‘Liesl’ from the movie “The Sound of Music,” Charmian Carr, has died of complications from a rare form of dementia at the age of 73.
Carr was best known for her role as the eldest Von Trapp daughter, Liesl, in the academy award winning movie, “The Sound of Music.” Carr was 21 at the time the movie was filmed, and is famous for singing the beloved song “I Am Sixteen Going on Seventeen.” After The Sound of Music, Carr also starred opposite Anthony Perkins in the Stephen Sondheim television musical “Evening Primrose.”
Carr was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1942. Her family moved to the San Fernando Valley when she was 13. She is the daughter of Rita Oehmen, a vaudeville actress, and Brian Farnon, a musician and orchestra leader.
Charmian Carr was best known for acting, but much of her life revolved around her family and her interior design business. After acting in the Sound of Music, she married and then decided to leave the movie business and raise her two children, Jennifer & Emily. It was a decision she never regretted. Once her children were older, Carr started her design business, Charmian Carr Design. Her most famous client was Michael Jackson, who was a huge fan of “The Sound of Music.” It was his favorite film and they shared a special friendship.
Charmian Carr co-wrote 2 books – In 2000 she released “Forever Liesl” which details her experiences making the movie and living her life as “Liesl”. In 2001 she released her second book, “Letters to Liesl” which was inspired by mail she’d received from thousands of her fans. She also participated in “the Sound of Music Family Scrapbook” which contains personal photographs, home movies, and memorabilia from all of the actors who played the children in film. Through the years the actors who played the children in the movie all kept in touch and communicated often. Carr considered them her second family.
In 2000, Carr started co-hosting Sound of Music Sing a Longs. She attended the gala performance of the first one which was held at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York City and attended almost all of the shows at the Hollywood Bowl until 2012. She appeared at various sing a longs throughout the U.S. over the years. She loved meeting fans and hearing stories about how “The Sound of Music” touched their lives.
Charmian Carr is survived by her sisters & brothers: Sharon, Darleen, Michael & Brian, her children, her niece Julie, and her four grandchildren: Emma, Derek, William and Tucker.