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‘The Sound of Music’ actress Kym Karath recollects shut bond with Julie Andrews, why she ‘fled’ Hollywood

Kym Karath has at all times been prepared for her close-up.

The actress was simply three years outdated when she was scouted whereas having a cheeseburger at her father’s restaurant in California. It turned out to be her Hollywood calling.

“Some producers walked as much as me and my mother and requested my mother if I needed to be in a film,” the previous 1960s youngster star advised Fox Information Digital. “And my mom stated, ‘You’d higher ask her.’ And I stated, ‘If it gained’t take an excessive amount of time ‘trigger I’m busy. I’ve a whole lot of dolls to deal with.’ And I assume they had been tremendous charmed. And that was the start of my first film, [1963’s] ‘Spencer’s Mountain.’”

Nonetheless, Karath’s declare to fame was the 1965 Oscar-winning movie adaptation of the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical “The Sound of Music.” The musical and film are fictionalized accounts of the real-life von Trapp household who escaped the Nazis in Austria. It advised the story of a 1930s governess who watches over the big household and their widowed father, naval captain Georg von Trapp, with the assistance of music.

By the point auditions had been underway for the movie, Karath had already obtained reward from the press, significantly from Hollywood columnist Louella Parsons. Nonetheless, she was keen to indicate off her appearing chops.

“By then I used to be 5 [but] I had an older brother and sister by 15 and 16 years, so… I assumed I used to be 5 happening 18,” stated Karath. “I used to be fairly poised, and I walked in with my portfolio below my arm and I stated, ‘Good afternoon gents.’… That was the primary audition. After which there was a singing audition, which I used to be very happy to take part in. They usually requested me what songs I needed to sing. I stated, ‘What would you like me to sing?’ As a result of I knew all of them… I’m a human jukebox to today… So I sang ’16 Happening 17.’”


“Sort of ridiculous for a 5-year-old, however as I stated, I used to be 5 happening 18,” Karath chuckled.

Karath gained filmmakers over, and he or she was forged as Gretl, the youngest von Trapp. She shortly discovered herself in Salzburg the place the movie was set. She described the expertise as “spellbinding.”

“The most effective issues about that film for me was changing into a household,” Karath defined. “And we did turn out to be one in actual life. And being in Salzburg, Austria, I believe, began my profound love of Europe and historical past. [But] it was not a enjoyable factor lacking my father and brother. However my sister and mom had been with me. And our group actually turned a household, which was great.”

“… [Director] Robert Smart was spectacular to work with,” she continued. “He was so heat, so beautiful and so candy… It was work, and also you wanted to recollect your traces, however it was straightforward in a manner as a result of I used to be with my associates on a regular basis.”

The movie’s main woman, Julie Andrews, shortly developed a close-knit bond with the kid actors. The star, now 87, went on to win a Golden Globe and obtained an Academy Award nomination for her efficiency as Maria. Karath described the actress as “a present.”


“I beloved her from the minute I met her,” she gushed. “There’s by no means a nasty second with Julie Andrews – by no means. She’s simply the sweetest, most unbelievable, proficient, sensible human… I believe all of us have the identical favourite reminiscence to some extent. That was when she took out her guitar and he or she simply sang to us. And she or he would have us sing along with her in between the scenes to amuse us, to entertain us, to make the time cross. She was a pure delight.”

Christopher Plummer, who starred because the dashing Captain von Trapp, didn’t provide the identical heat and fuzzy feeling to his a lot youthful castmates.

“On the time he was sort of standoffish,” Karath admitted. “Very good-looking, however I actually wasn’t noticing males being good-looking at 5 – truly let me appropriate myself. I observed that George Chakiris was good-looking when he was in ‘West Facet Story.’ Our moms had been associates and apparently, I pronounced seeing him in that film that he could be my husband after I grew up. And I knowledgeable my mom that she needed to inform his mom for him to not get any older as a result of he needed to look forward to me.”

“However Christopher Plummer was… sort of forbidding,” she shared. “I believe he stayed kind of within the function of captain, however he’s completely not like that. A few years later… there was an occasion for 9/11 on the Westport Nation Playhouse… I went backstage to see him, and he was ready for me. Paul Newman was the grasp of ceremonies. He and [his wife] Joanne Woodward grabbed me backstage and stated, ‘Your father’s been pacing the ground, he’s dying to see you!’… Such a stunning man. So courtly, charming and humorous. Actually pleasant.”

