‘Sound of Music’ actress describes her experiences in making musical classic

November 4, 2016 GMT

NEW ULM - Debbie Turner, who played Marta Von Trapp in the movie adaptation of “The Sound of Music” spoke Thursday night at Martin Luther College.

Her appearance came ahead of the college’s upcoming performance of the famous play. The MLC?Forum’s production of “The Sound of Music” opens tonight at 7 p.m., with performances on Saturday at 7 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Turner, who now lives in Chanhsassen, spoke of her time performing as a child actress. She displayed a slideshow while telling the crowd of some interesting behind-the-scenes facts.

For example, she related what it was like during the scene in which the Von Trapps escape the cemetery.

When Christopher Plummer, playing Captain Von Trapp, jumps into their escape car, the scene was actually shot on a sound stage, with little room.

“When you see him floor it, then the next scene you see it coming down the driveway and out, that did not really happen,” Turner said. “He actually just floored it and slammed on the brakes. We were all praying that the brakes worked.”


During a question and answer session audience members were able to ask her what they really wanted to know. Which, at one point, turned to how she stayed in touch with Julie Andrews, who played Maria.

“I have seen her five times, maybe, since the movie,” Turner said. “But she is always very lovely when we do see her.”

One audience member, who had traveled from Minneapolis to see Turner, asked about whether she had any special moments. Turner went to the scene that Captain Von Trapp sang Edelweiss.

“That was the last scene filmed as part of the movie,” Turner said. “Now when they do a movie the do not do it in sequence, they do it here and there. Just before we were going to go film the scene, we were all set and ready to go and Robert Wise, the director, goes ‘Oh, by the way after this scene we are one hundred percent done, there is no more filming.’”

The shock of which caused her and the rest of the children to begin crying real tears, Turner said.

After describing behind the scenes of the movie, Turner talked a little bit about herself. She is now working as a floral designer, notably having worked on Prince’s memorial service.

Turner also hinted at realeasing a picture book around the time of the 60th anniversary of the film.