Charmian Carr, the actress who played the famed role of Liesl von Trapp in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s film production of The Sound of Music, has passed away at the age of 73.
The actress died from “complications from a rare form [of] dementia,” Us Magazine said.
Carr was beloved by numerous people from various walks of life. She began as a humble midwesterner, and eventually became an interior designer and author.
While her future was great, her beginning was fairly humble, as LA Times noted.
“Carr was born Charmian Anne Farnon in Chicago in 1942 and moved to the San Fernando Valley with her family when she was 13. (At director Robert Wise’s suggestion, she later changed her last name.) Show business ran strong in her family: Her mother, Rita, was a vaudeville actress, while her father, Brian, was a musician and orchestra leader.”
With her parents involved in the arts culture of LA, it is unsurprising that Carr was exposed to musicians, directors, and producers. But when she landed a role in The Sound of Music (a huge success for someone new to the film), her life would never be the same again.
After her Sound of Music days, Charmian only starred in one other film: Stephen Sondheim’s 1966 television musical, Evening Primrose.
But following this role, Carr married, had two children, and changed her career course, according to NY Times.
“Years after starring in The Sound of Music, Carr started her own interior design business, Charmian Carr Design. Her most famous client was the late Michael Jackson, whom she ‘shared a special friendship with,’ according to an obituary on her website.”
Later, in 2000, Charmian wrote and published her first book, Forever Liesl–a work to be followed with her second, Letters to Liesl, the following year.
“When people look at me and see Liesl, I believe they are looking into a mirror,” Carr wrote in Forever Liesl.
“If the film has touched them in some way, it is because it represents the world as they want it to be. If it makes them feel love or happiness or hope, it is because they have these feelings inside them.”
She explained further what she meant by this in an interview with Associated Press in 2005, The Guardian reported.
“I tell people that they should consider sing-a-long Sound Of Music like going to a therapist. 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.”
Many friends and loved ones are mourning her loss. Kym Karath, the actress who played Gretl, wrote a short but sweet obituary on Twitter.
“It is with infinite sadness that I share the tragic news that the precious & exquisite Charmian Carr, beautiful Liesl, has passed away.”
Ted Chapin, president of Rodgers and Hammerstein, also contributed a statement in her memory and honor.
“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. 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.'”
Actor and director Seth McFarlane joined the masses writing in her honor.
“So very saddened to hear of the death of Charmian Carr. She leaves behind one of the most memorable performances in movie history.”
Even 20th Century Fox wrote a Tweet “paying tribute” to Charmian, according to The Guardian.
“The Sound of Music lost a beloved member of the family w/ the passing of Charmian Carr. She will be forever missed.”
As the Inquisitr noted last year, the directors and producers involved in The Sound of Music took a group of virtually “unbeknownst” kids and brought them together as one family. That family endures and, as Charmian Carr herself noted, it is one that can always brighten your day when you’re feeling down. Carr lived brightening the lives of others–a virtue and kindness that will not be quickly forgotten.
[Featured Image by Valerie Macon/Getty Images]