Whereas “The Sound of Music” catapulted Plummer to stardom, he as soon as described the function as “humorless and one-dimensional.” He spent the remainder of his life referring to the movie as “The Sound of Mucus” or “S&M.” Nonetheless, a GIF of the captain ripping a Nazi flag turned a preferred meme lately, which gave Plummer a brand new dose of fame.

The Oscar winner handed away in 2021 at age 91.

Karath stated she knew the movie made a long-lasting influence when the fan mail began pouring in from throughout the globe.


“I couldn’t even spell Paraguay and Uruguay after I was 6,” she stated. “I had followers in Japan – simply in all places. It’s an honor to have been concerned with a film that has touched so many individuals by the generations in international locations all around the globe… To today, somebody will inform me a narrative that simply blows my thoughts utterly…. I keep in mind this girl who stated, ‘I used to face consistent with my dad and mom to look at ‘The Sound of Music’ after we lived in Russia.’ To today, my associates’ kids and grandchildren are in awe of that film.”

The von Trapps settled in Vermont within the early 1940s the place they opened a ski lodge in Stowe. Karath later visited the Trapp Household Lodge and paid her respects at Martina’s gravesite, the sibling who impressed her character.

“Folks don’t at all times take into consideration the historic framework of ‘Sound of Music,’ however I give it some thought on a regular basis,” she stated. “… These had been extremely courageous human beings, immigrants, who had little cash after they first received to America. They left a lot behind. They had been actually courageous. It was an honor to have portrayed somebody who was so fascinating, who led such a outstanding life.”

Nonetheless, life was not at all times whiskers on kittens and heat woolen mittens. Karath stated The Hollywood Museum, which she has lengthy supported, has educated her on the numerous pitfalls fellow youngster stars have endured. The museum presently has an exhibition on the Movement Image Moms, a nonprofit fashioned as a small social group of girls whose kids had been concerned in showbiz. “Depart It to Beaver” star Jerry Mathers’ mom, Marilyn Mathers, serves as president of the group. The exhibit is open to the general public till June 4.

“The factor that isn’t mentioned fairly often is that being a baby actor is definitely youngster labor,” she defined. “It’s very glamorous, and it’s typically enjoyable, however typically it’s not enjoyable and typically it’s terrifying. I’ve associates who ended up being the only real supporter of their households after they had been little children. It’s a whole lot of stress. I believe I’m lucky. I had actually secure dad and mom.”

“… After I hit puberty, and I used to be fairly developed for my age, there have been a whole lot of horrible individuals who got here ahead,” she continued. “And my dad and mom… had been each petrified of what was taking place. They usually stated, ‘No extra – simply concentrate on faculty.’ I used to be fortunate sufficient to have gone to this excellent non-public ladies faculty referred to as Marlborough. After which I went to college and that took me out of that. However going again into it, after I graduated from college, it was casting sofa yet again… It was horrible. And I fled.”


“… There was the Lolita predator-type,” Karath mirrored. “It was fairly dangerous. And I wasn’t accustomed to that. I labored as an expert for thus a few years and I had a really constructive expertise. I might say 98 p.c of it was constructive. That was not one thing I used to be going to do, that I used to be keen to do, or needed to expertise. And I used to be fairly susceptible after dropping my dad, who died tragically throughout my sophomore 12 months. I stated, ‘No extra of this.’ And I went to Paris. What else would a 24-year-old do?”

France turned residence for Karath. She pursued modeling earlier than falling in love, getting married and welcoming a son named Eric. She was contemplating a return to appearing when her son, at three weeks outdated, contracted meningitis and suffered a stroke. With no hesitation, she absolutely immersed herself in motherhood.

“He wanted my full consideration,” she stated. “He’s thriving now. He’s doing nice. My son has accomplished very well – higher than anticipated by an extended shot. However that was not a state of affairs the place you possibly can take the attention off the ball for a minute.”

Karath co-founded The Aurelia Basis, which goals to enhance the lives of individuals with disabilities whereas offering assist to family members.

As we speak, Karath stated, “life is great.” She wrote a screenplay that’s anticipated to be filmed in Paris. Karath pressured she has not given up on appearing – she is simply ready for the correct half.

Beforehand in 2022, Karath and her surviving “Sound of Music” castmates honored Andrews on the AFI Life Achievement Award ceremony in Hollywood.


“It was onerous to not get tremendous emotional that day,” she stated. “It was spectacular to have her honored. We are going to at all times be a household.”

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