Catching Up With the Von Trapp Family Singers: Where Is "The Sound of Music" Cast Now?

News   Catching Up With the Von Trapp Family Singers: Where Is "The Sound of Music" Cast Now?
 
Those seven children are no longer running around the streets of Salzburg wearing drapes! With fans of director Robert Wise's film version of "The Sound of Music" celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, Playbill.com is here to catch you up on what the cast has up to in the years since the film's release.

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Though several of the Von Trapp children went on to careers in film and TV, others tackled different careers entirely. Let's dive in and take a look at where our favorite family singers are now.

Julie Andrews
Julie Andrews

Julie Andrews (Maria)
If Julie Andrews' early film career is known mainly by her roles in "The Sound of Music" and "Mary Poppins," her career has nonetheless been a long and fruitful one. Andrews experienced a late-career surge in the 2000s, starring in "The Princess Diaries" and its sequel, as well as TV adaptations of the "Eloise" books on ABC, including "Eloise at the Plaza" and "Eloise at Christmastime," for which she was Emmy-nominated. Andrews has also lent her voice to a number of animated films, including the "Shrek" series and "Despicable Me," and narrated the Disney live-action movie "Enchanted." After a throat operation in the late 1990s constricted her vocal range from its original soaring soprano to a more limited alto, Andrews has been restricted mainly to speaking roles, but she's made the most of her limitations, exceeding in late-career parts and trying her hand at directing a 2003 production of the Sandy Wilson musical The Boy Friend, the show that marked Andrews' U.S. stage debut, at the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor. Andrews has also authored and co-authored children's books, many alongside daughter Emma Walton Hamilton, and has toured her revue show The Gift of Music around the world. This year, she made a special appearance at the 87th Academy Awards ceremony to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the film version of The Sound of Music following a tribute medley performed by Lady Gaga.

Christopher Plummer
Christopher Plummer

Christopher Plummer (Captain von Trapp)
Christopher Plummer, who has acknowledged his difficulty embracing the role of Captain von Trapp and its enduring success over the years, continues to appear in films, including upcoming releases "Danny Collins" (alongside Al Pacino and Annette Bening) and "Remember" with Martin Landau. He won an Academy Award in 2012 for "Beginners," in which he starred alongside Ewan McGregor as a widower who comes out to his son as gay after the death of his wife. Aside from his film performances, Plummer has remained active as a stage performer. He has performed at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario, where he first appeared in 1955; his most recent appearances at the festival have included a solo show in 2012 entitled A Word or Two, as well as the role of Prospero in The Tempest in 2010, which was broadcast to cinemas in 2012. His most recent appearances on Broadway include Barrymore in 1997, for which he won a Tony Award, King Lear in 2004 at Lincoln Center Theater and Inherit the Wind in 2007 opposite Brian Dennehy.

Charmian Carr
Charmian Carr

Charmian Carr (Liesl)
After "The Sound of Music," the film's Liesl, Charmian Carr, mostly retired from acting, turning instead to interior design as a creative outlet (at one time, the film's screenwriter Ernest Lehman and Michael Jackson were among her clients). Carr has written two books, "Forever Liesl" and "Letters to Liesl," about the process of filming the movie, her continued relationships with her cast members and the enduring legacy of the film. In "Forever Liesl," Carr revealed that she and some of her castmates were convinced to sign releases that prevented them from receiving a share of the profits for the film's soundtrack. charmiancarr.com

Heather Menzies-Urich (Louisa)
The film's Louisa, Heather Menzies-Urich, went on to a fairly steady career in film and TV that included a reunion with Julie Andrews in 1966's "Hawaii," a film adaptation of James A. Michener's novel that also starred Richard Harris, Gene Hackman and Max von Sydow. She starred on TV in "Logan's Run," a weekly spinoff of the 1976 film that lasted for just one season, and in the 1978 B movie "Piranha." Menzies-Urich is also an ardent cancer research advocate and runs the California-based Robert Urich Foundation, a research fund named after her late husband, a fellow actor who starred in TV series like "S.W.A.T." and "Vega$." heathermenziesurich.com

Nicholas Hammond
Nicholas Hammond

Nicholas Hammond (Friedrich)
Nicholas Hammond, who played Friedrich and who had also appeared in the film version of "The Lord of the Flies" directed by Peter Brook, went on to star as Peter Parker in TV's "The Amazing Spider-Man," as well as making an appearance opposite his "Sound of Music" co-star Heather Menzies-Urich in one episode of "Logan's Run." In the 70s he appeared on "Hawaii Five-O," and in the 80s he guest starred on many shows, including "The Love Boat," "Murder, She Wrote" and "Dallas." In the late 90s, he also wrote for TV in Australia, including the miniseries "A Difficult Woman" in 1998, and 1999's "Secret Men's Business," which starred Simon Baker.

