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Remembering: Charmian Carr and Heather Menzies

'The Sound of Music'

The Sound of Music. Source Image: NY Times

The Sound of Music was a huge part of my childhood. I was completely swept away with the magic of the film. It remains my all time favourite film to this day, and I still get great joy from watching it. It's always such a treat! 

It is a piece of Hollywood perfection. It has it all: a love story, singing, children, dancing, stunning locations, the goodies and the baddies, sweetness, and charm. The film just keeps going on from generation to generation, and the love for the film remains as strong as ever. A timeless film, which is truly cherished all around the world.

Everybody has a favourite character in the film, be it the incredible Julie Andrews, or the spectacular Christopher Plummer. For me, it was the children, seven children perfectly cast in their roles, each with their own personalities and charm. As a child, I would dance and sing along to their musical scenes, and go into that wonderful world of my own childhood imagination, and play along with the magic of it all!

I was devastated when I heard about the passing of Liesl, the eldest Von Trapp, as I was when I heard of Louisa, Heather Menzies, passing. Both gone far too soon. So let's remember these special ladies, and let's celebrate all the happiness they brought into our lives. The joy they filled our hearts with, and that joy will forever be alive on film.

Charmian Carr

Liesl (Charmian Carr) and Rolfe (Daniel Truhitte) Image Source: NY Times

Charmian Carr, born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1942, played the role of 16, going on 17, Liesl Von Trapp, in the 1965 film. Really, she was 16 going on 21! Charmain beat the likes of Mia Farrow and Lesley Ann Warren for the role, and she was superb, playing the role to perfection.

Charmian admitted that whilst filming she developed a crush on her on screen father, Christopher Plummer, who played Captain Von Trapp. Nights were spent with the adult cast members, drinking and singing at the piano in their Hotel in Austria. When asked what she learnt during filming, Charmian replied, "How to drink!" She certainly got to "taste her first champagne!"

My favourite scene with Liesl has to be the garden scene with her love interest, telegraph delivery boy, Rolfe, played by Daniel Truhitte. "Sixteen Going On Seventeen" is such a sweet, innocent song. The dancing in the gazebo is so fast, romantic, uplifting, and delightful to watch, which beautifully finishes with Liesl's first kiss. 

Charmain died on 17th December 2016, she was 73-years-old. Though she only made one more film after The Sound of Music, she is firmly cemented in Hollywood history as one of the greatest roles ever, and she truly will be, as her book says, forever Liesl.

Heather Menzies

Brigitta (Angela Cartwright) and Louisa (Heather Menzies) Image Source: Today.com

Heather Menzies, was born on 3rd December 1949, in Toronto, Canada. Heather played the role of the third eldest Von Trapp child, Louisa. She was 14-years-old, and had previously appeared on the TV programme, The Farmer's Daughter. So she was practically a Hollywood rookie when she took on The Sound of Music, with no former film experience. Heather excelled in her part of Louisa, with a mischievous streak, who introduces herself to Maria as "Brigitta" and who put spiders in her Governess's room! 

Heather continued to act after The Sound of Music, appearing in numerous films and TV programmes, including T.J. Hooker, Dragnet, and Logan's Run. Pretty Heather blossomed into a beautiful lady, and she was asked to do a Playboy shoot in 1973. She accepted the invite, and posed for the magazine.

During filming, Heather spent a lot of time with her costar Angela Cartwright. They were both huge Beatles fans, and they kept a Beatles diary, and they even spoke to each other in their own special language! After filming, all the children kept in touch and remained lifelong friends. Brothers and sisters forever.

My favourite Louisa scene is the party scene, with the "So Long Farewell" performance. That is actually my favourite scene in the whole film! A classic scene, cheerful, upbeat, and always makes me smile.

Heather died on Christmas Eve 2017. Though she had a long acting career and was a fantastic actress, she will always be best known for playing Louisa Von Trapp, and forever be known, just like her big sister Liesl, as forever Louisa.

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Remembering: Charmian Carr and Heather Menzies
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