ByKristy Anderson, writer at
Kristy Anderson

On September 17, 2016, the entertainment world lost another icon when Charmian Carr, known for the role of eldest von Trapp, Liesl, in The Sound Of Music, passed away from complications of a rare form of dementia.

Carr won the role of Liesl almost by accident, after a friend secretly sent her picture to Director Robert Wise. She beat out future big names Mia Farrow and Patty Duke for the part.

After The Sound Of Music, Carr took on one more role, in the TV musical Evening Primrose alongside Anthony Perkins, before stepping away from acting following her marriage.

She later opened her own interior design firm, often working for her Sound Of Music co-stars, and crew members from the film. She is known to have developed a strong friendship with Michael Jackson, who initially hired her due to his love for The Sound Of Music.

Some young actors become resentful of the roles that made them stars, especially if they were apparently typecast. This was never true for any of The Sound Of Music's young cast, least of all Charmian Carr.

Carr completely embraced the film and its fans, even writing two novels on the subject. Forever Liesl was a memoir chronicling her time making The Sound Of Music, and Letters To Liesl was a collection of fan mail she had received over the years.

Carr was heavily involved in the 40th, 45th, and 50th anniversaries of the film, playing an instrumental role in reuniting the entire cast for the 45th.

Carr would often attend and perform at Sound Of Music sing-along events up until 2012, when we can now sadly assume her health may have begun to decline.

In 2014, she recorded a cover of "Edelweiss" for an album released by the great-grandchildren of the real-life von Trapp family.

Maybe, we should let this be Charmian Carr's legacy. Surviving icons, embrace your status. It is a rare and beautiful thing to truly touch someone's heart with a film or song.

Rest in peace, Charmian Carr. You will always be Liesl to us.

Which Sound of Music number was your favorite?


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