Laura La Plante: American actress (1904-1996) (1904 - 1996) | Biography
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Laura La Plante
American actress

Laura La Plante

Laura La Plante
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American actress
A.K.A. Laura LaPlant
Was Actor Film actor
From United States of America
Field Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender female
Birth 1 November 1904, St. Louis, USA
Death 14 October 1996, Woodland Hills, USA (aged 92 years)
Star sign Scorpio
Spouse: Irving AsherWilliam A. Seiter
The details (from wikipedia)


Laura La Plante (born Laura LaPlant; November 1, 1904 – October 14, 1996) was an American film actress, whose more notable performances were in the silent era.

Silent film career

La Plante made her acting debut at age 15, and in 1923, she was named as one of that year's WAMPAS Baby Stars. During the 1920s, she appeared in more than 60 films. Her early films include Big Town Round-Up (1921), with cowboy star Tom Mix, the serials Perils of the Yukon (1922), Around the World in Eighteen Days (1923), and several movies with Hoot Gibson.

LaPlante in 1920. She is seen here alongside Bobby Vernon in an image published in the Exhibitors Herald

The majority of the films starring LaPlante (from 1921 to 1930) were made for Universal Pictures. During this period, she was the studio's most popular star, "an accomplishment duplicated only by Deanna Durbin years later", and almost always enjoyed top billing.

One of LaPlante's early surviving films is the 1925 film Smouldering Fires, directed by Clarence Brown and costarring Pauline Frederick. Her best remembered film is arguably the silent classic The Cat and the Canary (1927), although she also achieved acclaim for Skinner's Dress Suit (1926), with Reginald Denny, the part-sound The Love Trap (1929), directed by William Wyler, and the 1929 part-sound Show Boat (1929), adapted from the novel of the same name by Edna Ferber.

Although this last film was an adaptation of the novel, and not of the famous musical play also adapted from the 1926 novel, some songs from the play were included into the film as box-office insurance. She did not actually sing in the movie; her singing was dubbed by Eva Olivetti, one of the early instances in which this was done in a motion picture. A scene of La Plante in Show Boat was broadcast in the early days of British television.

Transition to sound films

The advent of sound films effectively shortened her career. In her mid-20s, La Plante was a natural and appealing presence in early sound films, but the huge wave of new stars in these years overshadowed her. She made her last appearances for Universal in the Technicolor musical King of Jazz (1930). She appeared in God's Gift to Women (Warner Bros., (1931), directed by Michael Curtiz and co-starring Frank Fay and Joan Blondell, and Arizona (Columbia, 1931), co-starring alongside a young John Wayne.

Later career

La Plante subsequently went to Britain to work at Warner Brother's Teddington Studios. The company had faced criticism for the low quality of its "quota quickies", and her arrival coincided with an attempt to make more expensive productions. She starred in Man of the Moment (1935), with Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. She appeared in the West End playing the lead in Ian Hay's Admirals All. La Plante briefly was considered to replace Myrna Loy in the Thin Man series when Loy thought about leaving, but Loy stayed as Nora Charles, and La Plante's career never rebounded. She retired from the screen in 1935, making only two later films, and 1957's Spring Reunion was her last. Her younger sister, actress Violet, never achieved Laura's level of fame; both sisters were WAMPAS Baby Stars.

On June 3, 1954 (Season 4 Episode 38), La Plante made a guest appearance (as herself, Mrs. Laura Asher) on Groucho Marx's quiz show You Bet Your Life. In this episode, La Plante discussed numerous topics, including her husband Irving Asher, who had just lost 25 pounds and completed the film Elephant Walk with Elizabeth Taylor. Mrs. Asher asked that her winnings, if any, go to the Motion Picture Relief Fund. They got three out of four questions correct to win $215. In the mid-1980s, a wheelchair-bound La Plante was brought on stage to wave to the crowd at the "Night of a Hundred Stars" event.


Laura La Plante died at the age of 91 in Woodland Hills, California. Her death was due to Alzheimer's disease. Despite contrary belief about her rumored interment at El Camino Memorial Park in San Diego, California, La Plante was actually cremated by Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery in North Hollywood, California, and her ashes scattered at sea.


  • Laura La Plante Drive in Agoura Hills, California

Partial filmography

Year Title Role Note
1920 813 Genevieve Lost film
1922 Perils of the Yukon Olga Lost film
The Wall Flower Prue Nickerson Lost film
1923 Around the World in Eighteen Days Madge Harlow Lost film
Dead Game Alice Mason
Shootin' for Love Mary Randolph
Out of Luck Mae Day
The Ramblin' Kid Carolyn June Lost film
The Thrill Chaser Cameo Appearance Lost film
1924 Sporting Youth Betty Rockford
Excitement Nila Lyons Lost film
The Dangerous Blonde Diane Faraday Lost film
Young Ideas Octavia Lowden
Ride for Your Life Betsy Burke Lost film
The Fatal Plunge Undertemined Role
The Fast Worker Connie Fowler
Butterfly Dora Collier
1925 Smouldering Fires Dorothy Vale
The Teaser Ann Barton Lost film
Dangerous Innocence Ann Church Lost film
1926 The Beautiful Cheat Mary Callahan / Maritza Callahansky
Skinner's Dress Suit Mrs. Honey Skinner
The Midnight Sun Olga 'The Midnight Sun' Morova
Her Big Night Frances Norcross/Daphne Dix
Butterflies in the Rain Mrs. Glenson
Poker Faces Betty Whitmore
1927 The Love Thrill Joyce Bragdon Lost film
Beware of Widows Joyce Bragdon
Silk Stockings Tina Carteret
The Cat and the Canary Annabelle West
1928 Thanks for the Buggy Ride Jenny
Finders Keepers Barbara Hastings
Home, James Laura Elliot
1929 The Last Warning Doris Terry
High Society
Show Boat Magnolia Hawks
The Love Trap Evelyn Todd
Hold Your Man Mary
1930 King of Jazz Editor
Captain of the Guard Marie Marnay
1931 Stout Hearts and Willing Hands The Heroine
Arizona Evelyn Palmer Bonham
God's Gift to Women Diane Churchill
Lonely Wives Diane O'Dare
Too Many Women
Meet the Wife Gertrude Lennox
The Sea Ghost Evelyn Inchcape
1933 Her Imaginary Lover Celia
1934 The Girl in Possession Eve Chandler
The Church Mouse Betty 'Miss Church Mouse' Miller
1935 Widow's Might Nancy Tweesdale
Man of the Moment Mary Briany
1947 Little Mister Jim Mrs. Glenson
1957 Spring Reunion May Brewster
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 20 Mar 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Who is Laura La Plante?
A: Laura La Plante was an American silent film and early talkie actress. She appeared in over 30 films between 1923 and 1934.
Q: What is Laura La Plante best known for?
A: Laura La Plante is best known for her role in the 1927 film "The Cat and the Canary," which is considered a classic horror-comedy.
Q: What other notable films did Laura La Plante star in?
A: Apart from "The Cat and the Canary," Laura La Plante starred in several other notable films, including "The Love Trap" (1929), "The Last Warning" (1929), and "Show Boat" (1929).
Q: What happened to Laura La Plante's career after the silent film era?
A: Laura La Plante successfully transitioned to talking films and continued working in the film industry, albeit with less frequency. However, by the early 1930s, her popularity started to decline, and she retired from acting in 1934.
Q: Did Laura La Plante receive any accolades for her acting career?
A: Yes, Laura La Plante received recognition for her acting talents. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performance in "The Broadway Melody" (1929), a film that won the Academy Award for Best Picture.
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