Heather Menzies-Urich, famous for playing Louisa von Trapp in The Sound of Music, has died aged 68.
Menzies-Urich’s son Ryan Urich said she had only recently been diagnosed with brain cancer, reports SBS.
He said his mother died on Christmas Eve, surrounded by her family and loved ones.
“She was an actress, a ballerina and loved living her life to the fullest,” Urich said. “She was not in any pain but, nearly four weeks after her diagnosis of terminal brain cancer, she had enough and took her last breath on this earth at 7:22 pm.”
Menzies-Urich shot to fame in 1965 after starring alongside Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer in beloved musical The Sound of Music, which won five Academy Awards including Best Picture.
The actress was just 14 years old at the time, and later described being on the set as one of the most “joyous” times on her life.
She went on the film a string of movies and television shows, but none could eclipse her timeless role as Louisa.
Her Sound of Music cast mate Kym Karath, who played Gretl, tweeted her sadness at hearing the news on Christmas Day.
I am filled with infinite sadness tonight. My precious friend and SOM sister Heather Menzies passed away this evening. Devastated.
— Kym Karath (@KymKarath) December 25, 2017
The cast have united many times over the years, and described themselves as “family” in a 2010 interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Menzies-Urich’s husband Robert died in 2002 from a rare form of cancer. The actress created the Robert Urich Foundation in his honour and spent much of her time in recent years raising money for cancer research and support for cancer patients.
She is survived by the couple’s two children and grandchildren.
Menzies-Urich’s death comes just one year after cast mate Charmian Carr (Liesl von Trapp), who died from dementia, aged 73.