‘The Sound Of Music’ Cast: Where Are The Von Trapp Kids Now?
Last night, Diane Sawyer’s special The Untold Story of The Sound of Music took viewers, and Julie Andrews, back to the beautiful hills of Austria where the movie was filmed 50-years-ago, and fans learned a lot of nifty things, like how Christopher Plummer (who played Captain Von Trapp) was drunk while filming the music festival scene, and how Julie Andrews beat out both Grace Kelly and Doris Day for the role of Maria.
Another thing fans learned was that many now-famous actors auditioned for the roles of the children in The Sound of Music, such as Kurt Russell, Richard Dreyfuss, Mia Farrow, and four of the Osmond Brothers, but director Robert Wise instead decided to cast a group of relative unknowns, who, unbeknownst to them, were taking part in cinematic history.
But what happened to the Von Trapp kids after The Sound of Music?
Liesl was the oldest of the Von Trapp children. She was “16 Going On 17,” and was played by 21-year-old actress Charmain Carr. These days, Carr is 72-years-old, and lives in Southern California, designing furniture for upscale clients, including Michael Jackson, who hired her as an interior designer because he was a big fan of the movie. She’s written two books about her time on The Sound of Music: Forever Liesl, and Letters To Liesl.
Fifteen-year-old Friedrich was played by Nicholas Hammond, who turns 65 this year. Since The Sound of Music, he’s continued acting, racking up a whopping 75 acting credits to his name, which include playing Spiderman/Peter Parker in the 1977 TV series The Amazing Spiderman. He has an English Literature degree from Princeton University.
Canadian-born actress Heather Menzies played 13-year-old Louisa, and after acting alongside The Sound of Music co-star Julie Andrews in 1966’s Hawaii, she reinvented her innocent image into one much sexier, when she posed for Playboy in 1973. She went on to star in the horror movies Sssnake(1973), and Piranha (1978), as well as the sci-fi cult classic TV series Logan’s Run. She dropped out of acting in the 1990s when her first child was born, and now runs a non-profit organization named after her late husband, Robert Urich, that provides funding for cancer research, and helps families relocate for specialized treatment.
Kurt Von Trapp was played by Duane Chase, who left acting not long after his The Sound of Music performance, and went on to earn both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in geology. He now lives near Seattle, Washington, with his wife, and two cats, and works as a software engineer.
Ten-year-old Brigitta was played by Angela Cartwright, younger sister of Veronica Cartwright, who also auditioned for The Sound of Music, but was not cast. In the 1960s, Angela played Penny Robinson in the TV series Lost in Space. She is a painter, photographer, and writer, based in Los Angeles, California, and released her most recent book last year, entitled Styling The Stars: Lost Treasures From The Twentieth Century Fox Archive.
Debbie Turner was cast as seven-year-old Marta almost immediately after auditioning for the role, because the producers thought she was adorable. In college, she was the west coast ski-racing champion, and it was her favorite sport that ultimately led her to meet her husband, Rick Larson. They have four daughters together, and live in Minnesota, where Debbie works as a successful floral designer. She was recently hired to provide the floral arrangements for a wedding in Salzburg, Austria, at a palace that inspired the sets on The Sound of Music.
The youngest Von Trapp child, Gretl, was played by Kym Karath, now 56-years-old. Kym continued acting until the 1980s, showing up in some well known TV series, like Lassie, Lost in Space, The Brady Bunch, and All My Children. She received a degree in humanities from USC. After taking time off from acting, she moved to Paris to pursue a career in modelling, and to study art history. When her son Eric was born with disabilities, she put her career behind her in order to focus on him. She also helped establish the Aurelia Foundation, which provides services for people with special-needs.
The Sound of Music may be 50-years-old, but it’s a film that will always have a spot in the hearts of people the world over.
[Image Credits: The Daily Mail; Twentieth Century Fox]