My dear friend, Carla Laemmle, niece of the founder of Universal Pictures, Carl Laemmle, died, one week ago today, at the shining age of 104.
She was an actor and dancer in the Silent Film Era and Golden Age of Hollywood. She spoke the very first line of dialogue ever in a horror film in the original Dracula (1931) starring Bella Lugosi and appeared as the Prima Ballerina in The Phantom of the Opera (1925) starring Lon Chaney.
As I look back fondly on our friendship, I'm filled with bitter-sweet memories. That said, I feel I'm a better person simply having known her. It was having been touched by her electrifying personality and energy, which was beautifully contagious, that was the cherry on top for me.
Thank you, Carla, for all you taught me, the belief you had in me and "light" you saw within me, not only as an actor, but as a person. I feel so fortunate to have known you, but even more thankful to have called you a friend. You lived a full, magical and inspiring life and are leaving behind a legacy to match.