Charmian Carr, best known for her work as Liesl von Trapp in the 1965 film The Sound of Music, has died in Los Angeles at the age of 73. A spokesman told the Guardian that she suffered from a rare form of dementia.
Carr, who memorably performed the song Sixteen Going On Seventeen in the movie, was in college when she auditioned for the role alongside Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. From People:
“I was going to college and getting extra spending money by modeling in fashion shows in one of the stores,” Carr told The Times Recorder in 1964. “One of the girls who modeled with me knew that Robert Wise, producer-director of The Sound of Music had been conducting a four-month search for someone to play the part of 16-year-old Liesl. My friend, without my knowing it, sent in my picture and explained in a note that I sang and danced. I received a call from Mr. Wise to come for a tryout. It took me completely by surprise.”
Carr’s death was announced on a notice posted to her her website. A press release written by her family notes that following The Sound of Music, Carr also starred in the Stephen Sondheim TV musical Evening Primrose with Anthony Perkins. It goes on:
Carr was best known for acting, but much of her life revolved around her family and her interior design business. After acting in the Sound of Music, she married and then decided to leave the movie business and raise her two children, Jennifer & Emily. It was a decision she never regretted. Once her children were older, Carr started her design business, Charmian Carr Design. Her most famous client was Michael Jackson, who was a huge fan of “The Sound of Music.” It was his favorite film and they shared a special friendship.
Despite her decision to leave acting, Carr participated in sing-along screenings of The Sound of Music at the Hollywood Bowl until 2012, and remained close with her on-screen siblings for the duration of her life.
She is survived by four siblings, her children, her niece and her four grandchildren.