Heather Menzies-Urich, Sound of Music actress dies, aged 68

Star was diagnosed with brain cancer around four weeks ago and died on Christmas Eve surrounded by her family

Joe Nerssessian
Monday 25 December 2017 21:23
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Heather Menzies-Urich died on Christmas Eve surrounded by her family
Heather Menzies-Urich died on Christmas Eve surrounded by her family

Heather Menzies-Urich, the actress who portrayed Louisa von Trapp in The Sound Of Music, has died aged 68.

The Canadian-born star’s death was announced by the estate of the musical’s creators, Rodgers & Hammerstein, on Christmas Day.

​Menzies-Urich was diagnosed with brain cancer around four weeks ago and died on Christmas Eve surrounded by her family, her son Ryan told US news site TMZ.

“She was an actress, a ballerina and loved living her life to the fullest,” he said.

Rodgers & Hammerstein president Ted Chapin said: “Heather was part of ‘the family'. There is really no other way to describe the members of the cast of the movie of 'The Sound of Music'.

“And of ‘the kids’, Heather was a cheerful and positive member of the group, always hoping for the next gathering. We are all lucky to have known her, and she will happily live on in that beautiful movie. We will miss her.”

She was a 14-year-old with no acting experience when she landed the part of third-oldest von Trapp daughter, Louisa, in 1964.

After The Sound of Music, she appeared in many television films and programmes, including the TV series of Logan’s Run – and even appeared nude in Playboy.

In 1975 she married actor Robert Urich and the couple had three children. He died in 2002.

Menzies-Urich’s death comes just over a year after that of Charmian Carr – who played the eldest von Trapp daughter, Liesl. She died aged 73 in September.

Carr famously performed the song "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" in the Academy Award-winning film The Sound of Music. She wrote two books about her experiences, titled Forever Liesl and Letters to Liesl.

Her spokesman, Harlan Boll, said Carr died of complications from a rare form of dementia in Los Angeles.

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