Nicholas Hammond shot to fame as young Friedrich von Trapp in 1965 musical The Sound of Music, but he’s undergone quite the transformation since then – as his career continues to flourish in the limelight.
The 67-year-old actor is now starring as a butcher in new Aussie comedy The BBQ, and looks completely unrecognisable from his earlier movie career. But he has kept the fondest of memories of his time in the classic hit.
Appearing on Channel 10’s Studio Ten, he was asked if he stays in touch with his on-screen siblings, and said: “All the time. Sadly we’re diminishing numbers now, but those six have remained my closest friends.”
Charmian Carr, who played eldest sibling Liesl, tragically died in 2016 from complications related to frontotemporal dementia at the age of 73. Meanwhile, Heather Menzies-Urich, best known for portraying sister Louisa, passed away last year
Speaking about Menzies-Urich’s death, he admitted it was “terribly sad”, adding: “Those women are my sisters and they nag me… we have attended important events in each other’s lives.
Kym Karath, who played sister Gretl in the movie, tweeted her condolences afterMenzies-Urich died, writing: “I am filled with infinite sadness tonight. My precious friend and SOM sister Heather Menzies passed away this evening. Devastated.”
Speaking of the cast’s unbreakable bond, Hammond added: “None of us have gone off the rails, none of us have done terrible things. We’re hugely frustrating because we’re just people who love each other.”
While the movie became one of the most popular and successful in history, the cast actually had little hope for it after someone told them it was a “dud”. Only after seeing the ratings upon the film’s release, did they realise they’d been involved in a huge part of entertainment history.
“You never know. We all thought, ‘we’ve got a dud on our hands’. You don’t know until there’s an audience in the cinema watching the film… We loved making it and had a wonderful time making it, but that doesn’t always guarantee the film’s going to be a success.”
Hammond moved to Australia in the mid-1980s, and he lives in Sydney with his partner, Australian actress Robyn Nevin. After finding fame on the beloved musical, Hammond went on to star on 70s CBS hit The Amazing Spiderman, Crocodile Dundee and Dallas.
Speaking about his early fame previously, he even admitted he had a crush on his late co-star Carr during filming, who played his on-screen sister Liesl. He told DMA: “I had a crush on her, she was so beautiful. God, those wonderful, beautiful blue eyes. I was so much younger than her, I was 13 she was 20, a grown up. I adored her.”
He insisted all of the cast have remained good friends, and they recently joined together for a reunion with lead actress Julie Andrews.