Pop Culture

Charmian Carr, who played Liesl in 'Sound of Music,' dies at 73

To many, Charmian Carr will be forever "Sixteen Going on Seventeen."

The actress, who played eldest daughter Liesl von Trapp in 1965's film adaptation of "The Sound of Music," and who sang the classic teen angst tune, died on Saturday in Los Angeles, reports the New York Times. She was 73.

Her spokesman said it was caused by complications from a rare form of dementia.

(C)20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection
THE SOUND OF MUSIC, Charmian Carr, Daniel Truhitte, 1965

Carr's fellow castmates have been taking to social media to express their condolences and grief:

Kym Karath played youngest daughter Gretl in the film:

Nicholas Hammond played Liesl's brother Friedrich:

Debbie Turner played Marta:

Angela Cartwright played Brigitta:

Born in Chicago in 1942 into an entertainment family (mom was a vaudeville actress, dad was a musician, and with two sisters who went on to become actresses), Carr had a limited Hollywood career. She reportedly had never sung or tried acting before she was cast in the adaptation of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical based on real-life events.

?(C)20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett C
"The Sound of Music" seven: Charmian Carr, Nicholas Hammond, Heather Menzies, Duane Chase, Angela Cartwright, Debbie Turner and Kym Karath (with Christopher Plummer as Baron von Trapp) in the film.

According to The Times Recorder in an article written in 1964 Carr said, "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."

She reportedly beat out actresses including Mia Farrow and Patty Duke to win the role.

Valerie Macon / Getty Images
Carr attending The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences' screening Of "The Sound Of Music" in 2012.

But while both of her sisters, Darleen Carr and Shannon Farnon, went on to extensive acting careers, Charmian made just one more film (the 1966 TV movie "Evening Primrose"), then married and left the business. They had two daughters, and eventually she ran an interior design firm whose clients included Michael Jackson.

She also wrote two books, "Forever Liesl" and "Letters to Liesl," and in 2010 reunited with many of the "Sound of Music" cast for the film's 45th anniversary on "The Oprah Winfrey Show."

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