So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye; ‘Sound of Music’ Star Christopher Plummer Dies
Christopher Plummer, the dashing award-winning actor who played Captain von Trapp in the film “The Sound of Music” and at 82 became the oldest Academy Award winner in history, has died.
He was 91.
Plummer enjoyed varied roles ranging from the film “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” to the voice of the villain in 2009′s “Up” and as a canny lawyer in Broadway’s “Inherit the Wind.”
In 1998, Plummer appeared in a horror movie entitled 'The Clown at Midnight,' which saw him guide a murderous clown resembling the famed sad clown from the opera 'Paglliaci.' Plummer would don the greasepaint as well at one point in the film.
Plummer was most recently seen in 2019's 'Knives Out,' in which he played the rich, cunning patriarch of a family who inevitably began battling over the contents of his will. It was a murder mystery/comedy that currently holds a 97% 'Fresh' rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
But it was opposite Julie Andrews, as Captain Von Trapp that made him a star and endeared him to countless generations.
“[We] should have ended up together," Plummer once told ABC News. "We should have had a huge smashing affair. But there was no time because she had her children with her, which was most inconvenient.”
Still, the chemistry between Plummer and Andrews was evident in their performance of the Rogers and Hammerstein musical, and it was that chemistry, that love, that has kept 'The Sound of Music,' as one of the most enduring musicals of all time.
Plummer was given Canada’s highest civilian honor when he was invested as Companion of the Order of Canada in 1968.
In 'The Sound of Music,' Captain Von Trapp sings a song for his children called 'Edelweiss.' It is the first time in years he sang for his family, ever since the death of his wife.
Later in the film, Von Trapp performs the song again, this time for an enormous crowd of his countrymen. It is the last song he will sing in his native Austria, because Von Trapp would take his family and leave the country, rather than join the Navy of Nazi Germany. The song is his subliminal goodbye to his beloved country.
This was Plummer's defining moment of his defining role.