Nicholas Hammond played Friedrich, the oldest boy in the von Trapp family. His first line was ‘I’m Friedrich. I’m fourteen and I’m impossible’, showing that self-identity is very important when you're a teenager!
After having had an accident on the ski slopes, Nicholas auditioned for The Sound of Music movie at the age of fourteen. He arrived with his broken arm in a sling and his two front teeth missing! Despite his lack of confidence, as well as not being able to sing, he was given the part.
“Although I had been in the most famous film musical in history, I can honestly say with certainty that I was the worst singer and dancer in the triangle.” - Nicholas Hammond
The telegram that informed Nicholas Hammond’s mother that he had been given the part has apparently still been kept. “It was a total thrill,” he said.
Nicholas also had dark brown hair which had to be dyed blond for the part to make him look more Austrian. This was a painful process as the hair had to be bleached, which blistered his scalp, and needed to be done several times during the course of filming.
The fact that Nicholas grew an inch a month also caused problems. He has always said that most youths go through adolescence in private, but he did it in front of 350 million people! In fact he grew so much - from 5ft 3inches to 5ft 9inches during filming - that Charmian Carr, his older sister in The Sound of Music, had to end up standing on a box when filming a scene together.
Nicholas has great admiration for Julie Andrews. He claims that it was when he was nine years old, after seeing her play in the stage production of My Fair Lady that he was strongly influenced on wanting to become an actor. How amazing then, that a few years later, he was to star alongside her in this mega hit musical.
“Between scenes, she (Julie Andrews) was teaching us songs and had us in fits of giggles. She knew it was important that when the cameras went on, we just adored her, and we did.” - Nicholas Hammond
Before The Sound of Music
Nicholas Hammond was born on May 15th 1950 in Washington DC. His mother was actress Eileen Bennett and his father Colonel Thomas W. Hammond. His family moved to Europe when he was six, but shortly afterwards they moved back to the United States. Nicholas had his film debut as a child actor, in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies in 1963. He played one of the choir boys, Robert, who was stranded on a desert island (see photo right).
In 1965 Nicholas Hammond acted in the play The Happiest Millionaire in which his mother also played a small part. This was so Eileen Bennett could accompany her son whilst he was working! Apparently she never told anyone that she was Nicholas’ mother.
After The Sound of Music
Nicholas Hammond carried on acting after The Sound of Music. Here is a comprehensive list of the television shows and films that he has starred in over the years:
Dynasty: The Making of a Guilty Pleasure (2005) Aaron Spelling Stealth (2005) Executive Officer The Saviour (2005) Pastor The 100 Greatest Family Films (2005) `Salem`s Lot (2004) Future Tense (2003) The Rage in Placid Lake (2003) Bill Taylor VH-1 Where Are They Now: Superheros (2003) CNNNN: Chaser Non-Stop News Network (2002) Commander Oscar F. Hepple MDA (2002) Dr. Nick Standish Always Greener (2001) Nigel Milne The Sound of Music Children (2001) After They Were Famous (2001) Child Star: The Shirley Temple Story (2001) Adolphe Menjou Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles (2001) Curator The Track (2000) On the Beach (2000) U.S. President BackBerner (1999) Ben Waters Farscape (1999) The Lost World (1999) Phil Dillon Fox Studios Australia: The Grand Opening (1999) VH-1 Where Are They Now? (1999) Secret Men`s Business (1999) A Difficult Woman (1998) 13 Gantry Row (1998) Russell Tales of the South Seas (1998) 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1997) Saxon Paradise Road (1997) Marty Merritt Mercury (1996) Jack Koper Mirror, Mirror (1995) Sir Ivor Creevey-Thorne The Damnation of Harvey McHugh (1994) Corky Feds: Terror, The (1993) Milton Morehouse Frauds (1993) Detective Simms Irresistible Force (1993) Lieutenant Nash The Sound of Music: From Fact to Phenomenon (1994) Frankie`s House (1992) Major Frey Beyond My Reach (1990) Steven Schaffer Embassy (1990) Benson Trouble in Paradise (1989) Arthur Emerald City (1988) Ian Wall Mission: Impossible (1988) Woodward Challenge, The (1986) Dennis Conner Cyclone Tracy (1986) Harry The Flying Doctors (1986) Richard Hull Crazy Like a Fox (1984) Murder, She Wrote (1984) Todd Worthy The Tempest (1983) Ferdinand Richard II (1982) Hotspur The Adventures of Pollyanna (1982) Reverend Tull The Adventure Game (1981) Falcon Crest (1981) D.A. Martin Deering The Manions of America (1981) Sean O'Manion / Padric O'Manion Magnum, P.I. (1980) Clarke Troubshaw The Martian Chronicles (1980) Capt. Arthur Black Dallas (1978) Bill Johnson The Amazing Spider-Man (1978) Peter Parker Eight Is Enough (1977) Harold Logan`s Run (1977) Hal 14 (Acted alongside Heather Menzies) The Amazing Spider-Man (1977) Spider-Man / Peter Parker. This series was based on the long-running comic book developed by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko
Take a look at this video clip of Hammond/Parker as he discovers his amazing Spiderman powers:
The Fantastic Journey (1977) Tye The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries (1977) Lt. Douglas Burke The Love Boat (1977) Paul Stockwood The Oregon Trail (1977) Family (1976) John Crosswell Rich Man, Poor Man (1976) Walters The Deputies (1976) Brad Jensen Good Morning America (1975) Dirty Sally (1974) John Double Solitaire (1974) Peter Lucas Tanner (1974) Andy Petrocelli (1974) Whitey Sorority Kill (1974) Outrage (1973) Ron Werner Superdad (1973) Roger Rhinehurst Skyjacked (1972) Peter Lindner The Waltons (1972) Theodore Albert Claypool Jr. Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me (1971) Byron Agneau Mr. and Mrs. Bo Jo Jones (1971) Evan Clark The Brady Bunch (1969) Doug Simpson Hawaii Five-O (1968) Calvin (see photo right) The Ed Sullivan Show (1965) The Sound of Music (1965) Friedrich Flipper (1964) FCC Agent Smiley General Hospital (1963) Algernon Durban Lord of the Flies (1963) Robert The Defenders (1961) Bobby Braden Gunsmoke (1955) Britt The Wonderful World of Disney (1954) Reverend Tull Hallmark Hall of Fame (1951) Young John
Nicholas Hammond studied at Princeton University and graduated with a degree in English Literature. He married Laura Soli in 1980, but divorced in 1984. He now lives in Sydney, Australia with his girlfriend Robyn Nevin, who is an artistic director for The Sydney Theatre Company (see photo right).
Since moving to Australia, Nicholas has furthered his career in the acting world and has proved successful as a screenwriter. He wrote A Difficult Woman which became an award winning mini series, and also Secret Men’s Business which was the highest ranked TV show ever aired by Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
In 2009 he directed for the first time in Lying Cheating Bastard, a play he co-wrote with magician James Galea.
Over the years Nicholas has remained close to all The Sound of Music siblings, in particular he formed a very good friendship with Charmian Carr, who has described him like her ‘real brother’. In fact, Charmian caused quite a sensation at Princeton, when she visited Nicholas Hammond wearing her mink coat for lunch. It did Nicholas’ freshman’s ego so much good that day! Charmian Carr once said:
“Nicholas was one of the gifts The Sound of Music gave to me. Our relationship is very precious. Nicky is the brother I never had.”