Charmian Carr, who starred as Liesl von Trapp in The Sound of Music, has sadly passed away at the age of 73. The American actress died in Los Angeles on Saturday after complications from a rare form of dementia, her representative confirmed.
Charmian was best known for playing the eldest von Trapp child, and famously performed the song Sixteen Going On Seventeen in the 1965 movie. After leaving the film industry, she went on to run a successful interior design firm in California with clients including Michael Jackson and Sound of Music screenwriter Ernest Lehman.
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Charmian Carr was best known for playing Liesl in The Sound Of Music
Charmian was a college student when she auditioned for the film; her mother had arranged for her to go along, despite the fact she had no previous singing or acting experience. She frequently appeared at events celebrating the movie, including sing-a-long performances at the Hollywood Bowl.
"I tell people that they should consider sing-a-long Sound of Music like going to a therapist,” she told the Associated Press before a 2005 event. "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!"
She was a college student when she auditioned for the 1965 movie
Charmian later wrote two books about her Sound of Music experience – Forever Liesl and Letters to Liesl – and went on to star with Anthony Perkins in the Stephen Sondheim TV musical Evening Primrose.
Among those paying tribute to Charmian following her death was her onscreen sister Kym Karath, who played Gretl, the youngest of the von Trapp children. "It is with infinite sadness that I share the tragic news that the precious & exquisite Charmian Carr, beautiful Liesl, has passed away," she wrote on Twitter.
Co-star Kym Karath shared a touching tribute to Charmian on Twitter
Twentieth Century Fox also shared a touching message, writing: "The Sound of Music lost a beloved member of the family w/ the passing of Charmian Carr. She will be forever missed."
Charmian is survived by her four siblings, her two children and four grandchildren.