Charmian Carr, Who Played Liesl In 'The Sound Of Music,' Dies At 73 Charmian Carr, who played Liesl von Trapp in The Sound of Music, has died at the age of 73. She sang the song "16 Going on 17" and was a longtime booster for the classic film.

Charmian Carr, Who Played Liesl In 'The Sound Of Music,' Dies At 73

Charmian Carr, Who Played Liesl In 'The Sound Of Music,' Dies At 73

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Charmian Carr, who played Liesl von Trapp in The Sound of Music, has died at the age of 73. She sang the song "16 Going on 17" and was a longtime booster for the classic film.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Charmian Carr, who played Liesl von Trapp in "The Sound Of Music," died this weekend. She was 73, and according to a statement, she died from a rare form of dementia. NPR's Elizabeth Blair has this appreciation.

ELIZABETH BLAIR, BYLINE: Safe to say millions of girls around the world wanted to be Liesl, the graceful teenager coming of age.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE SOUND OF MUSIC")

CHARMIAN CARR: (As Liesl, singing) I am 16 going on 17. I know that I'm naive. Fellows I meet might may tell me I'm sweet and willingly I believe.

BLAIR: Turns out that scene where she and Rolf danced in the Gazebo was pretty grueling.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

CARR: I went through the glass on my first jump on the bench.

BLAIR: Four years ago, Charmian Carr told an audience at a film festival that the wardrobe department had forgotten to put rubber soles on her shoes.

CARR: And so they wrapped my ankle, and they gave me what they said was a vitamin B-12 shot.

(LAUGHTER)

CARR: But I didn't feel any pain for the next three days.

ANGELA CARTWRIGHT: She was a trooper. That did not tie her down. She did the best with what she had.

BLAIR: Angela Cartwright played Brigitta in "The Sound Of Music." She says all of the actors who played the von Trapp kids had stayed in touch in the 51 years since the movie was made.

CARTWRIGHT: It's like losing a family member.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE SOUND OF MUSIC")

JULIE ANDREWS: (As Maria) Together.

UNIDENTIFIED CHOIR: (As characters, singing) When you know the notes to sing. You can sing most anything...

BLAIR: She was born Charmian Farnon in Chicago in 1942. Her family moved to California when she was 13. After "The Sound Of Music," Carr rarely acted again. She got married and raised two children. She became an interior decorator. Her most famous client was one of her biggest fans, Michael Jackson.

A couple of years ago, the von Trapps, the great grandchildren of the real Captain and Maria von Trapp, recorded an album with Pink Martini. Sofia von Trapp says they asked Charmian Carr to sing along.

SOFIA VON TRAPP: She represented our family and represented our great aunt in such a beautiful light.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "EDELWEISS")

CARR: (Singing) Edelweiss, Edelweiss, every morning you greet me...

BLAIR: When fans asked if she minded that people only knew her for the role of Liesl, Angela Cartwright says Charmian Carr would say she couldn't have asked for a better movie to be remembered by. Elizabeth Blair, NPR News.

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