If you grew up with The Sound of Music like I did -- and, let's be honest, who didn't? -- then this news may be a bit upsetting to read.
Charmian Carr, who played the eldest von Trapp daughter, Liesl, in the 1965 classic film The Sound of Music, sadly passed away on Saturday, September 17th.
The news broke on Sunday on the Rodgers and Hammerstein website with reports that she died of complications from dementia at age 73.
Ted Chapin from the Rodgers and Hammerstein site wrote a beautiful tribute to the actress who will be deeply missed within the fandom.
"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 The 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 that 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."
Charmian was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1942, and, while studying in college, her friend secretly sent a picture to Robert Wise -- director of The Sound of Music -- as the actress recalled back in a 1964 news publication:
"I was going to college and getting extra spending money by modeling in fashion shows in one of the stores. 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."
Our thoughts are with her family and friends.