Maria von Trapp, the last member of the family who inspired 'The Sound of Music', dies aged 99

The story of the Trapp Family Singers was depicted in the Rodgers and Hammerstein Broadway musical and film

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The Independent US

The last surviving member of the Trapp Family singers, whose story inspired the Broadway musical and Academy Award-winning film The Sound of Music, has died aged 99.

Maria von Trapp passed away at her home in Vermont on Tuesday, her brother, Johannes von Trapp, said on Saturday.

"She was a lovely woman who was one of the few truly good people," he said. "There wasn't a mean or miserable bone in her body. I think everyone who knew her would agree with that." 

Von Trapp was the last surviving member of the musical family, who won acclaim for their singing throughout Europe, before fleeing to the United States from Nazi-occupied Austria in 1938.

After they arrived in New York, the family became popular with concert audiences. They eventually settled in Vermont, where they opened a ski lodge in Stowe. 

Von Trapp was the third child and second-oldest daughter of Austrian Naval Capt. Georg von Trapp and his first wife, Agatha Whitehead von Trapp.

Their seven children were the basis for Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein's 1959 musical and 1965 film, in which von Trapp was portrayed as Louisa. The latter starred Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer and won the Oscar for Best Picture.

The Sound of Music was loosely based on the memoirs of Capt. Von Trapp’s second wife, also Maria von Trapp, who died in 1987.

It tells the story of an Austrian nun who leaves her life in a convent to work as a governess for the seven children of a widower, whom she goes on to marry.

Rosmarie von Trapp, Johannes von Trapp and Eleonore von Trapp Campbell were born to Georg von Trapp and Maria von Trapp.

Additional reporting by Associated Press