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Maria von Trapp: Her Family Inspired ‘The Sound of Music’

In 1938, Maria von Trapp fled the Nazi takeover of her Austrian homeland along with her father, her siblings, and her similarly named governess-turned-stepmother, Maria Kutschera von Trapp. Their adventure eventually inspired one of the most beloved film musicals in history, The Sound of Music, which made Julie Andrews (who played stepmother Maria) into a superstar.

Maria von Trapp, in a 1938 immigration photo. Source: National Archives.

Maria von Trapp, in a 1938 immigration photo. Source: National Archives.

But the true story lived by von Trapp – who died on Feb. 22 at age 99 in Stowe, Vt. – was considerably different from the one depicted on Broadway, the silver screen and most recently, in a live TV version starring Carrie Underwood.

Here are some of the actual facts about the last surviving member of the original family troupe, and how her life differed from fiction:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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