Maria von Trapp, the last surviving member of the Trapp Family Singers made famous in the film and musical The Sound of Music, has died.
The musician died on Tuesday aged 99 at her home in Vermont.
The family won acclaim throughout Europe for their singing and escape from Nazi-occupied Austria in 1938, a story which was turned into the 1959 Broadway musical and the 1965 film starring Julie Andrews.
Maria von Trapp was the third child and second-eldest daughter of Austrian naval captain Georg von Trapp and his first wife, Agathe Whitehead von Trapp.
The Sound of Music, which won the Oscar for best picture, was based loosely on a 1949 book by Georg von Trapp’s second wife, also Maria von Trapp, who died in 1987.
It tells the story of an Austrian woman who married a widower with seven children and taught them music.
Maria von Trapp played accordion and taught Austrian dance in her ski lodge home in the US.
Ben has worked as a professional journalist specialising in TV and the arts for nearly twenty years. After a two year stint on local newspapers in the mid 1990s, he spent more than 5 years as the broadcast reporter at the Stage newspaper. Following that he enjoyed staff reporting positions at the Sunday Mirror and the Sunday Times breaking stories and writing features before settling as a full time freelance writing for an array of newspapers and magazines - but mainly for the Guardian, Evening Standard, Broadcast, Independent and the New Statesman where he wrote a column.