Fans of the Hollywood classic The Sound Of Music were devastated this week when actress Charmian Carr, known for playing the eldest Von Trapp daughter Liesl, died on Saturday. She was 73 years-old.
The New York Times reported that Carr’s spokesman Harlan Boll confirmed that she died from a rare form of dementia.
Carr was just 21 years-old when she portrayed Liesl Von Trapp in the 1965 musical The Sound Of Music. She is best remembered for performing the song “Sixteen Going on Seventeen.”
“It’s always sad when a member of the family passes away — and in the case of the ‘family’ of the movie ‘The Sound of Music,’ it’s especially sad when it is the first of the group to go,” said Ted Chapin, president of the Rodgers & Hammerstein organization, in a statement. “Charmian Carr played the oldest von Trapp child, and in some ways she maintained that role in real life — guiding, cheering, supporting and generally being there for the rest of her ‘sisters’ and ‘brothers.'”
After The Sound Of Music, Carr made one more movie before retiring from acting altogether to raise her children. She went on to become a very successful interior designer in Southern California whose clients included Michael Jackson.
Born in 1942, Carr is survived by her two daughters and four siblings. Though she left acting after he most famous role, Carr never had any regrets about being part of an American cinematic classic.
“I tell people that they should consider singalong ‘Sound Of Music’ like going to a therapist,” she said before a 2005 appearance. “It’s just a kind of therapy. They can move around. They can dance and talk back to the screen. They can skip their appointment with the shrink that week.”
Rest in peace, Charmian Carr!