Dan Truhitte was born in Sacramento, California, the youngest of two children born to Wayne and Lois Doss Truhitte. Dan’s mother was a notable singer and pianist herself and spent years making home recordings of the extended Doss and Truhitte family, who were also passionate musicians. With this family heritage as his legacy, Dan went on to study acting and dancing at a young age. After years of study at the Crockett Dance Studio (now the Deane Dance Center) and Sacramento Ballet he ultimately won a scholarship to the prestigious Pasadena Playhouse. By age 18, he was performing with dance legend, Eleanor Powell, at the Hollywood Palace.
That same year, Dan was given the opportunity of a lifetime when he was cast as “Rolf” in the 1965 classic film The Sound of Music. Dan met this challenge head-on with his undeniable talent coupled with years of preparation as a singer, actor, and dancer. The result of his work, the iconic gazebo scene with Charmian Carr (“Liesl”) in the rain singing “Sixteen Going on Seventeen,” is burned into our national consciousness. In fact, the Library of Congress has included The Sound of Music in its film collection because of its cultural significance.
But the story doesn’t stop there. Dan went on to a lifelong career in diverse genres of the entertainment industry, including performances in Las Vegas where he was the featured dancer and singer at the Flamingo and Nugget nightclubs and the featured male lead in MGM Grand’s Las Vegas stage production of “Hallelujah Hollywood.” Dan has also performed at the Hollywood Palladium, the Rose Bowl, the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, and on Big Bands Alive in Los Angeles. In addition, Dan performed on the Queen Mary and toured the United States with Juliet Prowse as her lead singing and dancing partner. He has been featured in multiple theater productions at the California Musical Theater’s Music Circus over the years, and he has taught aspiring vocalists for decades from his studio at Dan Truhitte Entertainment Productions.
Entertainment Tonight featured Dan in a segment titled “A Day in the Life of Dan Truhitte” on Dan’s 50th birthday. In 2013, Dan appeared at Carnegie Hall with Tony Goldwyn and Brooke Shields in a one-time sold-out performance of The Sound of Music that raised 1.5 million dollars for the Carnegie Hall Weill Music Institute. In the fall of that year, Dan starred in The Sound of Music at the Hudson Dinner Theatre in North Carolina, which was sold out a month in advance.
Dan was featured in the 50th-anniversary edition of the book The Sound of Music Story by Tom Santopietro, and also appeared in a recent issue of LIFE magazine with Liesl, dancing in the gazebo to “Sixteen Going on Seventeen.” Dan was the special guest of the Blumenthal Belk Theatre for a national touring company’s production of The Sound of Music, where he met with the cast and answered questions about the 20th Century Fox film.
Upon the untimely death of Charmian Carr in 2016, Dan was interviewed on BBC-5 Live Radio and other media outlets. In 2017, Dan delivered a cameo performance for Kym Karath (“Gretl”) in a Palm Springs, CA showing of The Sound of Music hosted by the Filmmakers’ Gallery at the Camelot Theater in support of Kym’s charity, The Aurelia Foundation. He was also a special guest performer at the Home for Christmas dinner show in Hudson, NC where his new Christmas single, “Christmas is Bustin’ Out Again” debuted.
At age 75, Dan is the last performing vocalist from The Sound of Music cast. His latest CD project, The Sound of Their Music, is scheduled for release in 2019 and will feature many works by Rodgers & Hammerstein. This CD release will be supported by a 2019 tour and some other exciting surprising projects in the works. An archival website of his 70 years in the entertainment industry is scheduled for release in 2019 as well.
Dan presently resides with his wife, Tarealia ("TJ") and their dog, Barkey, in Concord, NC. He enjoys spending time with his six children and nine grandchildren and he also enjoys classic cars and working outdoors. He continues to teach a limited number of students of all ages from his North Carolina studio.
-- Jodie Castellani, Ph.D.