So long, farewell – Maria, the last Von Trapp, dies
Nick Clark is the arts correspondent of The Independent. He joined the newspaper in June 2007, initially reporting on the stock markets. He has covered beats including the City, and technology, media and telecoms and made the switch to arts in December 2011. He has also contributed articles to the sports section.
Sunday 23 February 2014
The last of the Trapp Family Singers, who inspired The Sound of Music, has died at the age of 99.
Maria von Trapp, one of seven children dramatised on stage and screen, died on Tuesday at her home in Vermont, her half-brother Johannes confirmed over the weekend.
He described her as a “lovely woman who was one of the few truly good people”, adding: “There wasn’t a mean or miserable bone in her body. I think everyone who knew her would agree with that. Maria had a wonderful life and while we will miss her, the memories of her will live on.”
Maria was the third child of Georg von Trapp and his first wife, Agathe Whitehead. The family escaped from Nazi-occupied Austria in 1938, touring Europe as the Trapp Family Singers before a three-month tour in the US. Her family, including siblings Rupert, Hedwig, Johanna, Martina, Werner and Agathe, who died in 2010, emigrated to America the following year when the Second World War broke out.
They settled in Stowe, Vermont, where they opened a ski lodge with “sweeping mountain vistas reminiscent of their beloved Austria”. Their story was turned into a Broadway show by Rodgers and Hammerstein in 1959 and six years later was adapted into the hit film starring Julie Andrews.
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