The Sound of Music actress Heather Menzies-Urich, pictured with her husband, actor Robert Urich, who died in 2002. Photograph:( Twitter )
Heather Menzies-Urich, best known for her role as Louisa von Trapp in the 1965 American musical drama film “The Sound of Music” died Sunday night in Frankford, Ontario.
According to her son Ryan Urich, the 68-year-old actress had been recently diagnosed with cancer.
Ryan told media his mother died on Christmas Eve, surrounded by her children and family members.
He said, “She was an actress, a ballerina and loved living her life to the fullest. She was not in any pain but, nearly four weeks after her diagnosis of terminal brain cancer, she had enough and took her last breath on this earth at 7:22 pm."
Heather, born in Toronto, first appeared in TV series “The Farmer’s Daughter” in 1964 and then made her big leap with the 1965 feature-film "The Sound of Music" where she was cast as the third-oldest of the seven von Trapp children. She was then just 14 years old.
The film was an adaptation of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical and was a box office smash that won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.
On the news of her death, Ted Chapin, president and chief creative officer of the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization, praised Menzies-Urich’s efforts to keep the movie fresh for new generations.
He said, “Heather was part of ‘the family.’ There is really no other way to describe the members of the cast of the movie of ‘The Sound of Music.’ And of ‘the kids,’ Heather was a cheerful and positive member of the group, always hoping for the next gathering. We are all lucky to have known her, and she will happily live on in that beautiful movie. We will miss her.”
She also starred in films like “Hawaii,” “The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes,” “Piranha,” and “Endangered Species.
She was the widow of actor Robert Urich who died in 2002 of a rare form of cancer. After his death, the actress created the Robert Urich Foundation and spent most of her time to the organization that raises money for cancer research and support for cancer patients.
In addition to Ryan Urich, Heather is survived by two other children.