Anyone who knows me knows that I am a classic movie and tv show fanatic! My collection is huge, and I am constantly adding to it. Growing up, my favorite movie was The Sound of Music, and my love for the classics has only grown from there! I am excited to finally post this interview with the legendary Angela Cartwright. It was such an honor to get to interview her, and I hope you enjoy hearing from her as I did!
Me: Hi, Angela! Thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview!
As a fan of classic television, I adore The Danny Thomas Show (AKA Make Room for
Daddy). You were very young when this show began. Can you tell us how you came to
get the role of Linda?
Angela: I went on an interview. I had immigrated with my family from England and we had just moved to California after a year in Canada. Our next door neighbor had kids in commercials and became friendly with my Mom, telling her she should take Veronica and myself to meet this agent. We did, and voila… I got the first thing I went on and never stopped working. Danny was going to get remarried and they were looking for a daughter to Marjorie Lord. I was on that show for 7 years.
Me: What was it like working with Danny Thomas?
Angela: Danny was rather loud and gregarious. Very different from my father. He always made us laugh and was a force to be reckoned with on the set. Always creating and always rewriting the scenes.
Me: Do you have any special memories from this show, or any favorite moments in the
Angela: We shot the show in front of a live audience every week, so every week was a new adventure. I was 4 when I started the show, but as I got older I remember working with all the greats in classic television… from Lucille Ball, Bob Hope, Andy Griffith, Joey Bishop, Bill Bixby, Hans Conreid. We always had great stars on the show.
Me: The Danny Thomas Show ran from 1953-1964. Then The Sound of Music was released in 1965. Lost in Space ran from 1965-1968. You were one busy young lady! How did you feel about being so busy as a child?
Angela: I loved it, and I really didn’t know any difference. I’ve always been that type of person that is happier when I am busy.
Me: Now, I have to confess – The Sound of Music was my absolute favorite movie when I was a kid. As in, I had to get it from the library every time we went… which was practically every week! I believe I drove my family crazy with this film. How do you feel about having played a part in a film that has become so iconic and has been a favorite of
Angela: Well of course it is an honor to be part of such an iconic film. People tell me all the time how much the movie makes them happy, how it is a family tradition to watch it every Christmas, and how much they love the film. It is so beautifully filmed, Robert Wise was a genius. Do Re Mi was the first music video ever filmed. I have taken a group on a very exclusive tour of Salzburg where we go to all the locations and I
tell them all what went on the behind the scenes. Everything looks the same as it did over 50 years ago, and people know so much about the movie. We always have a blast. I think I’m doing the tour again in late 2019, its just being finalized. Follow me on Instagram or Facebook for the latest news on that trip.
Me: You played Brigitta von Trapp in The Sound of Music, but you were also auditioned for the role of older sister Louisa. If you could have chosen ANY role in the film, what role would you play?
Angela: Hands down Brigitta. She was the most interesting to me. Deep feeling and observing everything.
Me: What was it like to work with Christopher Plummer and Julie Andrews? Were the cast members close to each other?
Angela: We all loved Julie. She was so electric and funny and kind. You can tell in the movie how much we all adored her. Chris was more reserved, but I had a good repoire with him while filming. I was only 11 so it wasn’t like I was hanging with Chris after the days work.
Me: Do you have any favorite scenes from The Sound of Music, or any behind-the-scenes
stories that you would like to share?
Angela: Oh, I have many stories. It took an entire year from recording the music to learning the choreography to filming in Salzburg. Dancing on the steps was something I have not forgotten to this day and running all over Salzburg filming Do Re Mi was so fun. As cold and hard as it was the lake scene was very memorable.
Me: You had many adventures as Penny Robinson in Lost in Space. What are your thoughts on this show? Who was your favorite person on the set of Lost in Space?
Angela: We all got along famously. I can’t call out a fav… Bill Mumy and I enjoyed being kids though and we are still friends to this day. In fact, we have written two books together. The first one is “Lost (and Found) In Space” which has behind the scenes pics and then our comments about our memories while filming the show. We remembered some of the most amazing things. It was like looking through your yearbook and remembering your youth. The other book is called “On Purpose.” it’s a fantasy adventure novel. Its a really good story and we both put a lot of time into making it right. I also created 23 paintings of the characters in the book and Bill wrote a soundtrack of 27 songs for the book. You can buy it with the paintings and the music and our
signatures in a deluxe version. You can find out more about it here: angela-cartwright.com/onpurpose
Me: Are there any special memories or perhaps a funny story you can share from this show?
Angela: There are many stories in the book I just mentioned “Lost (and Found) In Space”
Me: You and your sister Veronica were both busy with shows at this time. Did the two of you ever visit each other on set?
Angela: Yes… while I was on Lost In Space and she was on Daniel Boone our paths would cross quite often. We were close growing up and always shared each others successes.
Me: Do you have a favorite role that you have played?
Angela: Well I loved Brigitta…even among 6 other von Trapp kids each one of us had our own personality. Penny Robinson was another favorite. Brave, adventurous and a lover of animals.
Me: There were so many wonderful shows going on in the 50’s-80’s. Where there any other shows that you were in at the time? (I know your sister Veronica played Violet
Rutherford in Leave it to Beaver – giving Beaver his first kiss!)
Angela: After finishing Lost In Space I appeared on many shows as a guest star. High School USA, Scout’s Honor, Airwolf , Room 222, Logans Run, Love Boat, Adam 12 and then another season called Make Room for Granddaddy when I was a teenager. There were others… I kept pretty busy. But after Beyond The Posiedon Adventure I wanted to take a step back… to be a wife and a mother. While my kids grew up I opened a boutique and pursued my photography and art. I’ve never regretted taking that time out of my life to pursue my other dreams. And stay tuned… you never know where I may turn up next!
Me: Ok, we all know and love the song from The Sound of Music… “These are a few of my favorite things!” What are a few of YOUR favorite things?
ON PURPOSE a novel by Angela Cartwright & Bill Mumy
Me: It has been lovely to chat with you, Angela! I hope we can do it again someday! Thank you again so much for taking the time to answer these questions. I know my readers will love hearing from you! Wishing you the best of everything! Here’s to many more years of happiness!