Duane Chase (Kurt)
After playing the "incorrigible" Kurt in "The Sound of Music," Duane Chase's career took a decidedly different path. A few years after the film's release, Chase joined the U.S. Forest Service as a firefighter before enrolling at the University of California, Santa Barbara, graduating with a B.S. in geology. He went on to earn his master's degree in geology from the University of Alabama and now designs computer software used by geologists in the field of oil and mining. Chase, who was 13 at the time of filming, grew fascinated with geology during filming in Austria and turned his early interest into a lifelong career.

Angela Cartwright
Angela Cartwright

Angela Cartwright (Brigitta)
British-born American actress Angela Cartwright, who played Brigitta, went on to star in TV's "Lost in Space" for three seasons shortly after the release of "The Sound of Music." Though she continued to appear on TV and in films sporadically through the 80s and 90s, she shifted her focus toward photography. Cartwright has been a photographer for 30 years and is also a published author. Her most recent book, "Styling the Stars: Lost Treasures from the Twentieth Century Fox Archive," was released in 2014; the book takes a behind-the-scenes look at the hair, makeup and costume design that has been a hallmark of Hollywood. Cartwright is currently working on a fantasy adventure novel entitled "On Purpose," which she is co-authoring with "Lost in Space" co-star Bill Mumy. angela-cartwright.com

Debbie Turner (Marta)
After portraying Marta in "The Sound of Music," Debbie Turner retired from acting in order to focus on her education. She went on to pursue interior design in California, eventually founding a floral company, Debbie Turner Originals, which she's been running for more than 25 years and which served as the "Preferred Florist" for the 2008 Republican National Convention, held in Saint Paul, MN. debbieturneroriginals.com

Kym Karath
Kym Karath

Kym Karath (Gretl)
After starring as the youngest Von Trapp, Gretl, Kym Karath went on to guest spots and roles on a number of TV series, including "Dr. Kildare," "Lassie," "Lost in Space" and "The Brady Bunch." She is also a founder of the Aurelia Foundation, a charity supporting day programs for special needs adults, including art and music therapies. kymkarath.tv

Daniel Truhitte (Rolfe)
Before starring as Rolfe, Daniel Truhitte began his career as a dancer, having received a scholarship to the Sacramento Ballet at the age of 15. Almost 30 years after the film's release, North Carolina resident Truhitte was asked by the Old Courthouse Theatre of Concord, NC to tackle the role of Captain Von Trapp in their production of The Sound of Music, a role that he repeated again in a dinner theatre production in Hudson, NC in 2013.

Peggy Wood
Peggy Wood

In Memoriam

Eleanor Parker (The Baroness)
After starring as the chilly Baroness in love with Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music, Eleanor Parker, who died in December 2013 at the age of 91, performed primarily on TV, including appearances on "The Love Boat," "Hawaii Five-O" and "Murder, She Wrote." Though her early career was marked by three Academy Award nominations, for "Caged," "Detective Story" and "Interrupted Melody," by 1991 she had retired from film and television altogether.

Richard Haydn (Max Detweiler)
After a thriving film career, the role of Max in "The Sound of Music" was one of Richard Haydn's last major roles. He starred in just four movies after, including Mel Brooks' "Young Frankenstein," in which he played Herr Falkstein, appearing in one last film, 1985's "Hugga Beach," before succumbing to a heart attack the same year at the age of 80.

Peggy Wood (Mother Abbess)
For Peggy Wood, an Academy Award nominee for her role as the Mother Abbess, "The Sound of Music" was her final film performance. She appeared on "One Life to Live" in 1969 before retiring altogether. She died in 1978 following a stroke, at the age of 86.

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