Maria Von Trapp Dies: Member of Real Family Featured in ‘The Sound of Music’

February 22, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

Maria Franziska von Trapp, a member of a real-life family featured in the movie “The Sound of Music,” has died.

The last surviving member of the seven original Trapp Family Singers made famous in “The Sound of Music.” passed away in her sleep at the age of 99 in her home in Vermont on Feb. 18.

Maria Franziska was born in 1914 in Zell am See, a province of Salzburg, Austria.

She was the third child and second-oldest daughter of Austrian Naval Capt. Georg von Trapp and his first wife, Agathe Whitehead von Trapp. Their seven children were the basis for the singing family in the 1959 Broadway musical and 1965 film, which won five Oscars, including best picture. Maria von Trapp was portrayed as Louisa in the film and musical.

“The Sound of Music” was based loosely on a 1949 book by von Trapp’s second wife, also Maria von Trapp, who died in 1987. It tells the story of an Austrian woman who married a widower with seven children and teaches them music.

The von Trapp family fled the Nazis and came to America in 1938. After they arrived in New York, the family became popular with concert audiences. The family eventually settled in Vermont, where they opened a ski lodge in Stowe.

“She was a lovely woman who was one of the few truly good people,” said Johannes von Trapp, Maria’s half-brother.

“There wasn’t a mean or miserable bone in her body. I think everyone who knew her would agree with that.”

With reporting by the Associated Press.


Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Maria was the last surviving member of the von Trapp family. Epoch Times regrets the error.