The Sound Of Music Kids: Then And Now

Ben Falk
·Contributor
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They were the seven Von Trapp children who charmed the world as Julie Andrews’ charges in the 1965 classic. But what became of them?

Charmian Carr – Liesl

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Now 71, Chicagoan Carr is a grandmother and has written two books about her experience of making the movie.

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She also became a successful interior designer, once creating a mock sweet shop for Michael Jackson. She was working part-time for a doctor when she auditioned for the film and director Robert Wise got her to change her name from Farnon to Carr. She is thought to have won the role over such famous names as Mia Farrow and the late Sharon Tate.

Nicholas Hammond – Friedrich

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Before appearing in ‘The Sound Of Music’, Hammond acted in the brilliant 1963 adaptation of ‘Lord Of The Flies’. Afterwards, he worked consistently on TV, but is otherwise best-known for playing Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the 1977 US series, which was on air for two years and was the first live-action version of the webslinger.

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It only lasted for 13 episodes and was disliked on the whole by Spidey fans. Neverthelss, following the success of ‘The Incredible Hulk’, it was almost revived in what would have been an early iteration of The Avengers.

Heather Menzies – Louisa

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Menzies was born in Toronto and after playing the third-eldest Von Trapp appeared with Julie Andrews again in the movie ‘Hawaii’. But it was on TV that she found most success, starring in the small screen adaptation of ‘Logan’s Run’. She subsequently appeared in Playboy, married actor Robert Urich, had four children and does charity work for cancer.

Duane Chase – Kurt

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The now-63-year-old Chase appeared in one further episode of television before leaving showbusiness and returning to his studies after the film, eventually earning a Master’s degree in geology from the University of Alabama. He married a German-born registered nurse and now lives in Seattle designing computer software which is used by geologists.

Angela Cartwright – Brigitta

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Born in Altrincham, aside from Hammond, Cartwright is probably the most successful actor of the group, starring in 84 episodes of classic sci-fi show ‘Lost In Space’ as Penny Robinson. She also featured on-screen opposite Paul Newman and Sidney Poitier, as well as appearing in 1979’s legendary flop ‘Beyond The Poseidon Adventure’ with Michael Caine. She is also the sister of actress Veronica Cartwright, best known as Lambert in the original ‘Alien’. She has two children and is a well-regarded photographer.

Debbie Turner – Marta

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Despite an active childhood in the industry, the film seems to have put a pin in Turner’s performing ambitions and she went back a normal life outside the business. Possibly inspired by Edelweiss, she ended up opening a floral design company called Debbie Turner Originals, as well as a sideline in handmade collectible Santa Claus dolls. She has political connections too - she was a “preferred florist” at the 2008 Republican National Convention. Aged 58, she now lives in Minnesota with her husband and four daughters.

Kym Karath – Gretl

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Playing the family’s youngest daughter, Karath wasn’t able to swim at the time of shooting and has revealed she almost drowned during the filming of the boat scene in the movie. Of Greek origin, her original surname was Karathanasis and since 1965 she has spent most of her time working sporadically in television. Now 56, she has one child with her French ex-husband.

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Photos: ITV/Rex/PA/Jim Smeat/BEI/Startraks/20th Century Fox