it doesn't get much better than that.

June 14, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

I think I remember her from the Moguls and Movie Stars documentary that TCM ran a few years ago. Plus I've always loved Tod Browning's Dracula. It's one of my Top 100 favorite movies. I must watch the Spanish Dracula and your news of Ms. Tovar might get me to do it. Interesting post.

June 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSean Troutman

I strongly recommending finding a copy of the Spanish language Dracula from Universal. It's startling how different it is from the English language version. I prefer it. It's just...weirder and more stylized.

June 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRobert G

Wow, how amazing re. Lupita Tovar.
And how's that for a trivia question: what's the link between Dracula, Imitation of Life and About a Boy?

And of course RIP Carla Laemmle

June 15, 2014 | Unregistered Commentergoran

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