By John King Tarpinian: Carla Laemmle, niece of Universal Pictures founder Carl Laemmle, celebrated her 100th birthday on October 20.
The party started at around 4:30 p.m. in the forecourt of the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, CA. This is the same theatre where Forrest J. Ackerman’s memorial service was held, which was appropriate since this event was sponsored by Phil Kim, the new publisher of Famous Monsters of Filmland.
In attendance were many industry people, only a few of which I had the time to meet or identify. Among them were Ray Bradbury, George Clayton Johnson, Bela Lugosi, Jr., Sara Karloff and Ron Chaney. At age 100 Carla was as spry as any of us. She was surrounded by friends and family, including great great grandchildren.
After a three hour reception everybody headed inside for the formal event.
There was an introduction by Robert Aragon, who choreographed the presentation of Swan Lake, Opus 20: Act II: No. 10 – Scene Moderato which was featured in Dracula.
A special presentation from Germany by Dr. Udo Bayer
Sharon Evans performed Cole Porter’s Night and Day.
Letters from President George H.W. Bush, Nancy Reagan, President Jimmy Carter, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa were read and presented to Carla.
A video montage of Carla’s work was shown and finally the birthday girl spoke.
Afterwards, everybody was invited to share a piece of the birthday cake. Carla held a reception line so people could wish her well one-on-one. A lovely ending to a lovely event.