The Sound of Music : Charmian Carr looked too old to play Liesl

Charmian Carr looked too old to play Liesl

She was certainly beautiful, but she looked her age (about 25). She was supposed to be 16.

Anyone agree?


I'd say this cloud is Cumulo Nimbus.
Didn't he discover America?
Penfold, shush.

Re: Charmian Carr looked too old to play Liesl

Yeah, it was obvious she wasn't 16, but Hollywood has a looooong tradition of hiring 20-somethings (even 30-somethings on occasion) to play teen roles. They have more life experience and years to work on their talent. She had a bigger role than the other kids. They had to make sure that whoever they hired wouldn't sing "16 going on 17" with a deer-in-the-headlights look on her face.

Re: Charmian Carr looked too old to play Liesl


They had to make sure that whoever they hired wouldn't sing "16 going on 17" with a deer-in-the-headlights look on her face.

lol good point!


I'd say this cloud is Cumulo Nimbus.
Didn't he discover America?
Penfold, shush.

Re: Charmian Carr looked too old to play Liesl

I thought she could easily pass for 16. I think when people knew what her real age was, they think of that.

Re: Charmian Carr looked too old to play Liesl


I thought she could easily pass for 16. I think when people knew what her real age was, they think of that.


Good point well taken, crinrbrght5! I agree.

Re: Charmian Carr looked too old to play Liesl

I used to think that. However, having seen some of the secondary school aged girls these days, who look 16-going-on-27 and have the confidence to match, I think she seems positively babyish :-)

Re: Charmian Carr looked too old to play Liesl


I used to think that. However, having seen some of the secondary school aged girls these days, who look 16-going-on-27 and have the confidence to match, I think she seems positively babyish :-)
I do work recording music for dancing schools and I couldn't agree more.

Let Zygons Be Zygons.

Re: Charmian Carr looked too old to play Liesl

Actually, she had recently turned 21 when SOM started filming. She has mentioned it in several interviews over the years, and her imdb age matches.

I found her believeable. Especially when you look at other actors even 20 years ago. Shelly Fabares was older than 15 on Donna Reed. Ron Howard and the gang were older than 16 on Happy Days. So were the kids on Fame, Family Ties, Partridge Family, Saved by the Bell, even Glee. Tons of them. Natalie Wood was no high school kid when she starred in West Side Story. Neither were the rest of the lead actors.

Teenagers in the movies look the way real teenagers WISH they did!


How sad, that you were not born in my time, nor I, in yours.

Re: Charmian Carr looked too old to play Liesl

i feel like she was convincing as a teenager and i was fooled when i first saw the film


Re: Charmian Carr looked too old to play Liesl

Please. How many teenagers have been played by actors in their 20s? She was pretty and charming - that's really all the part calls for - and audiences have loved her.

Re: Charmian Carr looked too old to play Liesl

Spot on.Totally not believable.Actually was the first thing that crossed my mind when I saw the character.

Re: Charmian Carr looked too old to play Liesl

I thought she was a tad too old to be playing a 16 year old. She seems to tower over her siblings like a young mother and not a sister.

If Carr were five years older (than her real age of 22-23 at the time), and Plummer five years younger, they could've been dating!

But, boy, was her beauty mesmerizing. That's the most important thing of all.

Re: Charmian Carr looked too old to play Liesl

In hindsight, she looks her age, not sixteen. Louisa looks sixteen. However, they certainly searched enough, and she looks like a member of that family. I believe she said only one person among the Sound of Music production team was on her side for getting the role, but he prevailed in the end. Her mother, a bit of a stage mother, tried to create friction between Carr and her older sister by telling Carr her older sister was jealous and devastated that Carr had been cast instead. I think Carr said she was devastated hearing this until she finally spoke to her sister herself, and her sister said she was so happy for Charmian. Charmian says her sister would have been a terrific Liesl, but from caring for the siblings in the family and having so much responsibility, she didn't look like a teen-ager anymore, but just a young woman. And anyway, her sister went on to have a long acting career.

I think she suits the movie. Now that I look at sixteen going on seventeen, Liesl seems incredibly hot to trot for a G movie, but she had a perfect singing voice for the movie. A nice clear voice but a complete contrast to Maria's/Julie Andrews'.

Re: Charmian Carr looked too old to play Liesl

Carr was actually twenty-three when this film was released, and she looked several years younger. A lot of teenagers in the 1960s, especially the 1930s, looked older back then than most twenty-five-year-olds today, so I don't believe Charmian Carr was too old for the part. Her casting was both realistic and idealistic. Besides, she had great chemistry with the actor who played her father, Christopher Plummer.

Re: Charmian Carr looked too old to play Liesl

She didn't have any scenes with Plummer other than singing Eidelweiss. The only direct interaction besides that is when he pats her face after kicking her out of the room so he can talk to Maria. One thing that is so striking is when Leisl scurries over to her father to give him the telegram, Plummer doesn't even glance her way and she's giving him something and talking to him.

Re: Charmian Carr looked too old to play Liesl

BLASPHEMY!! Charmian looked the perfect 16 . . . if you wore your dark glasses to the theater! LOL!!

Re: Charmian Carr looked too old to play Liesl

When she is together with Julie Andrews they look more like contemporaries than governess/ward.

Love the film though and it didn't bother me.
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