Sound of Music Musical
On Road with Sound of Music
The Sound of Music
The Sound of Music, now on DVD
Rodgers and Hammerstein
Julie Andrews was the only one director Robert Wise considered seriously for the role of "Maria".
The actress, born in Walton-on-Thames, England on October 1st, 1935, was a former child star of British revues and a very successful Broadway star. ("The Boy Friend", "My Fair Lady", "Camelot"). Her theatrical training made her
ideally suited to the filmmaking style that had its heyday in the Hollywood musicals of the 1940s and 1950s.
Her cinematic persona was established with her first appearence on screen as the magical title character in Walt Disney's "Mary Poppins" (one of her top grossing films of all times). Winning an Oscar for "Mary Poppins" was also a personal coup for Andrews. Just before getting the role, she had lost the movie role of Eliza Doolittle ("My Fair Lady") to Audrey Hepburn.
Andrew's portrayals of Mary Poppins and Maria von Trapp not only placed her at the forefront of bankable Hollywood stars of the 60s, but marked and, in effect, pigeoonholed her career. She created strict but loving figures whose no-nonsense manner hid magical powers. After a while, Julie Andrews became tired of her squeaky clean screen portrayals and like most actors, sought different kinds of roles. It is only in her more recent films with her husband, director Blake Edwards that the actress has succeeded in changing the sugar image that has followed her throughout her career.
In 1982, she earned another Academy Award nomination for "Victor / Victoria" which suggested that she had, at last, broken free of her "singing governess" image and had embarked on a promising new phase in her career. In 1996, Andrews appeared on Broadway in "Victor / Victoria", once again on stage when she first began her show biz career.
Films as Actress:
1964 Mary Poppins, The Americanization of Emily
Before The Sound of Music, Christopher Plummer (Baron von Trapp) was a famous Shakespearean actor, having played only once in a major film - "The Fall of the Roman Empire". He suited the role of a noble widower perfectly. After his success with The Sound of Music, he appeared in numerous movies and still works in film, television and stage today.
A movie actress at the age of 18 (going on 19...), Eleanor Parker (The Baroness) became famous in the 50s with three Academy Award nominations for "Caged", "Detective Story" and "Interrupted Melody". She was the "name" Wise counted on, as she had been known for many years. After The Sound of Music, Eleanor Parker retired to Palm Springs.
Originally, Richard Haydn (Max Detweiler) was a
dancer, but became active in movies after working with a passing film
compay in Jamaica, where he was living at the time.
Peggy Wood (Mother Abbess) was a grand dame o the Amercian Theater, not often seen on the movie screen. The Sound of Music took her back to her roots, as she had started her career as a musical actress. Wood liked her part as the warmhearted Mother Abbess although her voice had to be dubbed. She died on March 18, 1978.
The Sound of Music marked the start of her career - although she had no intention of becoming an actress. Charmian Carr (Liesl) was a part time model when a friend sent her picture to Robert Wise. He discovered she could dance and sing and - there she was - a perfect Liesl. Today, she works in interior design with a list of famous clients like Michael Jackson.
Nobody would thought Nicholas Hammond (Friedrich) would get the role - he couldn't sing at the audition, due to a ski accident a few days before which had left him without his front teeth. But he got the role, partly because he was already a professional, heaving appeared on television, on Broadway and in the movies. Today he lives in Australia and is a celebrated screenwriter and actor.
Angela Cartwright (Brigitta) was already known for her role in the sequel "Make room for Daddy" when she was cast for The Sound of Music. After the film she starred in the series "Lost in Space" and made her living as a film actress. She has two children and still works as an actress and a photographer and has an internet business.
Heather Menzies (Louisa) got the role although she lacked experience. After the film, she starred in television series and other movies. She stopped to become a full time mother and is very engaged in fighting cancer.
Duane Chase (Kurt) started his career at the age of 11 doing commercials to earn money for his education. Today, he is a software engineer in the state of Washington.
Debbie Turner (Marta) too started with commercials. Today, she lives in Minnesota as a happy mother of four children and runs a successful floral design shop.
Kym Karath (Gretl) had already done three movies before The Sound of Music. Wise knew instantly he would never find another 5-year-old with such camera presence. Karath starred in "All my Children" before taking time off for her baby.
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