Maria von Trapp, Last of the Trapp Family Singers, Dies at 99

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23 Feb 2014

Maria von Trapp, the last of the Trapp Family Singers whose story inspired the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music, died Feb. 18 at the age of 99, according to published reports.



Von Trapp died of natural causes at her home in Stowe, VT. Her parents were Capt. Georg von Trapp and Agathe Whitehead, whose children also included Rupert, Agathe, Werner, Hedwig, Johanna and Martina.

Her step-mother, Maria Kutschera von Trapp, authored the book "The Story of the Trapp Family Singers," which inspired the 1959 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical.

Her half brother Johannes, the youngest child of Maria and Georg von Trapp, issued the following statement to CNN: "Thank you for your thoughts. Maria had a wonderful life and while we will miss her, the memories of her will live on."

The Sound of Music premiered on Broadway in 1959, where it broke box-office records and won the Tony Award for Best Musical. It starred Mary Martin and Theodore Bikel. The 1965 film version, starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, won the Best Picture Oscar. The Sound of Music features a libretto by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse and a score by Richard Rodgers (music) and Oscar Hammerstein II (lyrics) that includes "My Favorite Things," "Do-Re-Mi," "Edelweiss," "Something Good" and "So Long, Farewell."

NBC's December live broadcast, which was a ratings boon for the network, starred Carrie Underwood and Steven Moyer. The von Trapp family offered reactions to the broadcast. Read them here.