The Hills are Alive!

Ever since my family moved to the mountainous regions of the Pacific Northwest, I have considered myself a mountain girl. I spent my formidable years living in the North Cascades where my father engineered some of the major bridges for the North Cascades State Highway 20 which is the northernmost route across the Cascade Mountain Range in Washington state.

Diablo Lake as seen from North Cascades Highway.

As a retired teacher, I now live with my husband in the Boise Mountains north of Boise, Idaho. We have a breathtaking view of the valley from our deck and can watch deer and elk herds regularly. When we visited Salzburg, humming “The hills are alive with the sound of music…” almost felt like home. A draw for Salzburg tourism is to show Americans the filming locations for the 1965 movie, The Sound of Music. This is not a draw for local tourists since although The Sound of Music was the highest grossing film of 1965, it was an American sensation, not a German or Austrian one. Instead, Germans and Austrians may be more interested in Salzburg as the 1756 birthplace of Mozart. There are tours, museums, and concerts there in his honor. I took this picture as we wandered the Salzburg streets.

Mozart’s birthplace in Salzburg.

As typical Americans, we did tour some of the places filmed during The Sound of Music. The opening scene of Julie Andrew spinning in the mountains is a 30 minute drive from town so we did get there but the Abbey, the filming for the Von Trapp home, and gazebo are all still there to view.

The Gazebo

Christopher Plummer died only a few months ago on February 5, 2021 at the age of 91. He had a long and storied career as an actor. You may wonder what happened to the rest of the cast. Of course, Julie Andrews is still busy in the acting world. With additional fame from Mary Poppins  to The Princess Diaries; her most recent contribution was as the voice of Lady Whistledown in the Netflix  Bridgerton series.

The Cast of the Sound of Music

The children:

Liesel – Charmain Carr. Carr married a dentist and raised two daughters. She did publish two books in 2000 and 2001 as an homage to her Sound of Music character called “Forever Liesel” and “Letters to Liesel.

Freidrich – Nicholas Hammond. Hammond is better know for his role as the iconic superhero, Spiderman. He played “The Amazing Spider-Man” in the TV series from 1977 to 1979. He eventually returned home to his native Australia and is currently in longtime relationship with Australian actress Robyn Nevin.

Louisa – Heather Menzies. Menzies guest-starred in many popular TV shows of the 60s and 70s like “Dragnet”, The Bob Newhart Show”, “Love Boat”, and “Logan’s Run”. She married twice and had three children. She died December 2017 at the age of 68 of brain cancer.

Brigitta (the bookworm)- Angela Cartwright. Cartwright followed that role by starring as Penny in Lost in Space. She occasionally appeared on other 80s shows and lent her voice to a few children’s projects in the 00s. She married in 1976 and established a photography business. Currently, she can be seen playing Dr. Smith’s mom in the Netflix adaptation of Lost in Space.

Kurt – Duane Chase. Chase left Hollywood and went on to study geology. He settled into a career as a software engineer where he currently lives in Washington state with his wife and designs computer software for geologists and geophysicists.

Marta – Debbie Turner. Turner also did not continue an acting career but eventually got into the floral business. She is married and lives in Minnesota with their four daughters.

Gretl – Kym Karath. Karath appeared in TV shows in the 60s and 70s but exited the industry in 1981 to study Art History and did some modeling. She married Philippe L’Equilbec and lives in France with their son.

The Sound of Music cast: Where are they now?

As I was researching the cast, I found an odd similarity between the Baroness Elsa who pursues Von Trapp before Maria catches his eye and the icy Princess Elsa  of Frozen fame. You can compare for yourself in the clips below.

I know the movie is a fictionalized account of the real Von Trapp family but it does not take the enjoyment away, I hope you are enjoying some hilltop moments of your own.

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