The five surviving former child actors who played the Von Trapp children in the 1965 film masterpiece The Sound of Music came together to sing “Do Re Mi” to the legendary Julie Andrews, giving her the surprise of a lifetime.
One of those enduring classic family movies that has a special place in the hearts of many Americans is The Sound of Music. At the 48th AFI Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute, the young actors who played the characters in the 1965 Academy Award-winning movie came together to pay tribute to Julie Andrews, a friend and co-star.
As the song Do-Re-Mi began to play, Andrews was surprised by Nicholas Hammond, who played Friedrich in the musical, as well as Duane Chase (Kurt), Angela Cartwright (Brigitta), Debbie Turner (Marta), and Kym Karath (Gretl). In the movie based on real events, Andrews played Maria von Trapp, who began her career as the children’s governess.
The reunion, according to Fox News, was bittersweet. The actors who played Liesl and Louisa von Trapp in the film, Charmian Carr and Heather Menzies-Urich, passed away in 2016 and 2017, respectively. Capt. Georg von Trapp, played by Christopher Plummer, passed away in 2021.
For her portrayal of Maria, a young woman who is sent by her convent to work as a governess for the seven children of a widowed naval officer in 1930s Austria, Andrews received an Academy Award nomination. Andrews received the AFI Life Achievement Award from Carol Burnett.
The comedian declared that the honor was well-deserved. She has always given her all for us. And her “all” is amazing. Many thanks, buddy.
Julie Andrews reflected on the numerous people who had an influence on her life after accepting the award.
This evening brought home to me how many people go into making a movie, she said. “What a massive amount of cooperation is required to make a movie. When people referred to the film industry or business as “the business,” my husband Blake didn’t like it. He insisted that movies should always be referred to as works of art. And I am aware that the AFI feels exactly the same way.
In an interview with Fox News Digital, Angela Cartwright, who played Brigitta, discussed what it was like to work with Andrews on The Sound of Music.
The young actress at the time admitted, “I loved her. All of us did. In the film, you can kind of guess. We thoroughly admired her. She welcomed us with open arms right away. Between takes, she would sing to us, and we would dance. She recently performed “Mary Poppins,” which allowed her to sing all of the movie’s songs. You can clearly see how much we loved her. She is so talented. It was a wonderful experience, and she has such a beautiful voice.
Cartwright also mentioned the continued closeness of the cast members.
Cartwright said, “It’s fascinating because sometimes you make a movie and you really don’t see each other anymore or stay in touch.” “However, we’ve all kept in touch. We have undoubtedly gathered for events and reunions. Every time one of the cast members leaves, it’s like losing a member of the family. We have all remained in touch over the past 50+ years [since filming] and are aware of each other’s lives.
The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, a book written by Maria von Trapp and published in 1949, served as the inspiration for both the Broadway musical and later the film. The Sound of Music deviated from von Trapp’s life in a number of ways, as with any work that claims to be “based on a true story.” For instance, Joan Gearin for the National Archives noted that the family was musical before Maria arrived.
But instead of scaling mountains, their harrowing escape from the Nazis involved trains. The family intended to leave Austria after Hitler’s regime took control because they did not want to support the Nazis’ objectives. They arrived in America in 1938 and began touring the world until 1955.
Maria von Trapp never stopped working on musical and religious endeavors. According to Smithsonian Magazine, she only received about $500,000 in royalties when the hugely successful movie about her life was released. She nonetheless thought that the movie would spread hope and “great good” by restoring people’s faith in God, which was one of her personal priorities.