Last Member of the von Trapp Family Singers Passes Away at 99
According to the Daily Mail, Maria Agatha Franziska Gobertina von Trapp, the real-life, second-oldest daughter of Georg Ludwig von Trapp and Agatha Whitehead von Trapp, has passed away. She was the last member of the von Trapp Family Singers, who inspired the musical and film versions of THE SOUND OF MUSIC. She was 99.
"Following the death of her father's first wife, she and her siblings were taught by aspiring nun Maria Kutschera, who quickly fell in love with Baron von Trapp and married him in 1927," the Mail writes.
Maria's family escaped from Nazi-occupied Austria in 1938 and went on to perform together around the United States. Maria's stepmother had three more children, and the whole family made a home in Vermont in 1942.
THE SOUND OF MUSIC is a musical with music Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and book by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. It is based on Maria's memoir, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers. The original Broadway production starred Mary Martin and Theodore Bikel, opened in 1959.
Maria was portrayed as the character Louisa in the 1965 film THE SOUND OF MUSIC. The movie starred Julie Andrews as Maria's stepmother and Christopher Plummer as Captain von Trapp. Heather Menzies played Louisa. THE SOUND OF MUSIC won the Oscar for Best Picture and Best Director, as well as three other awards.