What happened to the von Trapp children from The Sound of Music?

ByQuyen Anne

Mar 6, 2024

THE Sound of Music has lost little lustre for fans in the 56 years since its release, with its singing nuns, diabolical Nazis and wonderful scenery.

But what happened to the actors who played the Von Trapp family children?

The von Trapp children with screen dad Christopher Plummer in the 1965 movie

The von Trapp children with screen dad Christopher Plummer in the 1965 movieCredit: Alamy

Charmian Carr: Liesl von Trapp

Despite Liesl being “16 going on 17” in the film, the actor was in fact 23 when she beat Mia Farrow and Geraldine Chaplin to the coveted role.

Charmian was hugely popular as Leisl von Trapp in the Sound of Music, but she retired from acting soon afterwards to raise her two daughters and open her own interior design store in California.

The actor and singer also wrote two books, Forever Liesl and Letters to Liesl.

Charmian died aged 73 in Los Angeles on September 17, 2016, from complications related to frontotemporal dementia.

Charmian Carr starred at Liesl in the movie

Nicholas Hammond: Friedrich von Trapp

Nicholas, now 70, played the second child, 14-year-old Friedrich and unlike many of his screen siblings, he stayed in the acting business.

In the late seventies Nicholas took the starring role in The Amazing Spider-Man on TV, and even showed up in Dallas, in 1982, playing Bill Johnson.

The actor moved to Australia in the mid-1980s and now lives in Sydney, with the Australian actress Robyn Nevin.

In 2015, he starred in a mini-series on Gallipoli as Henry Nevinson.

Nicholas has remained close to all his The Sound of Music co-stars and was very fond of Charmian Carr.

Nicholas Hammond is still acting today

Nicholas Hammond is still acting todayCredit: Getty

Heather Menzies: Louisa von Trapp 

Heather was born in Toronto and made her film debut, at 13, as Louisa von Trapp.

She went on to star in various TV shows, including classic sci-fi series Logan’s run, in which she played Jessica.

Heather also modelled for Playboy.

After a failed marriage to John Cluett she met her second husband, actor Robert Urich, while making a corned beef commercial – they married in 1975.

Heather later stepped away from the limelight to raise her three kids.

The mother and grandmother died at the age of 68 on Christmas Eve, 2017 after she was diagnosed with brain cancer.

Heather Menzies was Louisa the wilful third child

Heather Menzies was Louisa the wilful third child

Duane Chase: Kurt von Trapp

Duane was born in Los Angeles and started acting at the age of 11 but, after starring in The Sound Of Music, the young child returned to school.

After High School Duane joined the United States Forest Service, where he fought forest fires, before going back to University to gain a Master’s degree in geology.

Now 71, Duane lives in Washington with his wife Petra Maria and is returning to wildlife and forestry work after time spent designing computer software for oil and mining companies.

Duane quite acting to become a computer whizz

Duane quite acting to become a computer whizzCredit: Splash

Angela Cartwright: Brigitta Von Trapp

The only British von Trapp, Angela, 69, was born in Cheshire in 1952 but moved to the US at a young age to appear in TV series Make Room For Daddy.

After landing the role of Brigitta in the movie, at the age of 12, she went on to star in hit TV series Lost in Space from 1965–1968 and was cast in the television movies Scout’s Honor in 1980.

She has been married to actor and producer Steve Gullion for 44 years and they have two children.

Angela’s acting career tailed off in the 1980s and she is now an artist, displaying her work at Studio City, Los Angeles.

Brigitta was played by Angela Cartwright

Brigitta was played by Angela CartwrightCredit: Getty

Debbie Turner: Marta von Trapp 

Debbie Turner, now 65, played six-year-old Marta von Trapp in the movie, the first child to take to Maria.

Although she had been acting in commercials from the age of six months, she gave up showbiz straight after The Sound of Music to concentrate on studying.

After graduating from college in California she worked in a ski resort where she met her husband Rick Larson. They married in 1980.

The couple have four daughters and live in Minnesota where Debbie runs her own event design company now known as Debbie Turner Originals.

Debbie Turner was sixth child Marta

Debbie Turner was sixth child MartaCredit: Getty

Kym Karath: Gretl Von Trapp

The cutest little von Trapp of the lot. Kym was six when she landed the role of Gretl but she was already an established actor, having starred in Spencer’s Mountain with Henry Fonda at the age of three.

Karath has said she still is not fond of water after nearly drowning in the boat scene in The Sound of Music, as she could not swim.

Karath graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in humanities, and shortly after that she moved to Paris, France, where she studied art history and modeled.

At the age of 26, she married Philippe L’Equilbec; their son was born in 1991.

Karen, now 63, left acting for a while and lived in Greenwich, Connecticut, before returning to the screen in 2005.

Little Gretl was the youngest of the singing clan, played by Kym Karath

Little Gretl was the youngest of the singing clan, played by Kym KarathCredit: Getty

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