Maria Von Trapp, the last surviving member of the family made world-famous by “The Sound of Music,” has died at the age of 99.
Maria Franziska, the last of the seven brothers and sisters from the Austrian family, died in her sleep at her Vermont home.
“It was a surprise that she was the one in the family to live the longest because ever since she was a child she suffered from a weak heart,” a family friend told the Austrian Times.
“It was the fact that she suffered from this that her father decided to hire Maria von Trapp to teach her and her brothers and sisters,” she continued. “That of course then led to one of the most remarkable musical partnerships of the last century.”
The family sang and performed instruments together, which proved fortunated after Baron Von Trapp lost his fortune in 1935 during the world economic crisis. They fled their home in Salzburg, Austria when the Nazis arrived, and ended up performing around the United States, eventually inspiring the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical which tells their story.
Her stepmother Maria and father Baron Von Trapp had three more children together and settled on a farm in Vermont in 1942.