Move over, Julie. A look at some other Marias
Mar. 17, 2015
NEW YORK (AP) — While Julie Andrews is the actress most closely associated with the role of Maria in "The Sound of Music," she was not the first or last to play it.
MARY MARTIN: Martin won a Tony Award for playing Maria seven years before Andrews played her on-screen. She didn't get the part in the film but would forever be linked to another musical — "Peter Pan."
FLORENCE HENDERSON: "The Brady Bunch" star played Maria in the national touring company of "The Sound of Music" in 1961 and she belted out a version of "The Hills Are Alive" at the 1971 Tony Awards.
PETULA CLARK: The British singer played Maria starting at age 49 in London for over a year, setting box office records in 1981 and having the largest advance sale in the history of British theater at the time. The real Maria von Trapp called her the best Maria ever.
SHIRLEY JONES: The matriarch of "The Partridge Family" was considered for the role of Maria in the 1965 film but lost out to Andrews. The next year she sang the part in summer stock at the Westbury Music Fair on Long Island.
MARIE OSMOND: The always-wholesome Osmond played Maria in a national touring company in the mid-1990s. Osmond's real-life son Stephen Blosil played the youngest boy Kurt and her three other kids went on the road with her, too.
DEBBY BOONE: The "You Light Up My Life" singer tried her hand at Maria with the New York City Opera in 1990. The New York Times said she "brings her own winsomeness and vulnerability to the part."
LAURA BENANTI: The "Nashville" star was only 19 and playing a nun and a Maria understudy when she was asked to take over the role on Broadway in 1999 from Rebecca Luker. She played Baroness Elsa von Schraeder in 2013 when NBC did a live version.
CONNIE FISHER: A 2006 London revival of "The Sound of Music" was led by this actress, who was chosen by the public who voted on candidates in the reality-show competition "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?"
CARRIE UNDERWOOD: The country star starred as Maria in a three-hour NBC live broadcast in 2013 that attracted more than 18 million viewers. Her Maria was well sung but most critics felt the acting was flat.