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Oldest von Trapp daughter portrayed in 'Sound of Music' dies

By Catholic Online
12/31/2010 (6 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Survivors say character in film a composite

The eldest of the von Trapp daughters, members of an Austrian family that served as the inspiration for the musical "The Sound of Music", has died. According to longtime friend Mary Louise Kane, 97-year-old Agathe von Trapp, died in a Gilchrist Hospice in Towson, Maryland.

While the 16-year-old Liesl von Trapp character in 'The Sound of Music' was based on Agathe, the writer and director took great artistic license with the portrayal. '(Von Trapp) was nothing at all like the Liesl character,' a family friend says. 'She was a very private person and a bit shy. She didn't like being in the limelight at all.'

While the 16-year-old Liesl von Trapp character in "The Sound of Music" was based on Agathe, the writer and director took great artistic license with the portrayal. "(Von Trapp) was nothing at all like the Liesl character," a family friend says. "She was a very private person and a bit shy. She didn't like being in the limelight at all."

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By Catholic Online
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
12/31/2010 (6 years ago)

Published in Celebrity

Keywords: The Sound of Music, von Trapp family, survivors


P>LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The eldest of the von Trapp daughters, members of an Austrian family that served as the inspiration for the musical "The Sound of Music", has died. According to longtime friend Mary Louise Kane, 97-year-old Agathe von Trapp, died in a Gilchrist Hospice in Towson, Maryland.

Kane, who ran a kindergarten with von Trapp in Glyndon, Maryland, says that she fell ill last month and was moved on December 2 to the Gilchrist Hospice.

Kane says that while the 16-year-old Liesl von Trapp character in the movie was based on Agathe, the writer and director took great artistic license with the portrayal.

"(Von Trapp) was nothing at all like the Liesl character," Kane said. "She was a very private person and a bit shy. She didn't like being in the limelight at all."

Agathe was not the oldest of the von Trapp family. An older brother was made younger in the script.

"Liesl was a made-up character," Kane said. "I never thought of her being Agathe because they were too unlike."

Four siblings survive, including Maria, 96, who lives in Vermont, Kane says. Three half-siblings that are still alive are Rosemarie, Eleonore, and Johannes, she said.

The von Trapp family fled Austria in 1938 to escape Nazi persecution and toured the United States as the Trapp Family Singers after World War II.

Agathe von Trapp wrote her life story in a book published in 2003 and republished last September, Kane said.

"She was hoping to do some book signings," Kane said. "She did enjoy the book signings because people would come and tell her how much they enjoyed her concerts."

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