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The Sound of Music

Agathe von Trapp Dies At Age 97

By Paul Cashmere
Fri, 31 Dec 2010 12:35:00 +1100

Agathe von Trapp, the eldest daughter of the von Trapp family, the family the movie The Sound of Music was based on, has died in the United States at the age of 97.

In the movie, Agathe was depicted as Liesl, whose character sang the song ‘Sixteen Going On Seventeen’ with Rolf.

The oldest boy Rupert died in the mid-80s. Werner died in 2007, Hedwig died in 1972, Johanna died in 1994 and Martina died in 1951.

The surviving von Trapp children are Maria (the daughter not the wife)(age 96), Rosmarie (age 81), Eleonore (age 79) and Johannes (age 71). Rosmarie, Eleonore and Johannes were born after the story to Maria (the mother, played by Julie Andrews in the movie) after her marriage to Captain von Trapp.

‘The Sound of Music’ musical was written by Richard Rodgers (music) and Oscar Hammerstein II (lyrics) in 1959. It is the almost true story of the von Trapp.

While the essence of the story was factual, the plot was modified for the movie. For instance, the real mother Maria von Trapp, played by Julie Andrews in the movie, was a governess to one of the children, not all of them. Also Captain von Trapp’s eldest child was a boy, not a girl as depicted in the movie. Also the von Trapp’s did not really escape Nazi-Austria over the hills to Switzerland. In reality, they boarded a train and went to Italy but soon after returned to Austria, they did not live in exile.

Charmian Carr played Liesl in the movie. She beat Patty Duke, Mia Farrow and Sharon Tate for the role. She retired from acting in the 60s to raise her children. Today, she operates her business Charmian Carr Designs in Encino, California. One of her clients was Michael Jackson, who hired her because he was a fan of the movie.

Incidentally, the Australian production of The Sound of Music was the first production outside Broadway, New York or London’s West End. It debuted in Melbourne at the Princess Theatre in 1961. Australian singer June Bronhill played Marie. Peter Graves, who later went on to international fame in the Mission Impossible TV series, played Captain von Trapp. 

VIDEO: Toni Collette, watch the Undercover video interview with Toni Collette talking music:


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