Carla Laemmle Biography

I have been hearing about this bio being in the works for many years. Finally published, it represents a lot of labor on the part of Rick Atkins and Carla Laemmle herself.

Available from

Promotional material about the book:

By Rick Atkins
"Among the Rugged Peaks" is a biography of Carla Laemmle. Most of Carla's fans will recognize the title as a direct quote from the 1931 Bela Lugosi movie version of "Dracula" in which she was the first voice heard on film: "Among the rugged peaks that frown down upon the Borgo Pass are found crumbling castles of a bygone age." This book also tells about some of Carla's experiences through life and what the reader may interpret as "rugged peaks." Her intriguing life story was told, and written by her biographer and friend, Rick Atkins. It is an interpretation of one life during our changing times with a real-life cast of characters.

Carla writes narratives throughout the book laced with fervor, humor, candor and love as she tells about her impassioned life and the people in it. This includes her 42-year relationship with Raymond Cannon, the late actor, screenwriter, director and author of a best selling book, The Sea of Cortez.

For those of you who may not be familiar with Carla Laemmle, first and foremost, she is an enchanting human being. She is the niece of Carl Laemmle, movie mogul and founder of Universal Pictures at Universal City, California where she lived with her family for 16 years. However, her life began far from California, in Chicago, Illinois. She was born Rebekah Isabelle Laemmle to Joseph and Belle Laemmle, October 20, 1909.

A life-changing event occurred in the winter of 1920 when Joseph Laemmle, received a letter from his brother Carl Laemmle. "Uncle Carl" (as he became known) invited his ailing 66-year-old brother Joseph, and his family to relocate to the Southern California climate. In fact, Carl suggested that the family might be comfortable living at Universal City. Thus, the Joseph Laemmle family that included 11-year-old Carla, her mother, Carrie "Belle" Laemmle and Carla's maternal grandmother, Emogene Isabelle Norton, arrived in California by train in January 1921 when the fledgling Universal Studios was celebrating their sixth year in the business of motion picture making. The family maintained residence at Universal City until 1937.

During her "fairy tale" life at the studio, Carla witnessed the actual making of several of her "Uncle Carl's" classic movie productions, many of which took place on the studio's "back-lot."

Carla's talent as a dancer won her notoriety during the 1920s, including a part in the 1925 classic Universal Pictures production, "Phantom of the Opera." Carla was eventually placed under contract with Universal Pictures in 1928-1935. In addition, Carla's small part in "Dracula," starring Bela Lugosi, won her celebrity cult status. She is ultimately credited with ushering in the first "talkie" macabre movie.

 After six years of work, Among the Rugged Peaks- An Intimate Biography of Carla Laemmle, is available from Midnight Marquee Press.

Original page 2007. Updated Sept 2013

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