Laura La Plante
Laura La Plante was an American actress, best-known for her roles in silent films. She was born Laura LaPlant on November 1, 1904 in St. Louis, Missouri. La Plante made her acting debut at the age of 15 as a Christie Comedy Bathing Beauty, and in 1923 was named as one of the years WAMPAS Baby Stars. Among her early film appearances were “Big Town Round-Up” (1921) with cowboy star Tom Mix, and the serials “Perils of the Yukon” (1922) and “Around the World in Eighteen Days” (1923). The majority of the films she made in the 1920’s were for Universal Pictures. During this period she was the studio’s most popular star. Some of her more important films were the adventure “Crooked Alley” (1923), the comedy “Sporting Youth” (1924), the drama “Smouldering Fires” (1925) and the mystery “The Cat and the Canary” (1927). One of her successful comedies, “Skinner’s Dress Suit” (1926), was directed by her husband, William A. Seiter. When sound came to Universal, she was one of the silent film stars who made the transition. She played a leading role in the sound film “Show Boat” (1929) and made her first all-talking picture with “Hold Your Man” (1929). She made her last appearances for Universal in the Technicolor musical extravaganza “King of Jazz” (1930).
For a while La Plante free-lanced, appearing in “God’s Gift to Women” (1931 – Warner Bros), directed by Michael Curtiz and co-starring Frank Fay, and “Arizona” (1931 – Columbia), co-starring a young John Wayne. La Plante subsequently went to England where she appeared in several “quota quickies”, including “Man of the Moment” (1935), with Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. She returned to Hollywood and retired from the screen in 1935, making only two later films, 1957’s “Spring Reunion” being her last. In 1954 La Plante made a guest appearance (as herself, Mrs. Laura Asher) on Groucho Marx’s quiz show “You Bet Your Life”.
Laura La Plante was married twice, the first time was to director William A. Seiter in 1926. They divorced in 1934. Her second marriage was to producer Irving Asher in 1934. They remained married until his death in 1985.
La Plante died at age 91 on Oct. 14, 1996 from Alzheimer’s in Woodland Hills, California.