Ladies We Love: The Baby from The Sound of Music

November 17, 2010 at 9:13 am , by

Can you believe it’s been 45 years since Julie Andrews cavorted and sang all over Salzburg with the von Trapp kids in The SoKym2[1]und of Music? Neither can Kym Karath, who played the youngest, Gretl. Remember, the one who adorably warbled, “The sun… has gone… to bed and so must I” to the party guests? Yep, that’s her, right, and we say she hasn’t changed a bit!

Karath was in New York last week for some TV appearances with her former movie family (there she is, below, with Julie Andrews and her movie siblings), and she stopped by LHJ’s office to catch us up on what she’s been doing lately. After The Sound of Music, she continued her acting career off and on into adulthood—until her three-week-old baby boy suffered a stroke. That caused brain damage and left him with developmental disabilities, and he became her main focus in life.

Her JulieAndrews & Kids[2]son Eric is 19 now, and Karath has found time to work on a project she’s very excited about: developing a TV series called Bouncing Back, about the power of human resilience. As the host, Karath will consult with experts in the emerging field of resilience psychology and tell the stories of real people who overcame incredible obstacles by helping others. “In people’s recovery from difficult experiences, there seems to be an altruistic component that makes them feel stronger,” she says. “It’s very helpful for their self-esteem, and it gives them the capacity to bounce back.”

Karath knows a bit about resilience herself, after going through a divorce, raising a child with special needs and losing her beloved mother to pancreatic cancer. She took a little time to answer our “Ladies We Love” questions.

What makes you a lady?

I like the word “lady”—I don’t think it needs any kind of restoration. It’s really a beautiful concept. It’s all about thinking of others.

Your favorite guilty pleasure?

I love Dancing with the Stars! It just makes me feel so good.

Three things on your life list?

A group of parents at my son’s school and I started the Aurelia Foundation, to create continuing education programs for young adults with disabilities. There’s no reason that these kids, even with severe developmental disabilities, can’t keep learning. I want us to set up a template that I hope will spread all over the country. That is definitely on my bucket list.

If you had a superpower, it would be:

It would be for all the kids who have disabilities to not have them anymore. I’d like to see them all able to function at their best level. And if that couldn’t happen, I’d like everybody around them to be kind and compassionate. That would make such a difference.

Ladies you admire:

Let’s start with Oprah for all the obstacles she has overcome, and all the good things she’s done and continues to do. Then, my son’s teacher, for everything she gives to kids with special needs. And my mother, who was a lady in every possible way. She was spectacular with my son—just unstinting in her love.


Of course, Julie Bain and I had to get a photo with “Gretl” during her visit! And no, we didn’t make her sing “Edelweiss” with us!

So tell us, dear readers: What was your favorite thing about The Sound of Music?

9 Responses to “Ladies We Love: The Baby from The Sound of Music”

  1. I love Karath and what she’s doing, but I also love love LOVE that movie! Tough question. Maybe I can keep it to three:
    1. When Georg dances with Maria in the courtyard before the party and they realize they have smokin’ hot chemisty. Nun, you say?
    2. That spine-tingling note Julie Andrews hits at the end of “Do Re Mi.”
    3. When Georg sings “Edelweiss” at the show, knowing he’s saying goodbye to the country, and the way of life, he loves.
    Oh… and the puppet show. That unbelievable puppet show! And, and, and…

  2. TOTALLY the puppet show!

  3. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Julie Bain, LHJ Health Editors. LHJ Health Editors said: We checked in with our friend Kym, who played Gretl in The Sound of Music. What do you love most about that movie? [...]

  4. It is the ionic view of the Alps, Maria in her apron, singing the Hills are alive, with the sound of music.
    My personal favorite Sound of Music story was seeing my husband watching basketball on TV and secretly watching the Sound of Music and switching back to the Basketball game when I came in the room.
    He admitted when caught that he had gone to see it with his dad and his brother and it was a good memory.

  5. I hope Kym’s show is a huge success. We can all use a little inspiration. And.. she’s still gorgeous!
    My favorite movie moment was when the kids were lamenting Maria’s absence and sadly singing on their patio overlooking the lake.. until Maria’s voice gently joins in. When the kids realize she’s singing with them again, I always well up with tears at their happiness. That.. plus the moment Capt Von Trapp was watching Maria walking alone outdoors that night in her beautiful dress.. and he and the Baroness both knew for certain that he loved her.

  6. Oh my goodness! I love her!!! “The sun…has gone…to bed and so must I”!!!!

  7. i love the movie and the music .- i know all the songs and always get teary eyed when i see itand hear the music .
    brings back such memories of childhood .
    some of my favorites are do re mi and edelweiss…

  8. I like the part where Julie Andrews tells the eldest daughter, (after her boyfriend Franz breaks off with her): “The sun will come out tomorrow you know, it always does.”

  9. I love so much about this movie…..especially the words to the songs. There is so much meaning in the words for me and my life…. “The hills fill my heart with the sound of music, my heart wants to sing every song it hears.” I love being outdoors, being in the hills, and singing.

    I also love that the movie is about people believing in something and being willing to risk everything for it.