Charmian Carr, or as the world knows her, Liesl Von Trapp has sadly passed away. Her legendary role as the eldest child in the 1965 movie of The Sound Of Music is the one that we and many generations to come will remember. Who can forget the musical number 'Sixteen Going On Seventeen' in the gazebo? We all wanted to leap from bench to bench and steal kisses in the rain after watching Carr in that pink dress. Watch the scene again and sing-a-long, we know you know the words:
Charmian was an unknown at the time of casting. She was discovered by the movie's director Robert Wise when he was sent her modeling head shots. Carr had no former acting experience and had never received a singing lesson, which makes her performance as Liesl even more mesmerizing to watch.
Charmian's Untimely Death At The Age Of Seventy Three
Carr passed away on September 17th due to complications arising from a rare form of dementia. Charmian died in Los Angeles and was surrounded by her two daughters, Jennifer and Emily along with other loved ones. Our thoughts go out to them all as we mourn the loss of such a wonderful actress and remember the happiness she brought into all our lives.
You may know all the notes to the sing but here's nine things you definitely didn't know about our favorite Liesl.
1. The Sound Of Music Remains One Of The Highest Grossing Movies Of All Time
Charmian spent eleven weeks on set in Salzburg, Austria filming The Sound Of Music in 1964. Carr then spent a few weeks in Hollywood filming her famous gazebo scene in a studio. Once wrapped the cast began touring the world promoting the release of the new Twentieth Century Fox movie. The movie was incredibly well received by audiences and critics and has gone on to become a solid family favorite.
2. Charmian's Designer Life After Liesl
In later life, Carr quit acting to work as an interior designer, something she did with aplomb. Her clients included Michael Jackson who was a huge fan of both the musical and Carr's work. Ernest Lehman, screenwriter for The Sound Of Music also employed her creative services.
3. Charmian Had A Lot Of Competition For The Role Of Liesl
Carr beat Geraldine Chaplin, Patty Duke, Mia Farrow, Lesley Ann Warren and Sharon Tate to the role of Liesl. Charmian led the way for unknown actors in Hollywood, trailblazing her way into a very difficult and closed community by showcasing talents way beyond her years and experience.
4. Charmian Carr Is Not Her Real Name
Charmian was named after Cleopatra's handmaiden from Shakespeare's Antony & Cleopatra. Although her actual surname is Farnon it was changed to Carr after Hollywood deemed Charmian Farnon too clunky. Her full name is Charmian Anne Farnon.
5. Thanks To Teenage Hormones Carr Needed Some Extra Height On Camera
During the filming of The Sound of Music, Charmian was outgrown in height by Nicholas Hammond who played her younger brother, Friedrich. Carr often had to stand on blocks to make her appear taller in scenes.
6. Charmian Had A Thing For The Captain! Didn't We All?
Charmian had the biggest crush on Christopher Plummer who played her father, Captain Von Trapp. The two flirted back and forth on set. It's not as creepy as it sounds. Charmian was in fact twenty-one at the time of filming, not sixteen as the song would have us believe.
7. Carr's Last Acting Role
Charmian had only one other acting role after TSOM. She was cast opposite Anthony Perkins of Psycho fame in the TV movie Evening Primrose which was released in 1966 by ABC Studios. The movie was a fantasy-cum-horror-cum-musical.
8. Charmian Injured Herself In The First Take, But You'd Never Guess Looking At Her Dancing
The musical star injured her ankle when dancing in the gazebo scene. Due to slippery shoes, she went flying through a pane of glass and had to wear a bandage. The bandage was then dyed the same color as her leg, so you couldn't see it on camera. In the original movie you can just about make it out, but in the digitally restored version it's been removed by computers.
9. Charmian Has Documented The Legacy Of Liesl
Following the success of the movie, Charmian filmed a fortieth anniversary special, where in which she returned to Salzburg to reveal just how the movie was made.
Carr's autobiography Forever Liesl was released in 2000 and is well read by fans of the film. Additionally, she also went on to write a second book entitled Letters To Liesl, which showcased all the fan letters. Carr will be preserved in our memories forever as Liesl Von Trapp and we like to think that somewhere right now Liesl is getting to taste her first champagne.
To Charmian, a drop of golden sun. Thank you for the music and the magic, you'll always be one of our favorite things. Now there is only one more thing left to say:
Do you remember the first time you saw The Sound Of Music?