Nov. 11 2005—, 2005 -- The actors who portrayed the singing von Trapp family in "The Sound of Music" are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the beloved musical.
The entire von Trapp family -- minus Captain von Trapp Christopher Plummer, who was making a movie and appeared via tape -- reunited at the "Good Morning America" studios today to reminisce and to share inside tales. They also joined in for a round of "Edelweiss," some tearing up as they sang.
Julie Andrews, now 70, was 28 when filming began. She recalled how difficult it was to get the memorable opening shot of her singing atop Austria's rolling hills.
"Every time the helicopter went around to do one more shot, the wind draft from the jets just leveled me," said Andrews who recently starred in "The Princess Diaries" movies.
Much has changed for the cast since "The Sound of Music." Many of the actors went though the follies of youth during the nine months filming the movie.
Charmian Carr, who played Liesl, the oldest daughter, is now an interior decorator. She crashed through a plate glass window while singing "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" (she was really 21 at the time). Upon close inspection, the bandage on her ankle is visible during dance scenes.
Nicolas Hammond, who played oldest son, Friedrich, grew 6 inches during the movie. He began at 5'3". By the end, he was 5'9". At the start, he wore lifts in his shoes. By the end, he had to be filmed far away from the other children so people could not tell how tall he was. Many of the kids lost teeth throughout the filming. The crew had to constantly keep up with their changing bodies.
Kym Karath was 5 years old when she played the youngest, Gretl. The scene when Maria and the von Trapp children fell in the water while waving wildly to Captain von Trapp posed a bit of a problem for her -- she couldn't swim."The little one can't swim, please fall to the front of the boat so you can get to her quickly," Andrews said the directors asked her. "Of course I went to the back of the boat."
Another child ended up carrying Karath out of the water.
Their lives have all taken different paths, but the people who portrayed the famous family say they cherish the memory of making one of the most treasured musicals ever. A special two DVD set will be released this Tuesday. The set includes Mia Farrow's screen test for Liesl and a 1962 spoof of the musical by Julie Andrews and Carol Burnett.