FILMS and TV… Recalling a Lovely Lyrical Liesl, Charmian Carr



A wee tribute to her sweet musical sound…


My post remembers the lovely Charmian Carr, a much loved musical actress from my youth and childhood. 


Evening Primrose – Trailer, Michele Martinez


I was really sad to hear that Charmian Carr passed away last week. I watched The Sound of Music (1965) as a kid almost yearly, as nine times out of ten it was the Bank Holiday movie, the other time usually being a James Bond film. It tells – of course – the story of the nun Maria Von Trapp – Julie Andrews – who becomes a governess and falls in love with the children’s widowed father played by Christopher Plummer. With lots of memorable songs and an unforgettable dance.

This is the first film which showed a surprising actor  – here Christopher Plummer – dancing a recognisable waltz. As I saw the same dance later in two movies where it was danced both to perfection and parody. The Slipper and the Rose (1976), by Richard Chamberlain and the cast in the former and in Top Secret (1984) by Val Kilmer, in the latter.

It was interesting to read more tales off-screen tales about Charmian, with her sadly hurting her ankle when rehearsing the 16 going on 17 song to standing on a box to look taller than her screen brother. Nicholas Hammond – later to star in Dynasty a Guilty Pleasure (2005) and Dallas (1978-91) – had grown during filming.  I loved Charmian in this musical and recently wrote about her and this film HERE.

She had a wonderful singing voice and I was surprised to learn that she only did one more production, also a musical, an ABC Stage Production called Evening Primrose (1966). The music is written by Stephen Sondheim and it tells of Charles Snell who lives in an apartment store, finds others live there too and falls in love with Carr’s character, Ella Harkins. The film I haven’t seen but looks well worth tracking down after seeing the trailer, for her distinctive singing voice alone.

It has Anthony Perkins in it as Snell, who seems to initially from the trailer just narrate his lines til he bursts into song. I hadn’t heard about this film, a TV movie, which on hearing about Darlin Husband called “Psycho the Musical”. Which by sheer coincidence, is how he enters the trailer by pulling back some curtains. Perkins then appears to sing and dance throughout the store and on an escalator.

I don’t know which film Perkins is more terrifying in. TBH it’s more than a bit bizarre seeing the man you associate with Psycho (1960) singing especially as the ribbing continues from the other half. But then after recently seeing Russell Crowe’s singing and remembering Pierce Brosnan…

I was so happy to see Ms Carr as I associate her with musicals, unlike some Hollywood names. Last time I saw an apartment store used for such a routine was Mannequin (1987) with Andrew McCarthy and Kim Cattrall dancing their wee socks off. And TBH I can’t remember if escalators were involved.

Despite this being her second movie I happily read that Ms Carr left show business after this to bring up her family. A lovely reason. I can see her singing songs in thunderstorms and when they felt sad about favourite things. And with a house with a gazebo.

I always remember Carr’s 16 going on 17 song as Liesl with Rolf, her Hitler Youth first love. As a kid, I imagined – and played out – such a duet with a boy of my dreams (but not so politically inclined), complete with the dance routine. Sadly we had no gazebo. As for Charmian, and I’m sure millions of others she will always, always be Liesl, 16 going on 17.


The Sound of Music | #TBT Trailer | 20th Century FOX, 20th Century Fox




2 thoughts on “FILMS and TV… Recalling a Lovely Lyrical Liesl, Charmian Carr

  1. Wow…that is quite unexpected hearing Perkins sing! Is that really him singing? Who knew! I actually just saw Psycho for the first time two weeks ago, which was quite a memorable experience. But I’m very curious about this Evening Primrose movie now…if partly to hear Charmian Carr sing in another movie.

    Very true…Charmian Carr will always be Liesl!

    Liked by 1 person

Love your thoughts... but only if they are spoiler free!

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.