Laura La Plante
Laura La Plante was an American actress, best-known for her roles in silent films.
Born as Laura LaPlant, La Plante made her acting debut at the age of 15, and in 1923 was named as one of the years WAMPAS Baby Stars. During the 1920s she appeared in more than sixty films. Among her early film appearances were Big Town Round-Up, with cowboy star Tom Mix, and the serials Perils of the Yukon and Around the World in Eighteen Days. The majority of her films 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." One of her earliest surviving films is Smouldering Fires directed by Clarence Brown and costarring Pauline Frederick. Her best remembered film is arguably the silent classic The Cat and the Canary, although she also achieved acclaim for Skinner's Dress Suit, with Reginald Denny, the part-talkie The Love Trap, directed by William Wyler, and the 1929 part-talkie film version of Show Boat, 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 that the novel was based on, some songs from the play were tossed into the film as box-office insurance. La Plante, however, did not actually sing in the movie; her singing was dubbed by Eva Olivetti, one of the first instances in which this was done in a motion picture. Quite unusual for its day, a scene of La Plante in Show Boat was broadcast on early British television.