Heather Menzies-Urich, from left, Kym Karath and Debbie Turner, cast members in the classic film
Heather Menzies-Urich, from left, Kym Karath and Debbie Turner, cast members in the classic film "The Sound of Music," pose together before a 50th anniversary screening of the film at the opening night gala of the 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival in Los Angeles. Chris Pizzello - Invision - AP

Sound of Music star dies

ACTRESS Heather Menzies-Urich, best known for portraying Louisa von Trapp in the 1965 film The Sound of Music, has died Sunday. She was 68.

Menzies-Urich, the widow of actor Robert Urich, had been recently diagnosed with cancer, according to her son Ryan Urich.

Urich said his mother died on Christmas Eve, surrounded by her children and family members.

"She was an actress, a ballerina and loved living her life to the fullest," Urich said.

"She was not in any pain but, nearly four weeks after her diagnosis of terminal brain cancer, she had enough and took her last breath on this earth at 7:22pm."

Duane Chase, Heather Menzies, Johannes von Trapp, Debbie Turner and Nicholas Hammond. Picture: Supplied
Duane Chase, Heather Menzies, Johannes von Trapp, Debbie Turner and Nicholas Hammond. Picture: Supplied

Among those to pay tribute were Kym Karath, who played her sister Gretl in the musical.

Born in Toronto, Menzies-Urich's first screen credit came in the TV series The Farmer's Daughter in 1964. She was 15 when she was cast as the third-oldest of the seven von Trapp children in The Sound of Music, a box office smash that went on to win five Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Actor Julie Andrews in the 1965 film 'The Sound Of Music'. Picture: Supplied
Actor Julie Andrews in the 1965 film 'The Sound Of Music'. Picture: Supplied

Her other feature films credits included Hawaii, The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, Piranha, and Endangered Species. Her TV credits included Dragnet, Bonanza, Marcus Welby M.D., The Bob Newhart Show, and starring as Jessica 6 in the TV series Logan's Run.

AActor Julie Andrews in the 1965 film 'The Sound Of Music'. Picture: Supplied
AActor Julie Andrews in the 1965 film 'The Sound Of Music'. Picture: Supplied

Menzies-Urich's family moved from Canada to the Los Angeles area when she was a teenager.

She was 14 when she landed the part of Louisa in the landmark 20th Century Fox production, directed by Robert Wise, that starred Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer.

Menzies-Urich met her future husband while filming a commercial for Libby's Corned Beef Hash in the mid-1970s.

Urich died in 2002 of a rare form of cancer. Menzies-Urich created the Robert Urich Foundation and spent most of her time in recent years to the organisation that raises money for cancer research and support for cancer patients.



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