WEST HOLLYWOOD—Charmian Carr known for playing Liesl Von Trapp in the movie musical “The Sound of Music,” she died at the age of 73. According to the actor’s spokesman, she died on Saturday, September 17 in Los Angeles from complications from a rare form of dementia. Carr at age 21 portrayed Liesl von Trapp in the 1965 film version of the musical. She famously performed the song “Sixteen Going on Seventeen.” The actress appeared at fan events commemorating the movie including sing-a-long performances at the Hollywood Bowl.
Carr ended up writing books on her experience such as “Forever Liesl” and “Letters to Liesl.” She also starred in “Evening Primrose” with Anthony Perkins, the Stephen Sondheim television musical.
Kym Karath, who played Gretl, the youngest of the Von Trapp children, wrote 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, the president of the Rodgers & Hammerstein in New York, also released the following statement on behalf of the entire organization:
“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.’ She was a great ambassador, and we had so many good times together, either working on ‘Sound of Music’ related events, or, something I will always remember, arranging for her to be a special guest at New York’s Symphony Space’s ‘Wall to Wall Stephen Sondheim,’ reminding the audience that Carmy did, in fact, star opposite Anthony Perkins in the 1967 TV musical ‘Evening Primrose.’ I will miss her, well, charm and her spirit. We all send condolences to her family.”
Charmain Carr was born in Chicago in 1942. Her mother was a vaudeville actress, and her father was a musician and orchestra leader. When she was a child her family moved to the San Fernando Valley. Carr retired from acting and set up an interior design business in Southern California. According to The Guardian, her clients included Michael Jackson and “Sound of Music” screenwriter Ernest Lehman.
20th Century Fox paid tribute to Carr on Twitter writing: “The Sound of Music lost a beloved member of the family w/ the passing of Charmian Carr. She will be forever missed.”
Seth MacFarlane, known for creating the cartoon “Family Guy,” wrote on social media: “So very saddened to hear of the death of Charmian Carr. She leaves behind one of the most memorable performances in movie history.”
Carr is survived by her four siblings, her two children, four grandchildren and her niece.