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Maria Von Trapp, Last Survivor of Sound of Music Family, Dies at 99

Feb 23, 2014 12:30 PM ET
by Liz Raftery

Maria von Trapp

Maria Von Trapp, the last surviving member of the Austrian family that inspired The Sound of Music, died Feb. 19 at her home in Vermont, The Associated Press reports. She was 99.

Von Trapp was the second-eldest daughter of Georg Von Trapp and his first wife, Agatha Whitehead Von Trapp. She and her six siblings, known as the Trapp Family Singers, were immortalized in the stage and screen versions of The Sound of Music. The character of Louisa in both the musical and film versions was based on Maria.

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The Von Trapps fled Nazi-occupied Austria in 1938 and performed concerts in Europe and America. They settled in Vermont in the early 1940s. Maria Von Trapp played violin and taught dance with her sister Rosmarie at the family’s ski lodge.

She also served as a lay missionary in Papua, New Guinea, the AP reports.

Georg Von Trapp’s second wife was also named Maria, and The Sound of Music is based on a book she published in 1949.


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