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The actor, who performed Sixteen Going on Seventeen in the 1965 film, said people should consider singing the musicals songs like going to a therapist

Charmian Carr, who played Liesl von Trapp in The Sound of Music, has died at the age of 73.

The actors spokesman said she died on Saturday in Los Angeles, of complications from a rare form of dementia.

Carr was best known for her role in the Rodgers and Hammersteins 1965 film, in which she performed the song Sixteen Going On Seventeen. She was a college student when she auditioned for the film, which also starred Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer.

The actor fully embraced audiences reverence for the musical, frequently appearing at fan events commemorating the film, including sing-a-long performances at the Hollywood Bowl.

I tell people that they should consider sing-a-long Sound Of Music like going to a therapist, she told Associated Press before a 2005 appearance. Its just a kind of therapy. They can move around. They can dance and talk back to the screen. They can skip their appointment with the shrink that week.

Carr later wrote a pair of books about her experiences, Forever Liesl and Letters To Liesl. She went on to star with Anthony Perkins in Evening Primrose, the Stephen Sondheim television musical.

Kym Karath, who played Gretl, the youngest of the Von Trapp children, wrote on Twitter: It is with infinite sadness that I share the tragic news that the precious & exquisite Charmian Carr, beautiful Liesl, has passed away.

Ted Chapin, president of the Rodgers and Hammerstein organisation, said in a statement: Its always sad when a member of the family passes away and in the case of the family of the movie The Sound of Music, its especially sad when it is the first of the group to go.

Charmian
Charmian Carr photographed in 2000. She had a successful career as an interior designer but embraced her famous role by appearing in sing-a-long Sound of Music events. Photograph: Karen Robinson for the Observer

Charmian Carr played the oldest von Trapp child, and in some ways she maintained that role in real life guiding, cheering, supporting and generally being there for the rest of her sisters and brothers.

Carr was born in Chicago in 1942. Her mother was a vaudeville actress, and her father was a musician and orchestra leader. Her family moved to the San Fernando Valley when she was a child.

When she retreated from acting, she set up an interior design business in southern California. Her clients included Michael Jackson and Sound of Music screenwriter Ernest Lehman.

The
The actors who played the Von Trapp children in the The Sound of Music in Salzburg on November 2000. Left to right: Kym Gareth (Gretl), Charmian Carr (Liesl), Heather Menzies (Louisa), Nicholas Hammond (Friedrich), Duane Chase (Kurt), Debbie Thurner (Martha) and Angela Cartwright (Brigitta). Photograph: STAFF/Reuters

2oth Century Fox paid tribute to Carr on Twitter, writing: The Sound of Music lost a beloved member of the family w/ the passing of Charmian Carr. She will be forever missed.

Seth MacFarlane, the actor and director, wrote: So very saddened to hear of the death of Charmian Carr. She leaves behind one of the most memorable performances in movie history.

Carr is survived by her four siblings, her two children and four grandchildren. She is also survived by the six other actors who became part of cinematic history when they were cast as the von Trapp children.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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