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60 Seconds with Debbie Turner

Exclusive Interview by Karen Beishuizen

Debbie Turner is best known for her performance as Marta von Trapp in the beloved movie “The Sound of Music”. She currently has her own flower and decoration business and enjoys her seven grandchildren which she calls her own von Trapp family.

KB: What did you want to be when you grew up?

At a very young age I wasn’t really sure I understood the question. I knew I didn’t want to be a nurse (like many of my classmates/sight of blood made me faint), But as I developed my love for the arts (partially being that while I was working in the movie and television business, I had a lot of “creative time”. By the time I was in high school I always thought it would be wonderful to own a shop where everything I sold was made by me.

KB: We know you best as Marta von Trapp in The Sound of Music: How did you get this part and how old were you?

I started my acting career at a young age (6 months old, as I was told by my mother) having done a TV commercial at that age. By the time the interview for The Sound of Music came along, I was an interviewing veteran. I auditioned by singing Do-Re-Mi to the accompaniment of piano playing Saul Chaplin. Later, I was asked back to do a screen test. It was shortly thereafter we got news that I had landed the part of Marta.

KB: What do you remember of working with Sir Christopher Plummer and Dame Julie Andrews?

I remember Sir Christopher being a bit stoic in his demeanor, so I only spoke to him when I was spoken to or when we had a scene conversation together. (I was pretty shy). Years later at a reunion we all had in Chicago we sat next to each other at dinner and had such a lovely conversation. As for Dame Julie, she was always very warm and loving toward us on and off screen. We (the five remaining von Trapp kids: Nicholas, Duane, Angela, Kym and myself) were thrilled to have some time with her at the American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award for her this past June in Hollywood.

KB: Are you still in touch with the others who played your siblings in the movie?

Yes, due to reunions and the internet, email & face time calls, we are all still very close. We miss Charmian & Heather very much.

KB: You left the movies shortly after The Sound of Music was completed. Why did you leave and what did you do next?

In all honesty, I was only seven years old. For some reason my mother changed my agent and then I didn’t get interviews as much over the years. What I did next was school, sports, skiing, tennis, sailing…had fun. Although, I loved working in “the business”.

KB: What are you currently up to?

Currently I am still running my small business, my dream job of making and selling my talents and designs. I conceptualize and design flowers and décor or weddings, (Many of my flowers are from the Alsmeer based company, Hilverda de Boer)I design flower gardens for local businesses as well as sell some of my wares online on my own website. I am enjoying my seven beautiful grandchildren, (5 girls and 2 boys…my own von Trapp group!).

Check out Debbie’s website HERE

Find her on Facebook: HERE

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