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The Sound of Music's Louisa von Trapp dies aged 68

Heather Menzies-Urich was diagnosed with brain cancer four weeks ago and died on Christmas Eve.

Heather Menzies-Urich played Louisa von Trapp in the hit musical.
Heather Menzies-Urich played Louisa von Trapp in the hit musical. AP

Heather Menzies-Urich, the actress who portrayed Louisa von Trapp in The Sound Of Music, has died aged 68.

The Canadian-born star's death was announced by the estate of the musical's creators, Rodgers & Hammerstein on Christmas Day.

Menzies-Urich was diagnosed with brain cancer around four weeks ago and died on Christmas Eve surrounded by her family, her son Ryan told US news site TMZ.

"She was an actress, a ballerina and loved living her life to the fullest," he said.

Rodgers & Hammerstein president, Ted Chapin, 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."

Julie Andrews and the von Trapp children in the film.
Julie Andrews and the von Trapp children in the film. AP

She was a 14-year-old with no acting experience when she landed the part of third-oldest von Trapp daughter Louisa in 1964.

After the film she appeared in many television films and programmes, including the TV series of Logan's Run and even appeared nude in Playboy.

In 1975 she married actor Robert Urich and the couple had three children. He died in 2002.

Menzies-Urich's death comes just over a year after that of Charmian Carr - who played the eldest von Trapp daughter Liesl. She died aged 73 in September 2016.

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