Agathe von Trapp [pictured above], the eldest daughter of the von Trapp family made famous in “The Sound of Music,” who took exception to the way her father was portrayed, died of congestive heart failure Tuesday at Gilchrist Hospice Care. She was 97 and lived in Brooklandville.
“She had been rabidly negative about the musical and film,” said her physician, Dr. Janet Horn, who with her husband financed the publication of 3,000 copies of Miss von Trapp’s memoir, which she wrote to set the record straight about her family’s exploits.
Miss von Trapp, who had performed and toured with her siblings as part of the Trapp Family Singers until she was 43, had lived a quiet life in Glyndon for much of the past five decades. She was a kindergarten teacher’s helper at a private Catholic school affiliated with the Sacred Heart Parish for many years, said a friend, Mary Louise Kane, with whom she lived.
Miss von Trapp, who was depicted as Liesl in the musical, continued to sing around the house until about three years ago.
Friends said she spoke matter-of-factly and did not care for some of the twists added to her family’s story for the 1959 Broadway musical and 1965 Academy Award-winning film.
She wanted people to know that her father, Capt. Georg von Trapp, a widowed Austrian aristocrat who was played by Christopher Plummer in the film and Theodore Bikel on Broadway, was not cold, unfeeling and distant. She insisted that he was a kind and loving father who helped her and her siblings to sing. She also adored her mother.
Miss von Trapp said the family did not cross the Alps to escape Austria. They crossed the street and boarded a train.