Charmian Carr, best known for her role as Liesl Von Trapp in The Sound of Music movie has died, her family confirmed in a statement. She was 73.
According to a family statement Carr died on Saturday from complications from a rare form of dementia.
In a note on her official website, a man identified as Steve Hughes announced that Carr had died.
“My name is Steve Hughes, and my Company has been managing Charmian Carr’s website for many, many years,” he wrote. “Me and my family are so sad to have to post this message and will miss her dearly… We had the gracious opportunity to stay at Charmian Carr’s house several times while we worked on different projects for her. And we traveled to New York with her on another occasion. She was such a nice, cheerful person. We always LOVED, The Sound of Music, and still do.”
Carr was born Charmian Farnon in Chicago to vaudeville actress Rita Oehman and musician Brian Farnon. Her family moved to Los Angeles when she was 10. According to Carr, she was studying speech therapy and philosophy at San Fernando Valley State College (now known as California State University, Northridge) when a friend arranged for her to audition for the Sound of Music movie.
“I was going to college and getting extra spending money by modeling in fashion shows in one of the stores,” Carr told The Times Recorder in 1964. “One of the girls who modeled with me knew that Robert Wise, producer-director of The Sound of Music had been conducting a four-month search for someone to play the part of 16-year-old Liesl. My friend, without my knowing it, sent in my picture and explained in a note that I sang and danced. I received a call from Mr. Wise to come for a tryout. It took me completely by surprise.”
At Wise’s suggestion, Carr dropped her surname in favor of “Carr.” She won the role, but her time spent in show business was short-lived – after The Sound of Music she starred as Ella Harkins in the 1966 TV movie Evening Primrose, but that was her only other film or TV credit.
According to the statement on her website, Carr married Jay Brent in 1967 and decided to give up acting to focus on her two daughters Jennifer and Emily. “It was a decision she never regretted,” according to Hughes.
Once her children were older, Carr started her own interior design business, Charmian Carr Design. Michael Jackson became a client and the two shared a special friendship, according to her website.
Carr is survived by her siblings Sharon, Darleen, Michael and Brian; her children; her niece Julie and her four grandchildren, Emma, Derek, William and Tucker.