Angela Cartwright played the pretty Brigitta von Trapp in The Sound of Music movie when she was twelve years old. She originally wanted to play the role of Louisa and went to her audition wearing a blonde wig. Afterwards Angela said that she was pleased she was asked to be Brigitta, as she thought it suited her more, and was also able to keep her original hair color!
During filming Angela was taught by Julie Andrews to say the famous Mary Poppins phrase ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ backwards. She claims she can still say it today! Angela and Heather Menzies instantly became good friends and the two of them spent many hours looking at Beatles magazines, trying to decide which singer they liked the best. They even formed their own club called The HePaulAng Club, and were constantly found singing Beatles songs on the film set! Angela sang all the songs in The Sound of Music herself, without any dubbing.
“The Sound of Music enchanted movie goers in a different way. Maybe it was the music, the storyline, the beauty of the film………whatever the magic was, it was universal.” - Angela Cartwright
Before The Sound of Music
Angela Margaret Cartwright was born on September 9th 1952, in Altrincham, Cheshire, England. Her older sister,
, also an actress, starred in Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller The Birds. The two have actually appeared in a couple of shows together, one being Alfred Hitchcock Presents. When Angela was only a year old she moved to Canada with her family. They first lived in Montreal, and then spent two years in Toronto.
Her parents later decided to move to El Segundo near Hollywood, California, where she did some fashion modeling as a child. Angela was successful at getting her photo on many magazine covers and was chosen to play a part in Somebody Up There Likes Me in 1956, at the age of three and half years old. She played Paul Newman’s daughter, Audrey. This was her first movie, and then later appeared in the follow up film Something of Value.
She also appeared on the Danny Thomas Show (previously known as ‘Make Room for Daddy’), as Linda Williams, Danny’s step-daughter. The series ran for seven years. Here's a video clip of Angela in the show:
After The Sound of Music
Following the huge success of The Sound of Music movie, there followed much work on television, TV commercials and in the theater. Below is a comprehensive list of the work Angela appeared in:
Elf Sparkle and the Special Red Dress (2010) Miss Cow
The Bolt Who Screwed Christmas (2009) Daughter (voice)
Lost in Space (1998) Reporter #2
Airwolf (1985) Mrs. Cranovich
Eruption (1985) … Mrs. Cranovich
High School U.S.A. (1983) Miss D'Angelo (photo above right)
The Love Boat (1982) Yanne
Scout's Honor (1980) Alfredo's Mom
Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (1979) Theresa Mazzetti (photo right)
Logan's Run (1977) Karen
The Collectors (1977) … Karen
Mr. & Ms. and the Magic Studio Mystery (1975) Sally
Room 222 (1972) Phyllis
The Nichols Girl (1972) … Phyllis
Elizabeth Brown Is Failing (1972) … Phyllis
Adam-12 (1971) Cindy Williams
Assassination (1971) … Cindy Williams
Make Room for Granddaddy (1970-1971) Linda Williams
Monument for Uncle Tonoose (1971) … Linda Williams
The Arm Wrestle (1971) … Linda Williams
The Big Hang-Up (1971) … Linda Williams
The Greatest Ear in the Business (1971) … Linda Williams
Karate Kate (1971) … Linda Williams
1969 U.M.C. (1969) Angela
My Three Sons (1965-1969) Alice Vail / Debbie
Chip and Debbie (1969) … Debbie
The Glass Sneaker (1965) … Alice Vail
Lost in Space (1965-1968) Penny Robinson (photo right)
Junkyard of Space (1968) … Penny Robinson
The Great Vegetable Rebellion (1968) … Penny Robinson
The Flaming Planet (1968) … Penny Robinson
Space Beauty (1968) … Penny Robinson
Fugitives in Space (1968) … Penny Robinson
“Lost in Space brings back a lot of memories for people, and I think that any time you're involved in something that has such a long-lasting appeal, you feel very blessed by that”. Angela Cartwright
The Danny Thomas Hour (1967) Linda
Make More Room for Daddy (1967) … Linda
The John Forsythe Show (1965)
Little Miss Egghead (1965)
The Sound of Music(1965) Brigitta
“The Sound of Music was just such an honor to be in, because it was a movie that appeals to so many people” - Angela Cartwright
The Danny Thomas Show (1957-1964) Linda Williams
The Persistent Cop (1964) … Linda Williams
Rusty and the Chorus Girl (1964) … Linda Williams
Beautiful Lady (1964) … Linda Williams
Pupa Loves Rusty (1964) … Linda Williams
Pupa's Pooch (1964) … Linda Williams
In 1976, she married Steve Gullian and they had two children, Rebecca in 1981 and Jesse in 1985.
For the past four decades Angela has been an artist, photographer, novelist and occasional actress. In 1977 Angela decided to open a gift shop called Rubber Boots, in California, where she sells her own hand tinted black and white photos. She has also taught classes on her photographic art techniques. She has had her own artwork put on to lines of rubber stamps called the “Unruly Girls Club” and the “Unruly Shadows”. Angela calls herself an ‘unruly artist’ because she likes to break the rules to see where it will take her. She has also written books and has a clothing line called acstudio09.
“Returning to where we shot the film was an experience I’ll never forget” - Angela Cartwright
Whilst she was there she took photographs of particular places associated with the movie, and later hand-painted them. These photos, now known as the “Echoes” collection, can be purchased from Angela Cartwright’s website.
It is as if The Sound of Music has come full circle for Angela - one of her daughters played Maria in a summer theatre production of The Sound of Music. She said she left with tears streaming down her face.
She now lives in Toluca Lake, California, where she will always look back and remember her days of being a von Trapp child with affection.
“I hope they’ll remember a character I played that touched people’s lives in a positive way” - Angela Cartwright