Do you remember Christopher Plummer singing “Edelweiss” in “The Sound of Music?
Oh, it is such a part of my memory because my father was Austrian and we would see that movie year after year. In fact, those lyrics make me shed a tear and are literally etched in my brain.
Every morning you greet me
Small and white clean and bright
You look happy to meet me
Blossom of snow, may you bloom and grow
Bloom and grow forever
Bless my homeland forever
(Song by Oscar Hammerstein II, Richard Rodgers, and Rodgers and Hammerstein)
Edelweiss is a mountain flower that became famous in 1856 when Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph went on a mountain hike and picked the flower for his beloved wife Elisabeth.
And it became famous again when Plummer, the Tony, Emmy and Oscar winner, sang it in “The Sound of Music.”
Plummer dismissed his role in that film preferring other performances in Shakespeare, Star Trek, “All the Money in the World,” “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and even “Knives Out.”
Aside from numerous roles in Shakespeare plays, he also won a Tony in the title role of “Cyrano,” a 1973 musical version of Edmond Rostand’s “Cyrano de Bergerac,” and in 2007 he was nominated for a Tony for the Clarence Darrow-like role of Henry Drummond in “Inherit the Wind,” his final Broadway appearance.
His beloved wife Elaine Taylor told the New York Times that prior to his death Mr. Plummer had been preparing to appear as Lear on film for the first time, under the direction of Des McAnuff.
In a career that spanned over seven decades, he came to realize that playing Captain von Trapp in “The Sound of Music” was one of his most endearing as well as enduring roles.
RIP Christopher Plummer who died today at the age of 91 after a fall. That “Edelweiss” song will be timeless forever. As is the flower now attached to the song.