Heather Menzies-Urich, who starred as Louisa von Trapp in the 1965 film adaptation of The Sound of Music, has died at the age of 68.
The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization confirmed the news in a statement Monday, saying, “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.”
Her son, Ryan Urich, told Variety that his mother, who died on Christmas Eve surrounded by family members, had recently been diagnosed with brain cancer.
“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 7:22 pm.”
Born in 1949 in Toronto, Menzies-Urich’s first acting credit was on the TV series My Three Sons when she was 13, according to her website, and after that she auditioned for and got the part of Louisa — the third-oldest von Trapp sibling — in The Sound of Music, which also starred Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. The film went on to become a beloved classic and won five Oscars, including best picture.
Her other acting credits included Hawaii, Dragnet 1967, The Bob Newhart Show, and Logan’s Run.
Kym Karath, who played Gretl von Trapp, also paid tribute to her Sound of Music costar on Twitter, writing, “I am filled with infinite sadness.”
Menzies-Urich was married to actor Robert Urich (Vega$). He died of cancer in 2002, at the age of 55.